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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1

    Default Who Owns the Fence on a Property Line?

    I have heard two views of who owns the fence when it is built on the property line between two homeowners in a subdivision: 1) the fence belongs to the home that it was built with; 2) the fence belongs jointly to both homeowners. In the first view, the homeowner that was "there first" owns the fence; in the second view, there is no distinction based upon when the house & fence were built: the fence is jointly held & jointly owned.

    I am in the State of Texas, and even our HOA attorney is not definitive on the matter. Is there any law or precedent on the subject?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Who Owns the Fence on a Property Line?

    Visit a nearby law school law library, college or university, look in the case law digests/Jurisprudence for your state.There are assorted topics, such as: Persons: Property: Contracts: Torts: etc.

    Look under: Fences or Boundaries or Adjoining landowners, etc., which will be found probably under the Property heading/division.

    Some case law may help you in this matter.

    If you can not locate them, just ask a desk attendant/librarian where you can locate them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Re: Who Owns the Fence on a Property Line?

    I did a quick check of recent case law and statutes, and didn't see any authority - admittedly, I may have overlooked something. There is likely to be some treatment of these issues in older case law or unpublished case law, but typically that type of research involves (paid) subscription database searches or some serious time in a law library.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Who Owns the Fence on a Property Line?

    The HOA can probably add a covenant to cover the situation. Ask the HOA attorney.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Who Owns the Fence on a Property Line?

    I live in Llano County and I just built a boundary fence to keep a neighbor from using my land as his own and to allow my horses to graze that area. Upon the advice of the Sheriff's department I painted the tops of the T-post and all the H-braces purple, which is one of Texas' No Trespassing notification method.

    My neighbor painted over the purple paint with green paint, which has no legal status.

    It seems that no officials here can decide on who owns the fence, although, I paid for all of it, which means (to me) that my neighbor has no "interest" in the fence. Furthermore, this neighbor would not let me attach to any part of his fence (also on the property line), so I spent more money to have welders fence around his section of cyclone fence.

    Does anyone know the case law on boundary fences?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Re: Who Owns the Fence on a Property Line?

    I would have to give the same answer as above.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Who Owns the Fence on a Property Line?

    Quote Quoting LlanoLand
    View Post
    I live in Llano County and I just built a boundary fence to keep a neighbor from using my land as his own and to allow my horses to graze that area. Upon the advice of the Sheriff's department I painted the tops of the T-post and all the H-braces purple, which is one of Texas' No Trespassing notification method.

    My neighbor painted over the purple paint with green paint, which has no legal status.

    It seems that no officials here can decide on who owns the fence, although, I paid for all of it, which means (to me) that my neighbor has no "interest" in the fence. Furthermore, this neighbor would not let me attach to any part of his fence (also on the property line), so I spent more money to have welders fence around his section of cyclone fence.

    Does anyone know the case law on boundary fences?
    If someone painted over my fence AND the fence was set back enough from the property line that it was clearly on my property, I would report the act to law enforcement as vandalism.

    Note: I am not an attorney, just someone with a lot of fence and a lot of adjacent property owners.

    From experience, I can tell you that the jerks, if you are unfortunate enough to have one of them as a neighbor, will try to get away with anything they think you will put up with. Sometimes they even con themselves into believing they have a right to do it. The longer you take to act against them, the harder they are to dislodge.

    I have received acceptable results by sending the offender a brief, simple, but clearly written letter, CRRR, which states exactly what they are doing wrong, what they must do to correct their behavior, and how long they have to correct it. I close by saying that if they don't fully comply, I will turn the matter over to my attorney with instructions to seek any and all remedies that may be legally available to me.

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