AR15.Com Archives
 Fence Line / Property Line legal question....
COLE-CARBINE  [Member]
3/23/2004 7:54:03 PM EST
Calling out the legal experts here on the AR hive mind...
Here is my question, my neighbor is putting up fence next to my property so he can raise some cattle and goats, he calls my wife and basically tells her we need to kick in and pay for half of the fence, so do we? I live in Ohio and someone told me that it's law for neighbors to split the cost but this just seems kind of like BS to me. My attorney is currently on vacation and I thought I could pick the brains on the AR board. I kind of thought both parties would have to agree to this , am I wrong? Thanx in advance guys.
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cluster  [Member]
3/23/2004 7:58:38 PM EST
go ahead and pay for half of the fence.... then when he is all set up with animals ... remove your half of the fence and remind him half of the fence is yours..\\[:D]
bastiat  [Team Member]
3/23/2004 7:59:47 PM EST
Sounds like BS to me. What if you didnt' want the fence or were unable to afford it? I couldn't find anything about such a law on the net. If I were you, I'd tell the neighbor to cite the law. Tell them if you need to call your lawyer and get his advice, and this turns out to be BS, they are going to be reimbursing you for his fees.
jblachly  [Team Member]
3/23/2004 8:04:36 PM EST
It is the financial responsibility of whomever is putting up the fence. Charging you half is 100% bogus (unless your state has reaaaaallly weird laws)
VTHOKIESHOOTER  [Member]
3/23/2004 8:11:12 PM EST
I say bull shit. I am a forester who works in WV and deal with boundary line issues all the time. IF he wants to put it up then he should pay for it. Also make sure that he is putting the fence ON the boundary line and not trying to grab some of your property. YOu should have your boundary line varified by either survey or other methods
tax_monster  [Team Member]
3/23/2004 8:22:36 PM EST
Although it is common for neighbors to share fencing costs, it's not required as far as I know. If you both want a fence in the same spot and of the same build, why not split the cost so you can both enjoy it? But if your neighbor wants a fence solely to keep his animals from running off, you have absolutely no responsibility to pony up half the cash.
sabre331  [Member]
3/23/2004 8:25:17 PM EST
Sheesh who needs neighbors like that? Is he gonna share the beef n goat meat with ya? The Neighbor's an idiot
lonegunman  [Member]
3/23/2004 8:31:59 PM EST
Sounds like total bullshit. Not only would I not pay the fence, he is an asshole for asking in that way, I'd check witrh zoning to see if there is a limit on the amount and type of critters he can have there. The wafting smell of rotting cowshit in July and the constant noise of his animals may not be as nice as you think.
Arlis  [Team Member]
3/23/2004 8:45:13 PM EST
A rancher needed to fence a field he wanted to run cattle on and decided to talk to the neighboring rancher about sharing the cost. His neighbor figured correctly that the fence was needed and would go up without his help, and declined to share the cost. Sure enough, soon a fence ran along the line between their pastures. Not long after, the two met at the feed store. "Hey, looks like we got a fence," said the neighbor. "No, I have a fence" said the rancher who had put it up. "That fence is three feet inside my property line and I will shoot every cow I see sticking its head over the fence." The neighbor knew cows like to hang on fence lines and he could stand to lose a lot of cattle. It wasn't very long before another fence went up. I think you'd better look up section 971.02 of Ohio Revised Statutes.
Leisure_Shoot  [Team Member]
3/23/2004 9:01:54 PM EST
Wait until it is up before getting a survey. If he screws it up, it will be more fun making him move it after it is constructed, rather than before. Where the heck do you live, that your neighbor can raise all that shit? I take it you are out in the country, not a city? I assume the neighbor isn't 20 feet from you house? Once he gets the cattle, could you check to see about cow tipping? Seems some folks here don't believe it can happen.
MrClean4Hire  [Member]
3/23/2004 11:06:31 PM EST
Well how it works here in Tn is, if you attach to their fence on the edge of their property line you have to have a letter from them and the fence is half theirs. Otherwise you have to put any permanent fence 6" from the edge of your property.
RetiredNavy  [Member]
3/23/2004 11:23:40 PM EST
Shoot his fucking animals. No need for a fence then.
Pangea  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 12:21:31 AM EST
Get on your computer and generate a bid for some elaborate wrought iron fence with brick pillars. Figure about $30 per foot for the iron and $500 each for the pillars. Tell him it's that or nothing.
