On the Fence Part Two - Legal Issues and Fence Building

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So you've decided that you need a fence, and even know what type of fence to want to build.
Now you must consider the other issues involved, such as knowing where your property lines are, what building restrictions are in place, as well as the feelings of your neighbor.
You need to take all of these things into account before you put nail to post, or you could have a costly disaster on your hands.
Something that you need to do before you start building is to have an updated land survey on hand.
Already existing fences may or may not lie right along the property line, so don't use them as a guide.
Be sure of where your property ends and your neighbor's begins.
Once you've located the boundaries, decide with your neighbor if you want it to sit on the property line.
This would mean that both of you own the fence, and would be jointly responsible for building costs, maintenance, and repairs.
You would also need to agree on the type of fence you choose.
Negotiating a joint fencing project can be a tricky venture, as your neighbor may not want a fence in the first place, or want something wholly unsuitable for your needs.
Or they may want the cheapest, most unattractive fence on the market.
Be patient and polish off your negotiation skills.
And be sure to handle discussions like an adult.
You don't want the building of a fence to come between you! If you prefer to be more in control of your fencing options, you may decide to install the fence just a few inches away from the property line, thereby making it solely your responsibility.
You must take care of all repairs yourself, but you also have autonomy over the design and materials used.
Even if you decide to own the fence outright, it is a good idea to take into consideration your neighbors' needs in terms of view and privacy.
You don't want to block out all of their incoming sunlight, and in fact, you may have to remove or alter the fence if its presence affects your neighbor's quality of life.
While they can't make you tear down a fence simply because it's not to their tastes, having good neighborly relations means listening to their concerns.
You also want to assess your true needs for installing a fence.
Make sure that your reasons are valid, like keeping neighborhood animals off your yard, or to have a little privacy in your backyard.
The reason that this is important is because there is something called a "spite fence," where a fence is put up that serves no other purpose than to irritate your neighbors.
This can take the form of an ugly fence, or one that is high and imposing.
If your neighbor feels that this is the case with your fence, and they can prove that you installed it with malicious intent, they may have legal standing to sue you to have it removed.
Another critical step is to obtain the necessary permits before putting up your fence.
Some communities have ordnances in place which limit the size and style of fencing materials you can use.
Know your local restrictions before you buy! If you don't, you may end up with a giant headache and sizable expenses.
Adding a fence to your property can add definition, beauty, and safety.
But there are issues involved that must be considered and dealt with before you build.
First and foremost, talk to your neighbors and get their input.
Compromising a little now can save you a lot of grief later.
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