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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Can a Neighbor Remove My Privacy Fence and Discard My Property

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina (Union County)

    I built my home, on a 7 acre lot, and constructed a privacy fence along the side lot line 29 years ago (1988) at the same time my neighbor (Della), who shares this lot line, was having their home built on a 2 acre lot in Fairfax Farms Subdivision. That fence has stood all this time without question.
    Within the past 2 months Della had a survey performed and it shows parts of my fence encroaches on her property by as much as 6 inches.
    Yesterday she notified me, in writing, she has the right to remove my fence without further notice.

    Della "claims" to have a new privacy fence constructed in place of the existing fence on April 2, 2018 and I have until that time to remove my fence or she will have it taken down and the remains of that fence placed on my property.

    #1. Can she have my fence taken down?
    #2. Can she discard the fence on my property?
    #3. Is there anything I can do stop the removal of my fence?

    I'll add that negotiations are not out of the question..... but I built this this fence to uncommon specifications (12 feet high) and she states the new fence will be 12' high but I have no quarantee or other specifications.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Can a Neighbor Remove My Privacy Fence and Discard on My Property

    Quote Quoting DanVann
    View Post
    Can she have my fence taken down?
    Is it physically possible? Yes, any fence can be taken down. Does she have the legal right to do so? That will depend on a great many facts not known to us. But your fence has been in place for far too short a time for you to claim a prescriptive easement.

    Do you agree that her survey is correct?
    Quote Quoting DanVann
    Can she discard the fence on my property?
    What do you mean by "discard the fence on my property"? Do you mean, could she remove fence panels and place them on your property for your later use, if you choose to reconstruct your fence on your side of the property line? Assuming that's her intention, and assuming that she has the legal right to remove the encroaching fence, then that would be possible.
    Quote Quoting DanVann
    Is there anything I can do stop the removal of my fence?
    You can try to come to an agreement. If you cannot....

    If you disagree with her survey, get your own. If you agree with her survey, consult a local real estate lawyer about any legal grounds you may have to keep the fence in place and whether it would be cost-effective and sensible to try to seek injunctive relief. If you wait until after the fence is removed, you can ask your lawyer about whether you might be able to obtain damages.

    But seriously, if you both want a 12' fence and yours is not absurdly ugly from her side of the property line, why wouldn't you be able to come to some sort of compromise to correct the path of your fence rather than having two back-to-back 12' fences?

    For that matter, if she wants a 12' privacy fence, you can consider taking down your fence and regaining a few inches of your yard, and letting her deal with future fence maintenance issues.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Can a Neighbor Remove My Privacy Fence and Discard My Property

    Quote Quoting DanVann
    View Post
    I'll add that negotiations are not out of the question..... but I built this this fence to uncommon specifications (12 feet high) and she states the new fence will be 12' high but I have no quarantee or other specifications.
    What does your local or county zoning ordinances say about fence height? A 12 foot height would be unusual for a fence in a residential zone..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,179

    Default Re: Can a Neighbor Remove My Privacy Fence and Discard My Property

    I actually live in Union County NC and much of it is rural/farming/large acreage type lots with little to no zoning unless you are in one of the (small) towns. Honestly this is not a subdivision I am familiar with (It's a pretty large county about 50 miles across east to west).

    Have you checked with the county themselves? They've been pretty helpful to us when we've had issues and let us know whether something is against current zoning codes.

    That being said, if your fence is on her property and you are agreeing with her survey, did you get encroachment paperwork back when it was built? (Our driveway actually encroaches 4 inches onto our neighbor's property in the same county) Is there a reason (Such as a creek or hill) that forces the encroachment? If not, I suggest moving your fence back to inside your lot line or letting her put hers ON the lot line and you taking yours down -- I agree there is no reason for two back to back fences!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can a Neighbor Remove My Privacy Fence and Discard on My Property

    29 years " far too short a time for prescriptive easement" !?

    I could be wrong, but believe the workable time frame is 7 years

    12' was the height required to block her exterior spotlight from shining in my bedroom window. .....and has stood, without issue, for 29 years.

    Quote Quoting hr for me
    View Post
    I actually live in Union County NC and much of it is rural/farming/large acreage type lots with little to no zoning unless you are in one of the (small) towns. Honestly this is not a subdivision I am familiar with (It's a pretty large county about 50 miles across east to west).

    Have you checked with the county themselves? They've been pretty helpful to us when we've had issues and let us know whether something is against current zoning codes.

    That being said, if your fence is on her property and you are agreeing with her survey, did you get encroachment paperwork back when it was built? (Our driveway actually encroaches 4 inches onto our neighbor's property in the same county) Is there a reason (Such as a creek or hill) that forces the encroachment? If not, I suggest moving your fence back to inside your lot line or letting her put hers ON the lot line and you taking yours down -- I agree there is no reason for two back to back fences!
    I have no guarantee what she will do (besides take my fence down and place it on my property) after my fence is moved or removed.
    I'm not against a new fence that I don't have to construct or maintain ....as long as it meets my height requirements. ....so I'm not willing to move or remove my fence needlessly. I'm just asking if she has a legal right to take my fence down and leave the carcass on my property!?

    It's an old subdivision, R=40 and our covenants state nothing smaller than 1.5 acres. We're surrounded by those "little towns" but remain unincorporated and under Union Co. jurisdiction. I built the fence when I built this house, 29 years ago, no encroachment papers - just a C.O.

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