How to Avoid Fence Disputes

how to avoid a fence disputeThey say “good fences make good neighbors.” Usually that’s true – but only when your fence doesn’t turn your neighbor into an enemy.

After all, in some states fences can affect property rights. And if you don’t take care of your fence your neighbor still has to look at the eyesore.

So how can you stay on your neighbor’s good side? Here are three guidelines.

Always Get a Survey

Some municipalities absolutely require a survey before you build a fence. For example, Whitefish Bay, Shorewood, and other municipalities in the local Milwaukee area all require surveys before you can even get a permit.

However, you should get a permit anyway, even if your town doesn’t require it. Don’t skimp on it in an attempt to save a couple of dollars.

If you build a fence that strays over property lines by even a single inch you could be setting yourself up for some big problems with your neighbors. In fact, disputes over fences and property lines are incredibly common. Property lines are the biggest reasons why neighbors start fighting over fences.

Make a mistake and your neighbor could force you to tear your fence down. You won’t be reimbursed, and you’ll be forced to start all over.

You could be setting yourself up for a fall even if your laid-back neighbor seems understanding right now. While he might not care today those inches could become a big deal when it is time for him to sell his home, or when it’s time for you to sell yours.

Don’t Assume a Connection

Does your neighbor have an existing fence that borders a portion of your property? Don’t simply assume that you can connect to it.

Some neighbors might perceive this as an attempt to save money at their expense. Shared usage can become an issue too, since it implies shared maintenance costs and upkeep.

If nothing else, you should talk to your neighbor before you connect your fence to theirs. If your neighbor is adverse to the connection then ask a professional fence contractor what your options are.

Watch Your Upkeep

Avoid running afoul of your HOA (home owners association) or angry neighbors by keeping the fence in good repair. Keep it clean, stained, and maintained.

Don’t let the fence sag or lean. This could endanger your neighbor’s property. It also contributes to a look of decay in the neighborhood, which could make it harder for other people to sell their houses.

We can help you avoid many neighbor disputes just by helping you do the job right in the beginning. Call us today for a free estimate!

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