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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Neighbor's Fence Blocks Access to My Property

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: WV
    I have a new survey. In the front of my house, my neighbor has a six foot privacy fence that comes 12" past my property line, and is attached to my house, which blocks all access to one side of my house. On this side of my house is my dryer vent and telephone jack/hookup which I have no access to. Also, where the fence touches my house, the siding has been cracked. My neighbor will not unlock the fence gate for me to get to the vent to clean it out, unless it is convenient for them (which is NEVER), and I see it as a major fire hazard. I also have not been able to get a telephone line in my house since the neighbor will not give me access to that side of my property. In the back of my house, my neighbor has a chain link fence which has been attached with nails to MY wooden fence. My fence is 12" away (on my side) from my property line, so to me it seems like their chain link fence is ALSO on my property. I was aware of all of this four years ago when I bought my house. I asked them to move the fences and they said no, but, the house was a forclosure and the bank didn't want to deal with the legalities, and the price was so good, that I bought the house anyways. Do I still have a legal right to make them take their fence down?
    Thanks!!!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Neighbor's Fence Blocks Access to My Property

    Well I'm assuming your reference of 12" (12 inches) is meant to be 12' (12 feet)? But if you can confirm their fence is on your property with an existing survey or by having a new survey, then notify them that they have X number of days to remove the fence (find exact requirement in state law) or the fence will be removed by you at a cost. Now you may not be able to sue for the costs to have the fence removed off of your property since the fence was already installed when you bought the property (this may be a matter for the court to decide), but you definitely are within your rights to have any portion of the fence within your property boundary removed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Neighbor's Fence Blocks Access to My Property

    It is 12" (one foot). The fence is ATTACHED to my home, blocking all access to that side of my home, and with a closer look, the siding on my home has been damaged by the connection of the fence. Any advice as to what to do about the damage? Do I have the right to cut the fence up to the property line?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Neighbor's Fence Blocks Access to My Property

    I'm having a little difficulty envisioning what you're describing. If their fence is only a foot past your property line and attached to your house, then that would be leave only a foot setback of your house from the property line?? Can you give clarification to this? Are these single family homes or condo units?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,065

    Default Re: Neighbor's Fence Blocks Access to My Property

    First, you will need to investigate the legality of the fence. Was is allowed by a prior owner of your house? was there an easement granted by a former owner of your house?

    If there has been no legal permission given by any owner of your house, how long has the fence been there? By what right does the fence owner claim to be able to have the fence there at all?


    Have you had a survey performed to identify exactly where the property lines are?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Neighbor's Fence Blocks Access to My Property

    No, there was no easement from the prior owner/s. The fence was installed while the house was forclosed on and was vacant. (the forcloseing bank did NO upkeep of the property). I have a new survey, the fence is attahced to my home! The fence encroaches onto my property one foot (12 inches), and is attached to the corner of my house. The owner claims their property line begins right up against my house (like my outside wall). The survey indicates it is one foot (12 inches) from the outside wall. Thanks!

    it is a single family home, but we're in the city, so they are very close together. I wish I could post a picture on here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,065

    Default Re: Neighbor's Fence Blocks Access to My Property

    so, you have a survey to support the line. Great. No permission to install the fence, great.

    Now, what to do.


    since, based on your timeline, the damage was already there when you bought the house, you can't really claim the damages. It was preexisting.

    what you can do is send a demand letter to the neighbor giving him a limited amount of time to remove the encroachment from your property. Cite the surveyors report as evidence his fence is encroaching the 12". Be accurate with the dimension as the guy may try to play games.

    Include a statement that if he fails to remove the encroachment, you will have it removed and will be demanding the costs to be paid by him.


    Then, if he does not remove the fence, and you are absolutely positive of the situation, disassemble the fence (do not destroy anything) and place the material on his side of the property line.

    What happens next is up to him. Hopefully he will simply turn tail and stop the BS. If not, you will have to deal with whatever he decides to do.

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