What can you do when a neighbor builds their fence too close?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Property Law

Property owners in Pennsylvania usually build fences so that they don’t have to deal with their neighbors too much. However, a poorly planned fence could cause two neighbors to get into a conflict that results in a lot of unwanted interactions.

How do you know if your neighbor’s fence is over your property line?

If you notice that your neighbor’s fence seems a little too close, you should obtain a copy of your property survey. The official property survey is more specific than the property line description written in your deed. You can usually get a copy of your property survey through your local government office’s building or zoning department.

Ask your neighbor, in writing, to correct the issue

Your property survey should provide the evidence you need to prove whether your neighbor’s fence crossed the line. If the fence is on your property, you should request, in writing, that your neighbor remove the fence. You should also be willing to provide your neighbor with a copy of the property survey that you obtained.

Your neighbor might have violated a building permit

Even if your neighbor’s fence wasn’t built over your property line, the fence might have still violated a building permit. Some building permits do not allow real estate owners to construct a fence right on the property line. If your neighbor didn’t obtain a building permit at all, this could be another issue that makes the fence illegal.

Whatever you do, don’t take the fence down yourself

Noticing a fence being built over your property line might cause your heart rate to go up. However, it’s important to remain calm and try to address the situation through legal avenues. If you act rashly, the situation could escalate, and you could be the neighbor facing a lawsuit. In most cases, problems with a poorly planned fence can be resolved with property surveys and communication.

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