My question involves real estate located in the State of: Florida (Tampa)
We are a family with 3 young children (5, 8 and 10 yrs old). We purchased our family home 9 months ago and our property survey showed that the existing fence (not in good condition) belonged to us. We started a vegetable patch close to the fence and used a chicken wire cage (nailed to our fence) as support. However, our neighbors (old retired couple) contacted us and said that the fence is theirs and we should avoid touching it.
We showed our survey (done it 2019) to them. Their survey was old and outdated. So, they got a new survey done which proved the fence was ours. Unfortunately, over the next few weeks they turned nasty - using filthy language, throwing trash over the fence to our side and a lot of other cheap behavior. We had to call the cops a few times as they had crossed the line in few instances. Although the cops warned them to refrain from engaging with us, they just seem to get worse.
Recently, they contacted us and said they wanted to install a new fence. They claimed that two fence posts at the back end of our fence were over the property line as per their survey and we should move them. Our survey did not agree with that. However, as our fence was in bad shape anyway, we removed it totally and their new white PVC fence was installed very close to the property line.
1) The veg patch is completely within our property (about 6 inches from the property line). It is NOT in violation of any HOA or county regulations.
2) The chicken wire cage is about 5 ft tall and is not visible to our neighbors from the other side of the fence
Now, our neighbors are demanding that we should remove the vegetable patch completely as i) the chicken wire may scratch their fence. ii) the leaves and watering of plants might discolor and damage their white fence. They claim that we will be liable for discoloration or scratches on the fence.
Also, today the husband stood on a step ladder, ... bent over the fence to our side and started pulling the plants whose leaves were touching their fence. He also kept pushing the chicken wire cage away, which almost broke it. I asked him to refrain from damaging our property. He reacted loudly with filthy abuse. I did not engage further as my kids were home and in online schooling. So my questions are
1) Are we allowed to have grow plants close to the fence?
2) Are we liable for damages if the fence develops discoloration due to the leaves etc?
3) Can the neighbor damage our plants and the chicken cage because he assumes that his fence will be affected by our plants and cage?
4) Is he "Trespassing" by reaching our property from over the fence?
Any suggestions would be greatly helpful. Thank you in advance