Determining the ownership of a fence that separates properties can sometimes be a tricky affair. This is especially true in situations where there are no clear property lines or when the fence was installed before you moved into your home. However, understanding who owns the fence is crucial for maintenance, repairs, and potential disputes. So, how do you tell if a fence is yours or your neighbours? Let’s explore some practical ways to find out.
Consult Your Property Deed
One of the most reliable ways to determine fence ownership is by consulting your property deed. This legal document contains detailed information about your property, including its boundaries. The deed may indicate whether there’s a boundary fence and who owns it.
In most cases, if the fence is located entirely within your property line, it’s likely yours. Conversely, if it’s on your neighbour’s side of the boundary line, it probably belongs to them. However, things can get complicated when the fence straddles the boundary line. In such cases, both neighbours may share ownership and responsibility for maintenance and repairs.
Check Local Regulations
Local regulations can also provide guidance on determining fence ownership. Some jurisdictions have rules specifying that a property owner is responsible for maintaining fences on certain sides of their property.
For instance, in some areas, homeowners are responsible for fences on their right when facing their house from the street. Other places may have different rules or no rules at all regarding this matter. Therefore, it would be prudent to check with local authorities or consult with professional fencing contractors near me to understand local fencing laws and regulations.
Look at Fence Features
Certain features of a fence can also give clues about its ownership. For example:
1) The “finished” side: In many cases, the side of the fence with the finished look (smooth and painted) faces towards the owner’s property. This is because the person who installs the fence would typically want the “good” side facing their home.
2) Fence posts: In most cases, fence posts and supporting beams are installed on the owner’s side of the fence. Therefore, if these features are on your side, there’s a good chance that you own the fence.
However, these are not hard and fast rules and can vary depending on individual circumstances and local customs.
Engage Professional Fencing Contractors Near Me
If you’re still unsure about who owns a boundary fence after checking your property deed, local regulations, and fence features, it may be time to engage professional fencing contractors near me. These professionals have extensive knowledge about local fencing laws and can provide valuable insights into determining fence ownership.
Fencing contractors can perform a professional survey of your property to establish exact boundaries. They can also inspect the fence to determine its age, which could help identify who installed it.
Determining whether a fence is yours or your neighbour’s can sometimes be complex, especially when there are no clear indicators or records. However, by consulting your property deed, checking local regulations, looking at certain fence features, and engaging professional fencing contractors near me for assistance, you should be able to get a clearer picture of who owns that boundary barrier.
Remember that good neighbourly relations are essential for peaceful coexistence. Therefore, if there’s any dispute over a boundary fence’s ownership or maintenance responsibilities, it’s always best to have open and respectful discussions with your neighbour before taking any legal action.