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HELP! Neighbor is using MY perimeter fence!

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  • HELP! Neighbor is using MY perimeter fence!

    Naturally, I have a fence that surrounds the perimeter of my entire property. Just a few months ago I noticed my neighbor has let two horses loose in what used to be a garden next door and has made that into a "paddock". Problem is, she is using MY fencing for one side of her "paddock". Her two horses are chewing my wood and they want to socialize with my horses over the fence which causes endless issues. I am fearful for my horses safety. I have spoken to the lady once and asked her to at LEAST put a hotwire up on her side to keep her horses from ruining my fencing and she has not done so. I have since replaced several boards between her horses and mine from being knocked down or chewed in half and she does NOTHING to help. She seems to be very spiteful and does the exact opposite of everything I ask. Her extended family lives on the same track of land next to mine and they all seem to have problems with this woman.

    Is there some law against this? Can she have her livestock contained with my perimeter fence?
    Tinker Toy & Blue Bonnett

  • #2
    Is your fence exactly on the property line? Or set back?
    Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


    • Original Poster

      Original fencing was there when I purchased the property and had new fencing installed a few years ago in the exact spot so it should be on the property line. ( I hope...)
      Tinker Toy & Blue Bonnett


      • #4
        Originally posted by WARDen View Post
        Original fencing was there when I purchased the property and had new fencing installed a few years ago in the exact spot so it should be on the property line. ( I hope...)
        Sadly, depending on where you live, this could be a bad thing. If you think about it, who owns the property line? You both share it right? Therefore it is a shared fenceline and maintanence/usage can be considered 50/50.

        You would be far better off if the fence is just inside your property line. Then it is all yours and she can't use it and would have to build her own in most areas.
        Rhode Islands are red;
        North Hollands are blue.
        Sorry my thoroughbreds
        Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


        • #5
          Depends on your local laws as well as where the fence is located (on property line or set back, etc.). Where I live, the county code specifically addresses fencing issues like this, including who can hook on to a shared fence line, cost share, etc. You might check with your local jurisdiction (county, city, or whatever applies to your location) to find out what the law is where you live.


          • #6
            We had a similar problem. We have a second driveway on this property, fencing for one of our pastures is on one side and a fence line runs on the other side of the driveway. It is on the property line and was there when we bought it. Neighbors used that as part of their fence. Their pasture is bad and other fencing is worse. Finally last year they let someone bring a group of 6 or 8 layups over from the racetrack. In less than a week they were destroying my fence due to the lack of pasture, etc. We knew if we were going to stop it, it would have to be done by us. We spent a day installing a hotwire on all three boards and installing a good solar fencer. Problem solved.

            I know that you feel your neighbor should be responsible. I get that. In the end though if your neighbor is not going to take care of it, you will have to. Good luck.
            Quality Hunter Ponies


            • #7
              Originally posted by Somermist View Post
              We knew if we were going to stop it, it would have to be done by us. We spent a day installing a hotwire on all three boards and installing a good solar fencer. Problem solved.

              I know that you feel your neighbor should be responsible. I get that. In the end though if your neighbor is not going to take care of it, you will have to. Good luck.
              This is what we did too. We put in a no-climb mesh fence with a top rail around the perimeter of our property (inside the property line). Three of our neighbors promptly started using it as their own fence in one way or another. The neighbor behind us likes to raise a few steers for beef. The steers LOVE to rub on the wire mesh - which is, of course, attached to the wrong side of the posts for that activity.

              In an effort to maintain neighborly relations (as I do like these neighbors - they are just a little clueless), I called to ask if it was o.k. for us to do some maintenance on the fence that would require us to be on their side. My husband and I strung a hot wire to keep the cattle off the fence (already had a top wire to keep our horses from chewing) and hooked it into our solar charger. No more rubbing cattle. Happy us. Clueless and happy neighbors. All is good.


              • #8
                I agree. Put the hot wire up to save your own fence. She won't do it and you'll be just get madder and madder. Electric is cheap and fast to install and your dilemma will be solved. Otherwise, move your fence several feet inside the line and remove the old fence. This would solve the problem until the neighbor extends her fence...lol.


                • #9
                  Check your local laws. Around here the fencing has to be set back from the propert line so many feet (I think 5 feet). Expect your area to be similiar.

                  What I would do is setup electric fencing inside your existing fence line, based on your local requirements. Then notify neighbor that you will be taking existing board fence down as "you discovered it was placed incorrectly on the property line" and she will need to put her own fence up set back from the property line.

                  Good Luck!
                  "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                  Courtesy my cousin Tim


                  • #10
                    I'm voting for hotwire.
                    Every county and town has their own ordinances... if any. You would have to check with yours if this is a problem. Some places require setbacks, some don't. Many that don't will use the "shared fence" idea. Think about it, if your fence is RIGHT on the property line, how was your neighbor really going to build a fence on her property line? They're the same line. In those cases, the fence is really jointly owned, even if you put it up.
                    I'd check the law in your town and find out. If you're legal in having the fence right on your property line, I'd definitely add the hot wire. It would be a lot cheaper than moving your fence in, and if you don't have to do that I sure wouldn't go through the trouble of making your pasture smaller at that huge expense, especially when that would possibly just mean her animals will occupy more of your property anyway.


