What Can You Do if Your Neighbor is Damaging Your Fence?

neighbor damaging fenceWhen a neighbor damages your fence you could easily find yourself in the grip of a very frustrating situation. You want your fence repaired as quickly as possible, and you rightly do not feel like you should have to take on the additional financial burden of fixing the results of someone else’s carelessness.

We’ve heard of all sorts of creative stories. Neighbors have damaged fences by getting careless with riding mowers, by draping wet laundry over fences, causing water damage, by piling wet soil onto the ground on their side of the fence to plant flowers, only to rot the boards.

We’ve seen neighboring dogs damaging fences and neighboring trees too.

While we can’t give you legal advice we can tell you that there are laws that give you some recourse if you neighbor is damaging your fence. Of course, the first step is to talk to your neighbor about the problem.

The damage could have been accidental, or they just might not have given it any thought. If the fence is on or near the property line, for example, the neighbor might have assumed that he had the right to use the fence as he or she saw fit.

Indeed, if a fence is on or near the property line it can sometimes be counted as a “boundary” fence, which means you and your neighbor share ownership of the fence – and equal responsibility for its care and maintenance. This can greatly confuse the issue of both using and repairing the fence.

This is one reason why knowing your property lines is so important when you build a fence. It gives you the option to build inside of your property lines, thus making the fence wholly “yours” and avoiding disputes about who pays for what – and making your case stronger should your neighbor decide to touch or damage your fence in any way.

If the neighbor decides that he or she is not in the mood to be helpful and reasonable then there are some steps you can take. First, you should take the time to document each incident.

That means documenting each time you talk to the neighbor to address the problem. It also means documenting each damage incident.

It’s not a bad idea to take pictures of the damage. And you should get some estimates on repairs from a qualified fence company, since you may well need a concrete number to work with.

Contact a lawyer and turn this documentation over to him or her. Don’t be afraid to exercise this right!

If a neighbor has damaged your fence and it’s in need of repair, please give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to give you a free estimate. We’ve helped homeowners in Whitefish Bay, Glendale, and the rest of the Milwaukee metro area repair their fences and we can do the same for you too!


  1. Jennie Richardson says:

    We have had a wooden fence on our property since purchasing the property. Last year we removed the old wood fence and installed a new wood fence on the same line as original fence. After installing our neighbor decided to dig a trench within inches of the fence and install a drain. We live on mostl;y sandy soil and when he dug the line it caused the sandy soil to loosen. About 50% of the fence now has trenches under it and large holes our Husky dog can go through.. Do we have recourse?

  2. behnaz says:

    Hi my neighbour pile up his garden waste at the boundary There is no fences at the moment . I asked a fencing company to come and do the job but it is very hard to do so

    I even told him that I contribute to removing the garbage but he said that he won’t remove them as those garden waste is at his side and nothing to do with me
    Even if I put any fences it would be damage with this pile of garden waste(one and half meter from the ground for about 26 meters the length of my garden)
    Could you please let me know to whom should i refer ?Any advice?

  3. Deborah Weiser says:

    Our property line borders an alley where a business’ 18 wheelers have constantly backed up into to make their deliveries. I have never once complained about the noise and even made necessary repairs to the fence when I first moved in. It is a 6 foot wood fence. The side of our fence that does not run along the alleyway is fully intact aside from needing painting. I will admit I’ve been a little passive over the past two or three years when the fence was damaged slightly, but now all this damage has added up to the fence actually falling down into the alleyway.

    Most of the time when the fence was damaged it was more towards the top where the trailer doors caught onto it. I just assumed it would be common sense. This business’ trucks are the only ones that use that alley. Even some of the business’ employees have witnessed the truck damaging our fence. They refuse to do anything about it, even when I propose if they replace the fence I would let it be sent back to her three more feet so my fence wouldn’t be so likely damaged in the future, and their drivers would have more room .

    The trucking company sent me a denial letter. I have heard that they do not maintain or take care of the damage they caused the neighborhoods around them. I am livid that I have to call the police each and every time their semi is here. It makes me look like the bad guy because today the semi did not back into the alley and they had to cart all their products all the way down the alley to the stockroom. I told Dollar General that their truck drivers are not welcome back there anymore and I don’t want to have to confront them.

    We are about to get fencing quotes, and I am wondering can still posts be planted and cemented at certain increments, so if the semi goes too far over again they end up damaging their trailer? Oh and I have pieces of the back of their truck. They were laying by our broken fence.

    If we don’t get the fence repaired, then we will receive a warning letter from the city to take care of it. If the city takes care of it they will probably multiply the cost times four and add it to our property taxes. I have been angry about this day and night. It has affected my friendship with the business’ general manager. Putting up a new fence is not going to fix the situation. As small as that alleyway is, for an 18 wheeler to be backing in there, hitting my fence, or hitting the cement posts that protect a gas meter till they are down to the asphalt tells me that this just is not a safe situation for a residential district in a small town. I believe there might be some zoning violations going on.

  4. Estela says:

    I’m a homeowner and I just installed a new vinyl fence. I discovered two bullet holes on my fence that’s on the side facing my neighbors who are renters. I talked to them but they said they didn’t know anything and then they slammed the door shut. Can I take them to small claim court to get them to pay?

  5. Roberto B. says:

    My neighbor destroyed my fence with premeditation to install his plastic one on mine property
    without my consent and told to the people who was doing the installation that he paid for the vandalized, lien to the workers.I requested him to show me the invoice,he just turn on back and left to his home.This person did a sneaky manoeuvre , he had a fence that was separated by a passage 3 feet wide between the both fences that belong to the City of Lakeland Fl.to permit the Technicians from the City use to access a pole with a transformer in case it need repair .On the back of his fence was attached a sign by the City warning no to block the entrance or throw garbage on the passage.The person eliminate his fence and the sign
    posted by the City and illegally added 3 more feet to his back yard. As if that was not enough
    to his greed, took a portion of my lot to expand his avarice. What is the way to make to forced this smart predator to go back where is should be by Law and paid for the damage caused on my home?

  6. Enda says:

    hey, I have a neighbor who, I thought the first time ran his/her car into my fence accidentally. I thought he/she was drunk and hit my fence. now today I found out another hole done by the same person, driving a silver car. he/she came out of the car and kicked my other part of the fence, destroying it’s PVC structure. what can I do, should I call the cops?

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