What to do when a neighbor’s fence is over the property line

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2021 | Real Estate Law |

Fences of all shapes, sizes and styles are valuable improvements for real estate. They affirm boundaries, help delineate space, protect your land and create safe outdoor spaces for children and animals.

Unfortunately, fences are also a major cause of disputes between neighbors. When one person puts up a fence without consulting with their neighbors, they might make mistakes in placement. Additionally, they could cause damage to their neighbor’s property during the act of putting in the fence, possibly by disturbing the roots of trees or killing perennial plantings.

If your neighbor put up a fence that encroaches on to your property in Pennsylvania, what legal options do you have?

You can dispute the boundary established by the fence

If your neighbor oversteps the property line and builds a fence on your side of the boundary, they might take away some of your yard and diminish your property value. You will have to assert the proper boundary after you notice the issue or run the risk of eventually losing that property.

If a fence has stood for 21 years without any kind of dispute, the boundary established by the fence may become the new boundary line for the property. Although you may feel that the boundary is incorrect, if you don’t challenge the placement of the fence, that could give your neighbor grounds to claim that each of you only claims the property on your respective side of the fence.

Having a boundary survey performed can help you verify that the fence is not where it should be and will make it easier for you to take legal action to protect your property if you need to file a civil claim against them to compel them to respect the boundary.