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Permit may dictate action in fence dispute

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2016 | Residential Real Estate |

A man in Florida is having a rather common dispute with his neighbor: They can’t agree on where the property line is located. The man’s neighbor put up a new fence, and he thinks that it’s about four inches on his property.

The man said he had a survey done, confirmed the fence was on his land and told his neighbor to take it down. The neighbor did nothing. The man was thinking about tearing it down himself.

However, experts warned him not to do so because the issue could simply be with the surveys. To put up the fence, the neighbor presumably had to get a permit first. This means that he had to show that the fence he was building was on his own land, or he wouldn’t have been approved.

From this, it can be deduced that the two surveys produced different results. Before the fence can be taken down, it may be necessary to figure out why this is and perhaps to have a third survey done to determine where the line really is located. The man wants to tear the fence down, but, from his neighbor’s perspective, this would just mean that he was tearing down a structure on his neighbor’s property.

There is the chance that his neighbor did not get a permit to build the fence, of course. If that’s the case, though, the man still doesn’t have to tear the fence down. He can just report the illegal project to the city, and the officials will handle it for him.

As you can see, it’s important not to act rashly when disputes crop up. Instead, take the time to consider your legal options. Even if it takes longer, it can get you the results you want.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Ask a Real Estate Pro: Fence dispute hinges on whether neighbor got permit,” Gary Singer, Aug. 04, 2016