Hoppy  [Member]
3/24/2004 12:23:45 AM EST
I think he's handing you a line. When I did mine I told my neighbor that I was footing the bill for that side of the fence. When he put his fence up I asked that he not attach it to mine, but leave about a 1" gap. This way there's never any hassle about the maintence and each of us can sell our places later and the fence will never become an issue.
norman74  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 1:25:59 AM EST
[url]http://ohioline.osu.edu/als-fact/1001.html[/url] [quote]If one landowner wants to construct a line fence, Ohio law provides that the neighboring landowner must share equally in the cost of building the fence. Specifically, the law states that "[t]he owners of adjoining lands shall build, keep up and maintain in good repair, in equal shares, all partition fences between them. . . ."1 For example, Ann and Frank are neighboring farmers, and Ann tells Frank that she wants to build a fence between their properties. The law requires Frank to pay for an equal share of the cost of building the new line fence. Note that there are exceptions to this requirement, which are explained later in this publication. [/quote] What a totally fucked up law. You're also now on the hook for repairing and maintaining half of the fence. This is what you need to tell him [quote] The Ohio Supreme Court has developed an exception to the line fence law that addresses the perceived unfairness of the law. Where a landowner can prove that the cost of a fence outweighs its benefit to the property, the landowner is not required to pay for the fence.3 To meet this exception, the landowner must offer evidence to the township trustees of the values of the property before and after the construction of the fence.4 If the trustees determine that the value of the property does not increase in proportion to the cost of the fence, the landowner will not be obligated by the requirement to pay for one half of the fence. A landowner makes a cost-benefit challenge during the fence viewing process, which is described later[/quote] In other words, tell him you're not going to pay for shit, and you're going to challenge the hell out of it.
kindstranger  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 2:09:06 AM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By Leisure_Shoot: Wait until it is up before getting a survey. If he screws it up, it will be more fun making him move it after it is constructed, rather than before. Where the heck do you live, that your neighbor can raise all that shit? I take it you are out in the country, not a city? I assume the neighbor isn't 20 feet from you house? Once he gets the cattle, could you check to see about cow tipping? Seems some folks here don't believe it can happen.[/quote] Oh, Oh, Oh! I did this with my neighbor. She put her fence on our property. We had a survey done and one call from an attorney friend of mine resolved the issue. They even filled in the old fence post holes on my property. I only handled it through my lawyer because she was making complaints to us about a bogus dispute and threatened legal action herself.
TomJefferson  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 2:29:33 AM EST
Don't want to panic you but it does depend on the laws in your area. A friend of mine in SE Ohio was forced to pay half on the expense to put up a livestock fence due to local laws and they did try to fight it. It happens. BTW, I had never heard of such a thing until then. Until you lawyer comes back, I would give your county clerk a call and get their opinion just for peace of mind. If the law is on the books, I'd say you're not the first one to have issue with it and it probably has come up often. Tj
MAXP  [Member]
3/24/2004 2:30:03 AM EST
My fence happens to be 6" on my side of the property. When I got my pool and upgraded the fence, I paid for the entire fence, as it sits 100% on my property. I can paint it whatever color I want, etc. It is my fence. However, I wount be a dick, unless the neighbor is. If they want to paint the side exposed to them a different color, okay by me. But it is still on my property. In fact, the recent survey showed the metal spikes for the property line. How could the original fence have been placed so far off the line in the first place?
Oslow  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 2:30:50 AM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By norman74: In other words, tell him you're not going to pay for shit, and you're going to challenge the hell out of it.[/quote] Or, you could inform your neighbor that you don't believe you are required to pay for half a fence if you receive no benefit from it. This was common practice when both parties had livestock. Many areas had "fence commissioners" to resolve disputes. These days you would need to talk to your lawyer if you neighbor persists.
MAXP  [Member]
3/24/2004 2:42:25 AM EST
always fence your property you do not want righ of way issues, etc to pop up did you know, that in most areas, if someone uses your property to cut across as a shortcut, that you cannot just put up a fence to stop them?
