In many cases, a fence between two properties is jointly owned. This may come as a surprise to the owners of one or both properties—and it can create problems when it comes time to maintain or repair the fence. As you are preparing to sell or purchase a home, you may want to check on whether your property has a joint ownership agreement with any neighboring properties.
If you’re selling your home, knowing who owns the fence can help in negotiating with potential buyers. In some cases, an owner might be willing to split costs for repairs; in others, they may not want anything to do with it at all (especially if there are issues about property lines). If one neighbor wants nothing more than for the other neighbor’s dog not to use their yard as a bathroom every morning and night, then perhaps they won’t mind paying half of whatever needs replacing on that section of fencing!
Are Fences Jointly Owned?
This is a tricky one. Fences are not generally jointly owned unless they’re built on the property line. If a fence is on one person’s property, that person owns it; if it’s built over or next to the property line, both parties own it and share responsibility for maintaining it.
The easiest way to find out whether you own your fence is by asking yourself: “Is my house at least partially visible through this fence?” If so, then you probably own some of the fence—just not all of it.
Who Owns the Other Side of My Fence?
The law of adjoining owners determines who owns the other side of a fence. Fences are jointly owned by adjoining owners. This means that if you have a fence between your property and another person’s, then you each own half of it. To determine which person owns what part of the fence, you must ask yourself these questions:
- Who owns the land?
- Which owner built or put up the fence?
- Do any documents exist that show that one owner agreed to pay for part or all of construction costs?
If You Don’t Know Who Owns the Fence, Look at Your Deed.
How can you tell whether a fence is jointly owned? The best way to find out is to check your land titles and survey plans, as well as any other relevant documents.
These days, most people get their information online. But if you’re old school like us, don’t forget that there’s still a wealth of information available at the local courthouse! It’s also worth noting that deeds are the most important document for determining ownership of real estate—if you don’t have one handy, then for sure look into getting one made up!
Deeds record who owns what piece of property and where those boundaries lie; they’re an official legal document that proves legal ownership in most parts of Canada (with some exceptions).
Check your insurance policy and any property assessment forms.
While you can get a general idea of the value of your fence, it’s important to do more research. One way to do this is by looking at the insurance policy and any property assessment forms for your home. These documents may not be 100% accurate, however, so don’t be surprised if they say something different than what you were expecting.
If you’re lucky, your fence will be covered by your home insurance policy and/or included in the appraisal of the entire property (like when an appraiser takes pictures or videos). If these things aren’t happening yet, don’t worry! You’ll still have plenty of time before moving day arrives.
Look for previous paperwork that shows who paid for things like repairs.
If you don’t have any written records, it’s time to get creative. Look for any paperwork that shows who paid for things like repairs. If you find a receipt or invoice showing that one of the property owners paid for work on a fence, then that person likely owns it.
It can also be helpful to do some research on the internet and look up newspaper articles or even old city directories that might show who owned what address back then (and/or maybe even still does).
You might also find other signs of ownership outside your house—such as fence posts with names and addresses on them—that could prove useful in helping you determine who owns what section of fencing.
If there’s still a dispute about who owns the fence, check your local zoning laws to see what they say about fences between neighbors.
If there’s still a dispute about who owns the fence, check your local zoning laws to see what they say about fences between neighbors. Many areas have their own rules and regulations governing how tall fences can be, whether homeowners need permits to build them, and other factors that may apply to your situation. If there are zoning laws in your area and you aren’t sure what they say about fences between neighbors, contact the local zoning board for more information.
You’ll need to do some detective work, but it is possible to determine who owns a fence with a bit of research
- Check the deed. If you’re lucky, there will be clear-cut ownership of your fence. In that case, your neighbor is responsible for its maintenance and repair.
- Check insurance policies. Even if it isn’t explicitly stated on the deed or in a contract between two parties (owners of adjoining properties), the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy for each property can help determine who owns what parts of the fence and how much liability will be assumed by either party in cases of injury or damage caused by improper upkeep of shared property such as fences. For example, imagine one owner has a pet dog that jumps over their front porch railing into another person’s backyard where they’ve built an elaborate garden with expensive plants and flowers; if this dog gets out through a hole in their side fence (which only happened because no one ever bothered putting up any kind of barrier) then eats all those plants as well as digging up some dirt from underneath them before returning home again with muddy paws—who would be responsible? If both owners appear equally negligent here then neither one could recover any damages from each other since both were equally responsible for ensuring adequate protection against trespassers such as dogs before there was ever any issue at all!
- Talk with neighbors about what happened when there was trouble with certain parts being damaged beyond repair due to neglectful behavior–and find out whether they’ll agree beforehand how much money each party should contribute towards fixing things up again after they’ve been broken down completely during recent storms/storms which occurred more recently still! This way everyone knows exactly what needs replacing ASAP versus later down road months later when everything looks fine except maybe some cracks here
So, what’s the takeaway?
When you and your neighbor decide to share a fence, it doesn’t mean that you own an equal portion of the fence itself. It just means that you’re each responsible for maintaining your side of it. So if one neighbor wants to change something about their side—say, add another section or even take down their entire side—they must get written consent from both homeowners in order for those changes to be made legally binding on both parties.