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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    arizona
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    35

    Default How Close Should a Fence Be to the Property Line

    For the State of Arizona.

    We are planning on fencing our one acre parcel. From what I've already read here, it would probably be a good idea to have the area surveyed first.

    My question is, should we put our fence (it will be chain link) on the property line, or inside. If inside, how many feet?

    I've seen fences that were placed on the property line ruined by the neighbors who did not pay for it. But if it's on the property line, what can you do if someone ruins your fence?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Recommendations Appreciated

    This is a hard question, since I would imagine it would be impacted more by local zoning and municipal codes than state laws or case law.

    I would suggest making a phone call to your township supervisor or zoning officer and ask them that question. From my experience, they are usually pretty helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
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    357

    Default Re: How Close Should a Fence Be to the Property Line

    Does AZ have laws as to shared maintenance of boundary fences? I would suggest looking into that.

    The law in CA is that you can put the fence on the boundary line. If the neighbor chooses not to share in the cost, AND chooses not to enclose the rest of his property, then the cost is on you. If your neighbor later chooses to enclose the rest of his property, then he is also using your fence to enclose a portion of it and he needs to share in the cost of the fence you placed along your common boundary. Maintenance from that point forward is a shared responsibility of both landowners.

    In either case, the neighbor does not have the right to utilize the fence in a way that would hasten its deterioration or diminish its value.

    Several states have similar laws.

    Generally, the normal course would be to put the fence either on the property boundary, or as close to it as you can without disturbing your survey monuments (the iron pins or pipes marking your corners).

    Often, local ordinances may dictate what type of materials you can use, fence heights, etc., but unless a public right of way is involved, they generally do not restrict where on your property you may place it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    arizona
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    35

    Wink Re: How Close Should a Fence Be to the Property Line

    Thank you Silvae & Eapls2708 for your responses.

    I think we're ok with local zoning & muni codes & there's no easement where we plan to fence.

    I was thinking more legally. We hate to give up a foot or two around the whole perimiter of the property just to set the fence back "in case" the neighbor wants to use it - and damages it. But then that might be the best way to avoid that hastle. If the fence isn't on the prop line, they're not supposed to use it.

    Also, I figure even if we put the fence on the prop line, we'd be paying 100% of the taxes for it.

    I've just read other posts where having fencing on the prop line turned out to be a nightmare. Trying to do the right thing from the beginning - if that's possible......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: How Close Should a Fence Be to the Property Line

    I think that if your neighbor is prone to damage your fence, they will do it whether it is on your property line, 1' back, or 10' back. The only thing different that often results from placing your fence significantly back from the property line is that your neighbor either thinks that the 1' (or however many feet) you left outside your fence is their property because they think you put it on the line, or that it will become their property because you are essentially abandoning it to them.

    The boundary isn't some barrier that will keep them from your fence. However, your fence is a barrier that will protect your property from those outside the fence.

    With a chain link fence (no real maintenance issues requiring you to periodically be on the other side to paint, etc.), I would either put it right on the line, or just barely inside your line.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,112

    Default Re: How Close Should a Fence Be to the Property Line

    First, there is no line actually. There is your property and there is your neighbors property. If you place anything "on the line" you will be encroaching onto the neighbors property 1/2 the thickness of whatever you placed on the line. As such, unless there are laws in place that would allow such placement, you are encroaching on the neighbors property and he can seek an order to require you to move the fence.

    You can abut the line but not cross over the line. In other words, your posts would have to be approximately 1/2" on your side of the line so not to encroach upon the neighbors property with the chain link fence once it is installed.

    you must also realize that if you use concrete for a base, your concrete cannot encroach onto the neighbors property either.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: How Close Should a Fence Be to the Property Line

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    First, there is no line actually. There is your property and there is your neighbors property. If you place anything "on the line" you will be encroaching onto the neighbors property 1/2 the thickness of whatever you placed on the line. As such, unless there are laws in place that would allow such placement, you are encroaching on the neighbors property and he can seek an order to require you to move the fence.

    You can abut the line but not cross over the line. In other words, your posts would have to be approximately 1/2" on your side of the line so not to encroach upon the neighbors property with the chain link fence once it is installed.

    you must also realize that if you use concrete for a base, your concrete cannot encroach onto the neighbors property either.

    Correct as to building the fence. Unless you are building with your neighbor's cooperation or consent, "on the line" would mean that the face of the fence would be AT the line and the posts completely on your property. So if you put up a stringline (which reasonably approximates the true nature of a line, by definition having no width) between your boundary monuments, then in placing your posts, you would pull back onto your property 1/2 the width of the post plus 1/2" for thickness of the chain mesh.

    Somewhat, but not quite correct as there being no line. A line by definition is the shortest distance between two points. It has no width, so there is no line in the sense that it is not a tangible thing. But there most definitely is a line along the boundary as there are corners of the boundary. The line is where one property ends and the next begins. Since we often require objects of some sort to represent boundaries, we use survey monuments at the corners, a corner being the infitessimally small intersection of two lines of no width. But we accept the survey monument, or sometimes just the punched pinpoint on the cap of the monument as a reasonable approximation or representation of that tiny little point. Sometimes we accept something as thick as a fence as a reasonable representation of a line. But sometimes people fight over strips of land that are only a few inches wide (the width of a fence). But to my knowledge, no one has ever had a fight, or at least had one taken seriously enough to go to court, over a strip of land as narrow as a string line. Besides, if you want to get really technical, most land title boundaries are actually vertical planes and not lines at all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
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    2,054

    Default Re: How Close Should a Fence Be to the Property Line

    You should also check and see if the good side must face your neighbor.

    Meaning that if its a chain link fence you need the polls on your side and the chain link fence on your neighbors side.

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