How Close Can I Put A Fence to My Property Line?

Fences are a great way to get a little privacy and define the edge of your property. There are many different types of fences but they all serve the same purpose, the definition of a boundary and the potential to keep people and animals on one side of the fence.

Of course, they can also improve the look and the security of your home.

However, when you’re ready to put up your fence you’re going to want to know exactly where your property line is and how close you can get to it.

The easiest way of identifying your boundary line is to get a land survey completed by Geosurv. This won’t just show you the boundary of your property, it will also highlight any utilities running under your land and if there are any access rights; this may affect the positioning or style of fence you install.

Talk To Your Neighbor

After you’ve had your survey done it’s a good idea to talk to your neighbor and explain what you are going to do. This will help to avoid any boundary disputes, which are one of the most common issues between neighbors.

A crate of beer or some other gesture can often help to smooth the process, after all, they will also benefit from the fence. You may even be able to accommodate their needs when deciding the style of the fence.

The Law

You will need to check the exact law in your state, every state has the right to implement their own interpretation of boundary laws, meaning that some states will allow your fence to be on the boundary line, while others say it has to be 2, 4, or even 6 inches away.

However, the general guidelines are similar for all the states:

If the fence is inadequate or there is currently no fence then the cost of putting one up must be shared by the two neighbors. You may prefer to cover the cost yourself in order to get the fence erected without hassle.

Your local planning office will be able to tell you exactly how close you can put your fence to the boundary line. It’s a good idea to get this in writing so that you can show your neighbor and you have proof in case of any issues in the future.

Of course, if you and your neighbor both agree the fence should sit on the boundary line, which is very common if you’re splitting the cost, then this is acceptable. But, again, you should draw up a written statement signed by both of you, in case of future issues.

The law will guide you regarding where you can position your fence, but you should consult with your neighbor, this will ensure there is no bad feeling and a dispute does not occur after the fact. As mentioned, a fence is usually in both parties interest, the main issues will revolve around the position and the cost. If you’re flexible, so will your neighbor be.

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