Legamon, Other/Just Looking in Passaic County, NJ

If a fence is a few feet on my neighbors property do I have to move it.

Asked by Legamon, Passaic County, NJ Mon May 30, 2011

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I would move it. As it can bring about problems in the future when you go to sell the property.
Your neighbor could be concerned at some point if you decided to claim that land.

When I lived in Brooklyn, the houses are pretty close together.. well, there was a house that had a shared driveway, well it was because the family that owned the property right up to the side of the neighbors house let the other people use the driveway and make a parking area behind their house.

Well, when they went to sell.. the people did not want to give up the driveway and parking behind their house.. They took the next door landowner to court and the Judge sided with them and made the property universal between the two properties, even thought the one person owned the land.. not good.
So, to avoid all the nonsense, move the fence.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 31, 2011
I agree - my neighbor put up a fence along the way and because it was more convenient for him, went several feet onto my property - made for an uncomfortable exchange that tarnished the relationship....but to Gwen's point, in addition to bad neighbor vibes, these type of encroachments may cause you trouble if/when you go to sell.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 31, 2011
By all means move it. I've had experience with this exact situation and it ultimately involved lawyers and legal fees. In the end the Buyer was able to walk from the deal. Don't wait until one of you wants to sell to get tangled in a potentially messy situation.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 31, 2011

I would move it. I had a a situation where my buyer had a survey done as part of the purchasing process. The survey showed the neighbors fence was 5 feet into my buyers property with a shed there as well. The neighbor eventually moved the fence, but it got ugly for a while because the neighbor said he assumed" the property was his since the fence was there when he bought the property, We we almost had to take him to court to get an order for him to move the fence.

Do check to see if you have a survey of your property, then check with your local zoning official on where the fence is allowed. Some municipalities allow on the property line while other require a few inches inside the property line. If it's a wood fence, most municipalities also require the unfinished side faces inside, towards your house.

Unless it's a really really long piece of fencing, it shouldn't cost that much to move it, and will save you headaches if you (or your neighbor) eventually sell the house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 31, 2011
My fence has been a few feet on neighbor's yard for 30 years. I only want to repair it by replacing part of the fence that is falling down. My neighbor told me that I cannot repair my fence b/c it's on his property, but has never asked me to remove the fence in it's present state. (They got mad at me last summer over a unrelated issue). Can I repair my fence?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 26, 2014
If they request it, yes. This is an encroachment onto their property by whichever owner put up the fence (may not have been you if done prior to you moving in) and the current owner (you, in this case).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 18, 2013
Your fence should be on your property. It is encroachment to have your fence on their property. If they request that you move it you should.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 18, 2013
If the encroachment interferes with the enjoyment and use of the property, yes, you may be best served to move the fence line onto the actual property line. Not an expensive remedy and it correctly serves everybody's interest. An alternative is for the parties to create an Easement Appurtenant, a pure easement granted, allowing the fence to remain in place which transfers to future buyers. This is a good example why you should always perform a stake Survey when purchasing a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 18, 2013
Move it. It will be a thorn in your side when the day comes for you to sell or your estate will have to deal with the cost.

Good Luck

Maggie Quinn
Crossroads Realty
Jackson/Millstone Office
Cell 732-299-1502
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 28, 2011
I suggest going over to your neighbor and working out a written agreement over the encroachment, maybe offer a little rent - what's it gonna cost you to move the fence?

Here's the thing - you really don't want to get involved in an adverse possession lawsuit. The legal fees will be high, and the value of the decision low.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 30, 2011
Thats a question for your local building code inspector, but by all means the answer is yes since you just made your neighbors yard smaller then it was, which is messed up and unfair if you ask me.. Are your neighbors telling you to move it?
Web Reference: http://www.sjrates.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 30, 2011
Unless you have permission to be there you should move the fence off your neighbors property before it becomes an issue. Would you want someone else utilizing the property you purchased, and pay taxes on without benefit to you?
Web Reference: http://www.clovelake.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 30, 2011
I would suggest checking with your zoning officer. In my town, Long Valley, a fence can be on the property line, and no permit is necessary. It all depends on your municipality.
Good Luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 30, 2011
Why wait until it's an issue? If you know that the fence is on the neighbors yard I would say move it and rest easy. Your neighbor on the other hand should be investigating Adverse Possession laws in your state.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 30, 2011
If they ask you to, then yes. If they don't say anything then you are not required to move it. If either of you go to sell your home, it could be an issue, as a buyer for your home would not want to inherit this issue and a buyer for the other home may want it off their property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 30, 2011
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