TomJefferson  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 2:49:09 AM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By Oslow: [quote]Originally Posted By norman74: In other words, tell him you're not going to pay for shit, and you're going to challenge the hell out of it.[/quote] Or, you could inform your neighbor that you don't believe you are required to pay for half a fence if you receive no benefit from it. This was common practice when both parties had livestock. Many areas had "fence commissioners" to resolve disputes. These days you would need to talk to your lawyer if you neighbor persists.[/quote] The problem my friend had in this regard was the contention the fence line added to the value of the property thus they derived benefit from it. IMHO, it had as much to do with who was better connected at the courthouse. Myself, I never miss an opportunity to point out I have three registered voters in my household. In this regard, my friend didn't have a chance since it was vacation property and they didn't live on it. I know you big city guys will think this funny but life is a bit different in the country. Tj
COZ  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 3:38:50 AM EST
I'm pretty sure that in WV if there was a fence there when you bought the property then you have to pay for half. (It may have to be listed in the deed) It's screwed up, you don't get any beef but have to help raise them? You can also legally shoot a cow that is in your garden![BD] COZ
SC-Texas  [Member]
3/24/2004 4:07:33 AM EST
One issue you should look at is whether you might have to pay his attorney's fees if he prevails. If you aren't on the hook for his attorney's fees, then fight the hell out of it.
arowneragain  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 4:19:31 AM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER: I say bull shit. I am a forester who works in WV and deal with boundary line issues all the time. IF he wants to put it up then he should pay for it. Also make sure that he is putting the fence ON the boundary line and not trying to grab some of your property. YOu should have your boundary line varified by either survey or other methods [/quote] Ditto here. Laws may vary in your state, but rest assured it is not the norm to require adjoining landowners to pay for fencing. Just make sure you're in agreement on where the line lays.
thebeekeeper1  [Site Staff]
3/24/2004 5:01:51 AM EST
A year ago right now I dealt with this in Missouri. You guys want a screwed up law?? After >100 years Missouri finally passed a new "fence law" a few years ago. It clearly states that if one neighbor needs/wants a fence to hold his livestock, HE must build it, and the one who doesn't need/want it has no obligation to pay for half. However, if the non-payer later wants to run livestock (regardless of how many years have elapsed) he then has to reimburse half the cost of material for the fence--no interest, labor or cost beyond posts, clips and four strands of barbed wire. Perfectly reasonable. BUT, as much of the state (north half or so) is "cattle country" and many guys like me have bought land for recreational purposes and will not in our lifetime run cattle, they were forced to include what they call a "County Option" in order to pass the law. This provides that with a 51% vote within the county a neighbor is REQUIRED to pay for half--AND assumes liability for any livestock that gets through his half of the fence and causes destruction. IOW, if a neighbor (this happened last year) contacts me and "states his desire to have a fence" then I MUST build a fence within 90 days or he can build it, and have the cost added to my tax bill. The law stipulates how close posts must be, how many strands of barbed wire, the distance between strands, etc. The worst part is, as I alluded to above, if I'm not even there and a tree falls on the fence (my half) and allows cattle to cross it, onto me, and they end up in the road and someone hits them, **I** have civil liability for personal injury/property damage to people on the state highway that runs across the front of my property--AND I DON'T OWN A F%^&%$G COW!! My wonderful new neighbor brought in a logger and cut down every 100+ y/o oak tree in the fence row (decided they were all his, including my half) and then a bulldozer to kill the rest. He expected me to pay half for that and is still bitching to anyone who will listen when I told him to shove it. "Good fences make good neighbors." It also helps you to find out who the real assholes are. Oh, one good thing--four strands of barbed wire will not hold the goats you mentioned. In Missouri at least we are only liable for four strands of barbed wire--not the woven wire it takes to hold goats and sheep. Anything special beyond the four strands must be paid by the one who needs/wants it. Here I sit 250 miles away, hoping a tree branch hasn't fallen on my fence. [:(]
Hokie  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 5:06:15 AM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By MAXP: My fence happens to be 6" on my side of the property. When I got my pool and upgraded the fence, I paid for the entire fence, as it sits 100% on my property. I can paint it whatever color I want, etc. It is my fence. However, I wount be a dick, unless the neighbor is. If they want to paint the side exposed to them a different color, okay by me. But it is still on my property. In fact, the recent survey showed the metal spikes for the property line. How could the original fence have been placed so far off the line in the first place? [/quote] I agree 100%. Who's property will the fence be on anyway? Sounds like bullshit. It doesn't make sense that a neighbor can impose an expense to you because of a his/her livestock ambitions. Look into the laws on containing livestock too. Helluva neighbor you have there.
