questions about fence rights

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Latest post Tue, Jul 7 2015 1:36 PM by oscar t. 7 replies.
  • Wed, Jun 11 2014 1:25 AM

    questions about fence rights

    My mother's next door neighbor decided to replace the fence that separates their backyards.  The fence is on the property line witch I assume makes it a boundary fence.  My mother has stored plywood between her garage and the fence for a number of years and now the neighbor states that she can't keep it there if it leans on the fence. Can he legally keep her from leaning things against her side of the fence?

  • Wed, Jun 11 2014 2:33 AM In reply to


    Re: questions about fence rights

    Did she pay for half the fence as required under Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 16.60.020.  If she doesn't want to cover half the cost, moving the wood so it doesn't damage the fence is small price to pay....

  • Wed, Jun 11 2014 9:06 AM In reply to

    Re: questions about fence rights

    David Gardner:
    Can he legally keep her from leaning things against her side of the fence?

    To answer your question literally, he would have to get a judge to issue an injunction to "legally" keep her from leaning things against her side of the fence.

    Otherwise, there's nothing he can do to prevent her from doing it but he can sue her for money if she does do it and damages the fence.

    She would be wise not to lean anything on the fence.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Jun 11 2014 1:24 PM In reply to

    Re: questions about fence rights

    David Gardner:
    The fence is on the property line witch I assume makes it a boundary fence.

    That seems like a perfectly reasonable characterization, but I get the feeling that you are attributing some sort of legal significance to the term "boundary fence."

     

    David Gardner:
    Can he legally keep her from leaning things against her side of the fence?

    I cannot conceive that he could.

  • Wed, Jun 11 2014 5:29 PM In reply to

    Re: questions about fence rights

    The fence that was removed was in good condition, the neighbor decided that he wanted to put up one of those white pre-fabricated vinyl fences.  He made the decision on his own and informed my mother what he was doing after he had already made the arrangements and hired someone, and never asked her to pay for any of it.  Also the fence encloses his swimming pool which is only a few feet in from the property line.

  • Wed, Jun 11 2014 5:45 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
      Consumer
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    Re: questions about fence rights

    Many cities and counties require homeowners with swimming pools to have fences of a certain height, etc. to discourge folks, particularly kids, from just "jumping in" and possibly drowning, while the homeowner is away. It may be that the city or county told him his existing fence, even if in good condition, did not conform to their specifications. It also could have been his homeowner's insurance. Or he may simply have liked this style of fence better. There is no way to know with absolute certainty what his motivation was. Just be aware that perhaps it was not as "optional" as it looks.

    I don't think the fact this is a "boundary" fence would necessarily give him the legal right to prohibit her from leaning plywood against it. However, if she did, and the plywood damaged the fence, he likely could sue her for damages.  It probably would wind up in small claims court.

    Obviously, we don't know how much plywood your mother has or why she prefers to lean it against the fence versus doing something else with it. But, if it were up to me, I would honor the neighbor's request.

     

  • Wed, Jun 11 2014 7:41 PM In reply to

    • DPH
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Mon, Oct 8 2001
    • TX
    • Posts 7,875

    Re: questions about fence rights

    David Gardner:
    if it leans on the fence.

    So all she needs to do is lean it against her garage instead of the fence.  Sounds simple to me.

    David Gardner:
    Can he legally keep her from leaning things against her side of the fence?

    Define legally.  I agree that if she leans anything against the fence and it is damaged from the leaning, then I would suspect that the neighbor would be more than justified in going after Mom.  Not saying he would win in a lawsuit, but does Mom really want to test it?

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • Tue, Jul 7 2015 1:36 PM In reply to

    • oscar t
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Tue, Jul 7 2015
    • PA
    • Posts 1

    Re: questions about fence rights

    David Gardner:

    My mother's next door neighbor decided to replace the fence that separates their backyards.  The fence is on the property line witch I assume makes it a boundary fence.  My mother has stored plywood between her garage and the fence for a number of years and now the neighbor states that she can't keep it there if it leans on the fence. Can he legally keep her from leaning things against her side of the fence?

     

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