Allow fence to back up to ours?

secsteveMarch 4, 2014

Neighbor wants to fence in his yard and has mentioned about having the front and back part of his back up to our vinyl fence. I told him I'd have to check into this as I was concerned about later resale and possible problems then.

Does anyone here have a fence that attaches to theirs? I've checked the neighborhood and some neighbors have fences abutting each other and others don't.

Will also be checking what the local zoning laws say. Don't need to worry about HOA as we don't have one.

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Did you leave an area beyond your property for maintenance of your fencing, or did you put it out all the way to your property line? If you need to do repairs or anything else to your fence that would be my only concern. Reason being you don't want to have to ask permission of your neighbor to go on his property to fix something with your fence. You may not have a nice neighbor all the time. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:04AM
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I'm not clear in understanding your question. Will your neighbor's fence be totally separate or is he asking to share a portion of yours?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:28AM
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IK have a privacy fence put up at my previous house. Neighbors on either said and back. One side neighbor and back neighbor had their fence up to mine, no issues. One side neighbor wanted to maintain their chain link fence. My fence was built within a few inches of theirs and there were always weeds growing on the other side in those few inches.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Years ago fences were installed and attached to the neighbor's fence. The last two fences we installed, the fence company installed the fence right up to the neighbor's fence by adding a post which was very close to the their fence. Our fence is on our property line.

The side fences ( we only have neighbors on the sides) allow both neighbors to "share" our fence. We have always had good neighbors so sharing is not a problem.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:40AM
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jrb451 he's asking to share a portion of ours.

Our fence was here when we bought the place and was inside the property line. When we replaced the old wooden one, the fencing company recommended we keep it that way.

NancyLouise, I had thought of the very same issue as you mentioned. Though the current neighbor is very friendly and I'm sure we wouldn't have a problem, it's something to think about should they decide to sell later.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:19AM
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The worst part about fences that don't connect, but instead are fully separate and run parallel (inches apart) to each other down the property line is that weeds and volunteer trees grow with impunity in this "no man's land". Neither owner feels it's their problem and/or can get a weed eater into that space to chop down the growth. Within a season or two, it just looks terrible.

In the OP's position, I rather either give up the few inches of property along that side of the yard to let the neighbor's fence connect to mine OR move my fence over a few inches to the property line and let the neighbor's fence connect to mine. Anything to avoid the crappy growth between parallel fences.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Question to those with shared fences: Any problems when it comes to maintenance/repair? I'm guessing these are more decorative and not used to confine animals (dogs) to the property.

Sorry I'm not providing any answers.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:42PM
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We put up a fence around our backyard 20+ years ago. One side neighbor and the back neighbor paid half of the fence on their property side. Repairs and maintenance are shared. We haven't had any problems. (The other side neighbor did not want to contribute to the cost of the fence).

The fence is 5 feet high and confined/es kids and dogs.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:04PM
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If you are a good neighbor and you have good neighbors usually shared fences are no problem. However, we are the type to maintain the whole thing. Our fence is wood which is also next to the neighbors yard who has a dog.

We have excellent neighbors but you never know about the future.

This post was edited by cricket49 on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 13:25

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:21PM
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If you have property beyond your fence (which sounds like that is your expectation--that your fence is entirely on your side, with some property beyond it), you will soon find yourself paying his taxes...

Legally, he'll have ownership of that property beyond your fence--it will become the new property boundary.

UNLESS, you defend your property boundary, either with a written agreement (that is recorded) stating it, or by making him put his fence on his own property.

This is something to check with your local property laws and a quick lawyer.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:42PM
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I'm still a little confused about whether you are talking about one fence (shared on property line), two fences (each have your own fence just your side of the line), or one fence but it's on your side of the property line...but we have the first two situations in our yard. If you have the option, it is much, much simpler to have a single fence on the property line. The side where we have two separate fences is a mess because there is a little gap in between them. We're just ignoring it till it comes time to finally replace the fences, but it's a silly way to have done it in the first place (and I assume was just a legacy of a fence existing on one side when the whole yard on the other was fenced).

If you can do a single fence on the property line, that would be my top choice. If the neighbor wants to share your existing fence and it's already a foot or two in on your side of the property line, I'd be okay with that but would want to get a written agreement in place documenting where the actual property line is, as kirkhall suggests. (As a neighbor if someone asked me to do that in exchange for using their fence so I could save money on a fence, I'd also be 100% fine with that.)

You can also check with your local municipality to see what their preferences or rules (if any) are. Our city strongly advises fences be on property lines, and if the line is in question, that a survey be done before placing the fence. Their policy is also that when a fence is on the property line, the cost is shared between owners; if it's set back from the property line, maintaining/replacing it is the sole responsibility of the owner on that side. While negotiating fence aesthetics with neighbors can be a little frustrating (we've replaced two of our four shared fences in the last few years!), I still much prefer being able to split the cost and not having to worry about potential concerns around property lines in the future.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:54PM
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(Deleted--strange double post!)

This post was edited by artemis78 on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 2:00

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:02PM
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It makes sense to allow your neighbor to "share" the fence. It will look better than having two fences with all the weeds in between. I would do as suggested and have your neighbor sign an agreement that any of your property on "his" side remains yours so there are no issues if you decide to sell.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 9:54AM
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On my last home I put up a fence that was two' ft on my side of the property. The property lines had a fresh survey and was well marked. The neighbor sold and when I met the new owners I immediately went on tour with them and sent them a letter detailing this to avoid any mis understandings on who owned what. I built the fence and took care of both sides. Communications is key. We got along great.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:59PM
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