Oslow  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 7:14:16 AM EST
Lots of people yelling BULLSHIT but I assure you that if there is an applicable law you will follow the law. (See: thebeekeeper1; man, that is a suckass law, and you have a suckass neighbor. Got any YEW bushes?) Usually though, people are not assholes and a person with livestock would not expect a neighbor to pay for maintaining a fence if they don't have livestock.
COLE-CARBINE  [Member]
3/24/2004 7:42:52 AM EST
Thanks guys for all the replies, it's not going to be a huge cost but I just didn't like the pussy way my neighbor is handling it by calling my wife, he's like a school girl...anyhoo it looks like I'm gonna have to bite the bullet but I'm still looking into it, as there are a couple other scenarios unfolding that I don't want to put out in cyber space. Again, thans for all the info and replies, you guys are great.
thebeekeeper1  [Site Staff]
3/24/2004 7:48:23 AM EST
I should mention that rather than hiring an attorney, I just used the internet to search for "Missouri fence laws" and obtained the needed legal information. I can read, and it was free. No need to fight an already lost battle, so I built a fence.
norman74  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 7:50:13 AM EST
Christ people, read the whole thread. [b]Axel [/b]posted the applicable law, and I posted a link, and excerpts from, an article outlining the law. Evidently, in Ohio, it is the law. Yet we have a whole page of discussion afterwards of people saying "no way can that be the law".[rolleyes] [b]COLE-CARBINE[/B] as much as it sucks it sounds like you might be on the hook for this if you can't work it out with your neighbor. What kind of fence is he talking about here anyway? and what size property? and how long is the adjacent run? It would appear that the Ohio law requires your neighbor to show that it improves the value of your property, and for you to show that it doesn't. Your local authorities will then decide who has to pay for what. I think you're going to have a hard time showing that it doesn't improve your property value. I also don't know if you'd be on the hook for materials only, or labor as well. I didn't read the entire article that I linked to. If you're really that tight on cash you might be able to work something out where you help with the construction of the fence.
fight4yourrights  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 7:55:17 AM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By MAXP: My fence happens to be 6" on my side of the property. When I got my pool and upgraded the fence, I paid for the entire fence, as it sits 100% on my property. [/quote] That's what I did. I made it clear to my neighbors that I own a little swath of property on the outside of my fence and I would handle trimming the grass.
Blackbird_Pilot  [Team Member]
3/24/2004 8:23:14 AM EST
I am constantly amazed at some of the fucked up laws we have in this country. I would be royally pissed if some shitty neighbor pressed the issue and forced me to pay for a fence I didnt want. I put up a new privacy fence last summer to replace one that was rotting and falling down. We asked our neighbor if he wanted to help pay for the section between our property...just the materials. He agreed but then before we put the fence up he lost his job. I wanted the fence so I didnt give it a second thought and paid for everything. I can't imagine being an ass about it and trying to legally force someone to pay up...unless of course they were the ones that were the cause of me putting up the fence...ie they tore up the old one or had animals running loose all the time.
RobarSR60  [Member]
3/24/2004 8:23:25 AM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By norman74: Christ people, read the whole thread. [/quote] Sounds to me like the neighbor is just fishing for reimbursement. "The bottom line is this – landowners have little ground to avoid the obligation of fence building. The most recent Supreme Court case (Glass vs. Dryden) in 1969 held that an owner seeking to avoid the requirement of contributing to the cost of the fence must produce proof that the cost of compliance with the trustees order under the statutes will exceed the difference between the value of the land before and after the installation of the fence. Therefore, the aggrieved party must prove that the benefit to the adjoining landowner must exceed the cost of the fence. At least one state Court of Appeals, and several common pleas court decisions around Ohio, have minimized the benefit to an adjoining landowner by having a partition fence. In essence, these decisions have found that unless the adjoining landowner’s property value is increased in excess of the cost of the fence or the owner has livestock, the cost outweighs the benefit. For a landowner to be successful in requiring his/her neighbor to share in the cost of a partition fence, he/she must present sufficient, credible evidence that the benefit of a partition fence exceeds the cost at the very first hearing held by the township trustees. Normally, this is accomplished by having a certified appraiser present a documented appraisal that will hold-up in court." [url=http://ohiolivestock.org/Line%20Fence%20Law.htm]Source of quote...[/url]
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