Resolving fence disputes

There are millions of acres of land in Texas covering homes, businesses and agricultural facilities. With land so plentiful, arguments about boundaries are inevitable. Disputes happen for many reasons, including sealing off borders and inconvenience, as well as actual improper use of somebody else’s land. To avoid neighborly spats, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with property laws and the use of fences along the borders of your property.

 

The rules

If your neighbor decides to build a fence around their property and near yours, you do not have to contribute any finances. According to the Texas Farm Bureau, you have no legal obligation to contribute your finances towards the neighbor’s fence construction unless you agree with your neighbor to do so.

This means that the fence is legally your neighbor’s. You do not have to give any money to repair it if it is destroyed, and it is their exclusive property as long as the fence is on their property instead of the property line.

The problems

The rules seem straightforward, but several problems can arise if the fence owner does not pay attention to the general guidelines. Your neighbor could make the fence intrude past the property line and invade some of the space of your yard. It is an inconvenience to the property you have in that location and it limits the amount of activity you perform in that area.

Another obstacle your neighbor could put in your way is a spite fence. According to the American Planning Association, spite fences are specifically designed to annoy you in some capacity. The fence could be unappealing or too big. The neighbor’s fence could block your view, air, and sunshine that your land requires.

The solutions

If you have an issue with the fencing, you should talk to your neighbor first. See if you can collaborate on a plan that benefit both of you. If you are just moving in, you and your neighbor could prevent the issue from happening by legally co-owning and paying for the fence. That way, both sides have an equal say.

When collaboration isn’t an option

If your neighbor fails to comply, notify the city of the fence’s intrusion. If they find your complaints justifiable, they will issue a written warning to your neighbor to make the necessary adjustments to the fence. If the neighbor still refuses to co-operate, you can sue and fight for your property rights in court. Only resort to this if you have attempted all options to resolve this peacefully with your neighbor.

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