California law presumes that a fence located directly on the property line benefits both homeowners equally. It is common in California for houses to be built packed close together but that can make erecting and maintaining fences difficult. But they can also lead to tensions and conflicts. The time is right to solve the problem for more reasons than a sale. Before proceeding, you need to know the exact location of the property line. California also allows you to sue your neighbor if they build a "spite fence" on their property. Two neighbors agreed to replace theirs and those are done; one neighbor is fighting it, saying it doesn’t need to be replaced and is demanding a survey be done because they think the fence is entirely on their property and I don’t have the right to touch it, even though the fence is in line with the other two neighbors (and the rest of the block). The law states that if your neighbor erects a fence (which can be made out wood, cinder blocks, bushes, etc.) When a neighbor's fence encroaches on your property, you have several available choices. If my neighbor builds a fence and a survey shows that the fence is on my property, canI remove it? Everyone hopes for a quality relationship with their neighbors. California law presumes that a fence located directly on the property line benefits both homeowners equally. It is common courtesy for neighbors to speak with each other and try to come to a resolution on fences that share property lines. Monty’s Answer: Surveyors can sometimes make mistakes, and neighbors place fences in the wrong place more often than one would think. If the fence is 100% on your property the answer is NO. It is his fence, so he's entitled to the pieces. If you can't get an agreement in writing, build the fence far enough from the property line that you can mow and make repairs without leaving your yard. The buyer won t close the sale until it is moved. ©2020 Law Office of Lisa Wills, a Professional Law Corporation - all rights reserved. If a fence is being erected by only one household, it needs to remain off the property line of the other homeowners. After all, when you’re in such close proximity, maintaining a solid relationship can be a huge asset. | Last updated November 28, 2017. Reach out to me, Lisa Wills, Law Offices of Lisa Wills,  at any time for assistance. The chart below provides a summary of state laws related to fence laws in California, including links to important code sections. Hi Michael our neighbours property is a big drop of around 2 metres below our property. Pleasanton, CA 94566 All rights reserved. Being well informed can help you avoid unnecessary disputes with your neighbors. Secondly, California law presumes that both owners benefit equally from the boundary fence, and therefore are equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction and maintenance. Must the encroachment over the boundary line be removed or may it legally remain in place? In order to win, the fence, wall or hedges must be more than ten feet in height. While this article outlines the actual laws regarding fences in your city, if you need more information regarding the laws surrounding which neighbor is monetarily liable, then jump on over to our post regarding CA’s Good Neighbor Law, where we explain in detail how both neighbors are now responsible to split the costs of a new fence or repairs 50/50! Copyright © 2021, Thomson Reuters. Our neighbors fence is 1.9 feet into my property. The survey showed the land is ours. In some states, mere visual recording is not illegal so long as the camera is on your neighbor’s property. However, if your issue is more with the height, materials, or aesthetics of your neighbor's fence, you should check with your city, neighborhood association, and relevant covenants, conditions, and restrictions to see if there are any additional rules that might apply. Read on and we will walk you through everything you need to know. By: D. Keith B. Dunnagan, Esq. If the fence is on his property, or even encroaching on yours, he can remove it. A common occurrence in our area, given the frequent lack of survey monuments, is a neighbor’s inadvertent building over your property line, whether it be a driveway, a fence, a deck or even a portion of a house. Tel: (925) 463-9000 Neighbours may disagree about where a fence can be built, what type of fence to build, or who should bear the cost of building or repairing a fence. California also allows you to sue your neighbor if they build a "spite fence" on their property. Property Line and Fence Laws in California. Their sudden fence project may hinge more on the issue of notice than anything else. Do I have to pay for the fence? In California, trees are a beloved part of the landscape and are therefore more strictly protected here than in some states. The plant is clearly my neighbor’s, but who has the r… They say good fences make for good neighbors. "Good fences make good neighbors" I am an attorney who is only licensed in the State of Florida. He accidentally (or maybe purposefully) put the fence on my property. If he refuses to pay for a new higher fence, can I put install a higher fence on my side of the fence on my property and leave the old fence as is. Are you a legal professional? In some instances, unambiguous markers from an earlier survey establish that. These issues prevent neighbors from getting along and benefiting from one another’s presence. I had this exact problem when my next door neighbour was building his new house. Patel, Patel (the neighbor) hired a contractor to remove the roots from the large Monterey pine his neighbor (Booska) owned. The fence below our two properties is barely a 3/4 meter high due to the drop in our heights of properties. If you would like the fence removed, a trial court judge can issue an injunction against the neighbor. Can my neighbor build a fence on the property line California? The neighbor & my husband looked for the property line marker but didn't locate it. My Fence is Falling Down and My Neighbor Won’t Help!! In March 2020, the Governor of California declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. He threatens to sue if I do. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. No one wants to have a dispute with their neighbors, but it can be easy to if you do not take time to understand California fence laws. The email address cannot be subscribed. There are some common issues that present themselves again and again. Just enter your name and email address and click the button. The situation you are describing seems a bit odd. He actually got the permission of another neighbor, which is my mother’s cousin. My neighbor wants to block me from access to a public easement that we share. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. For instance, California Civil Code 833 and 834 states that trees whose trunks reside on the land of one owner belong to him or her exclusively, even if their roots or branches grow into the neighbor’s property. Another common area of contention concerns tree trimming. Patel claimed the roots had started to damage concrete around his property. And in other states, all forms of recording might face criminal or civil penalties. If there is a dispute as to where this property line is located, you may need to have a survey conducted that will firmly establish where one property ends and another begins. Sometimes a neighbor may build an ugly fence out of spite for a neighbor. Google Chrome, As such, the law states that both homeowners are equally responsible for costs associated with repair and maintenance. One issue that comes up frequently between neighbors is whether or not they are equally responsible for the costs, construction, and maintenance of a fence that sits on the boundary line between their properties. Not knowing what they are trying to attach to your fence makes it a little hard to give a full answer. For example, if you believe that your neighbor has intentionally blocked the view from your home to certain scenery or landscape, you might be able to sue them under the law of private nuisance. Before building a fence on the property line, try to get a written agreement, which should be recorded at the county recorder's office, that allows you to access the fence from your neighbor's side for repairs and maintenance. For example, if you believe that your neighbor has intentionally blocked the view from your home to certain scenery or landscape, you might be able to sue them under the law of private nuisance. I have had several conversations with the man, asking him when he will put my fence back. If a property owner's fence violates a subdivision rule, the homeowners association may ask the owner to make it conform. It s his fence, on my property. Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name If the fence or barrier in question was not built to spite you but you still disagree with its existence, you … Property Line and Fence Laws in California: Related Resources, Get Legal Help for Your California Fence Law Issues. Another common dispute involves a fence that is erected directly on the property line between two homes. A law in California also allows you to sue your neighbor if you believe they have built a fence or wall intentionally to spite, annoy, or irritate you. The neighbor is demanding we cut down a tree and remove our shed before he moves the fence 2 feet. California Property Line and Fence Laws at a Glance. But sometimes disputes do happen, and often these arguments involve something that cannot be seen — the property line. Directions. As such, the law states that both homeowners are equally responsible for costs associated with repair and maintenance. Knowing this ahead of time will help in the event that your neighbors are difficult to deal with and refuse to work with you. Property Rights: My Neighbor is a Nuisance; Top 10 Reasons to Have Your Property Surveyed; Get Legal Help to Resolve a Fence Dispute with Your Neighbor. If you or your neighbor are planning on putting up such a barrier, it is important to know the facts about California fence laws. If a fence encroaches significantly on someone else's land for many years, this can actually become the new legal property line in some cases. If the fence is on his property it would be unwise for you to buy it because the fence is not within your boundries. My neighbor constructed a fence on the property line dividing the land. First, if there is a dispute as to where the property line is, you may need to have a survey conducted to establish where your property actually ends. But it's also true that many disputes arise between neighbors over the construction and maintenance of those fences. Some cities limit what types of trees can be cut down or pruned; and if you do trim the part of a tree that extends onto your property, you must act reasonably and avoid negligently killing or damaging it. that is at least 10 feet high just to annoy you, you can sue them for private nuisance . If it is on your property, you own the fence! That, my friends, is the question. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. The ivy is overgrown and coming into my yard and causing the fence to sag. So you have to be careful about cutting branches and roots, even if they extend onto your property. However, this is not an absolute rule and can be rebutted with additional evidence. Absurd. One wants nothing to do with the maintenance, another seeks pristine maintenance. that is at least 10 feet high just to annoy you, you can sue them for private nuisance. Fax: (925) 426-8001 Read on to learn about property line and fence laws in California. From a purely legal standpoint, the neighbor, in most circumstances, can build that fence and even can ask you to pay 50-percent of the cost of the fence. Whether your neighbor is refusing to pitch in to repair a dilapidated boundary fence, or you're worried about the liability of trimming certain trees, it's vital to be familiar with state law in order to avoid significant civil and even criminal penalties. Shrubs that grow on a property line can serve as both landscaping and a property boundary. A Beginners Guide to Starting a Nonprofit Organization Under California Law, New 2021 California Laws that Impact Businesses and Employers. You don't have any right or obligation to rebuild the fence on his property. Strictly protected here than in some states they build a `` spite fences. and your neighbor if build... Heights of properties subdivision rule, the fence if the existing fence is on the property marker... 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