fence removal

Can I Remove Neighbour’s Fence on My Property?

Living harmoniously in a community depends on maintaining good relationships with neighbors. However, disputes over property boundaries and structures like fences can sometimes arise, leaving homeowners wondering, “Can I remove neighbour’s fence on my property?” In this article, we will delve into the topic of fence removal, covering property rights, legal implications, and the necessary steps to address such situations amicably.

Can I Remove Neighbour’s Fence on My Property?

Facing a situation where your neighbor’s fence appears to encroach on your property or cause issues might prompt you to consider its removal. The possibility of doing so largely depends on several factors, including property laws, local ordinances, and communication with your neighbor. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities as a property owner before taking any action.

Understanding Property Boundaries

Resolving the issue of a neighbor’s fence on your property begins with determining the precise property boundaries. Consulting your property deed or hiring a land surveyor can help you establish the accurate boundaries of your land. This will provide clarity on whether the fence is indeed on your property or if there is a misunderstanding about the boundary lines.

Local Zoning Laws and Ordinances

Before contemplating the removal of your neighbor’s fence, it is essential to review your local zoning laws and ordinances. Different areas have specific regulations regarding fence height, materials, and distance from property lines. If the fence violates any of these rules, you may have legal grounds to request its removal.

Open Dialogue with Your Neighbor

Approaching your neighbor with open communication can often lead to more effective dispute resolution than pursuing legal actions immediately. Sharing your concerns about the fence and providing evidence of property boundaries can help foster understanding. Engaging in respectful and empathetic communication can go a long way in maintaining positive neighborly relations.

Mediation or Arbitration

In cases where direct communication does not yield a resolution, consider involving a mediator or arbitrator. A neutral third party can facilitate discussions between you and your neighbor, helping to find a compromise that satisfies both parties. Mediation can be a cost-effective and less adversarial alternative to pursuing legal action.

Adverse Possession and Prescriptive Easements

In some instances, a neighbor’s fence that has been in place for an extended period might lead to complex legal situations like adverse possession or prescriptive easements. These legal doctrines grant certain rights to a person who has openly and continuously used another person’s property for a specific period. Such situations can significantly impact your ability to remove the fence.

Boundary Disputes and Legal Action

When all else fails, and the fence continues to cause conflicts, you may consider pursuing legal action to resolve the boundary dispute. It is advisable to seek the guidance of an attorney experienced in property law who can guide you through the legal process and represent your interests in court, if necessary.

Dealing with Shared Fences

Sometimes, the fence between your property and your neighbor’s may be considered a shared fence. Shared fences are typically constructed and maintained jointly by both parties. In such situations, it is crucial to work collaboratively with your neighbor to address any issues related to the fence.

Can I Remove the Fence Myself?

If the fence is clearly on your property, and removing it does not violate any local laws or regulations, you might be able to take it down yourself. However, before doing so, inform your neighbor about your intentions and document the process to ensure transparency and avoid potential disputes in the future.

Liability and Fence Removal

When considering fence removal, it is essential to be mindful of liability issues. Accidents or property damage during the removal process could lead to legal complications. Taking precautions, such as hiring professionals or seeking legal advice, can help mitigate potential risks.

Restoring Property After Fence Removal

Following the fence’s removal, you may be left with a damaged or unfinished property boundary. It is essential to address this promptly by either installing a new fence or properly marking the boundary to prevent further disputes and ensure clear property demarcation.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What if my neighbor refuses to remove the fence even after proving it’s on my property?

A: If direct communication fails to resolve the issue, you may consider mediation, arbitration, or legal action to find a resolution. Seeking the advice of an attorney can help protect your rights and guide you through the process.

Q: Can I remove a fence that has been on my property for years?

A: Removing a fence that has been in place for an extended period can be complicated due to adverse possession or prescriptive easement laws. It is best to consult a legal professional to understand your options and rights.

Q: What if my neighbor claims the fence is on their property?

A: If there is a disagreement about the fence’s location, consulting a land surveyor or a property attorney can help resolve the dispute and determine the accurate boundary lines.

Q: How can I prevent fence-related disputes with my neighbors?

A: Open communication and understanding are key. Regularly communicate with your neighbors about any property-related concerns and work together to find amicable solutions.

Q: Is it essential to hire a lawyer to handle fence disputes?

A: While it may not always be necessary, hiring a lawyer can be beneficial in complex situations to ensure your rights are protected and to navigate legal procedures effectively.

Q: What are the alternatives to fence removal?

A: If fence removal is not a viable option, you might consider altering the fence, seeking mediation, or installing a shared fence with your neighbor.


Dealing with a neighbor’s fence encroaching on your property can be a challenging situation, but it is essential to approach it with patience, open communication, and knowledge of property laws. Always begin by establishing precise property boundaries and explore amicable solutions through dialogue. If needed, consult legal professionals to protect your rights and find a resolution that fosters a harmonious relationship with your neighbor. Remember, open communication and empathy can go a long way in resolving property-related disputes and maintaining a peaceful community.

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