                    • #11
                      I'd check the location of the fence WRT the property line, and make sure it was on my side.
                      Then I'd string barbed wire on the other side.
                      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                      • #12
                        When we bought my current farm, there was already existing fencing up. There is a fence that divides my neighbors 10 acre pasture from my 3 acres and then the other neighbors 1 acre from my 3 acres (one is on the south end and the other on the west end). The cross fencing and my perimeter fence was already attached to this shared fence line and none of us have any problems. I did put up more no climb and ran horseguard tape (hot) on the top board where my horse side and their horse side meets. The one neighbors horses strike sometimes and break her wooden boards on the fence so she replaces them (again, mine cant get to the wood due to the no climb and the hot tape). If my horses were to do something to her fence though, I would fix it.

                        I never really thought about it but I guess I am really lucky to have really good neighbors.

                        To echo others, I would put up a lot of hot tape/wire/etc and make it quite unpleasant for her horses to mess with your fence.

                        Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


                        • #13
                          Well, it would be kind of dumb to have to put two fences parallel to one another, wouldn't it? Plus make it very hard to work on one or the other. Unless you gave up eight feet of your own property and then there is no guarantee she'd be decent enough not to use your fence and the eight feet of your property.

                          We set ours up as paddocks with a 12 foot tractorway in between us and the neighbor's barbed wire fence. On a nice day like yesterday I turned them out into the tractorway and sat with a book.
                          KY has very old state law that addresses who is responsible - if I stand in the middle of the fenceline everything on my right hand side is mine to put up and repair, and if the neighbor chooses not to fix their half (the part on my left hand side) I can repair it and put a lien on their property for the value.

                          You'll have to look up the regulations (if any) for your state/county/town, because they are all very different. I'd put up the hot wire myself.
                          Last edited by ReSomething; Mar. 19, 2012, 08:49 PM. Reason: unclear
                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                          Incredible Invisible


                          • #14
                            Here, there is no setback to fences, if you put your fence a few feet inside or inside your neighbor, if no one notices, after three years, the one with the extra land can claim it as his.

                            A fence on the fence line is always prudent, then fix it where it is appropriate for whatever critters it is supposed to contain or keep out.

                            Hot wires are not considered permanent fencing, so only use them as complement to a permanent type fence.

                            Read the laws and special requirements where you live and then you will know more where to go with this.

                            Here, it is customary not to put horses on your side of the fence, if the neighbor had some there first.
                            If the neighbor doesn't has any, you still call and give notice you are putting horses there.
                            That is important with five wire barbwire fences, great for horses as boundary, they respect it, but not good if horses are going to socialize across it, as they will paw/kick and get into the wire.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                              Here, there is no setback to fences, if you put your fence a few feet inside or inside your neighbor, if no one notices, after three years, the one with the extra land can claim it as his.
                              AKA adverse possession. We have that here too, although I'm not sure about the time frame as it might be different. Happened with my SO and his former house, and we sort of ran into that with our private road and a neighbor.

                              Only thing is, if the OP isn't certain of the property line, which is how I read things, that really presents a dilemma. How certain can you be who's fence it is and where it is in relation to the property line if you don't know the actual boundary?

                              Here, I could put a fence up between me and the neighbor, but if they attach on to it, they have to pay half the cost of the shared fence line. And I think that cost is based on just three strands of barb wire or something like that (so I can't make them pay more because I want super expensive fencing). The county code here is really specific about fencing and such...pretty remarkable for such a urban wannabe county!


                              • #16
                                the bad neighbor part of me would (assuming the fence isnt on the property line) re-locate the poop pile to 'their' side of the fence.
                                the good neighbor part of me would string up some electric wire and call it a day.


                                • #17
                                  I put my fences up 8' off the property line (just a little over one mower pathwide)- so I can keep the perimeter mowed easily. My neighbor used to have half of the property line fenced with hot wire (and they ran the wire RIGHT on the property line), but since her last equid passed away, they've removed the old hotwire. I'm going to be very diligent about keeping that "aisle" mowed, so that there's no question about who maintains/owns that strip of property (even if I can't keep her darn geese from grazing it!).


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                                    I'd check the location of the fence WRT the property line, and make sure it was on my side.
                                    Then I'd string barbed wire on the other side.
                                    I'd do hot wire...not barbed. If horses are playing over the fence, that's just asking for a severe injury. Intentionally doing that would be pretty cruel.


                                    • #19
                                      I would just put up the hotwire. Yes you are incurring the expense, but it's peace of mind knowing that your horses, your fence, and your property are protected.

                                      Because if your neighbor has just one horse like my ApHC eventually her horse will be in your pasture whether you like it or not. But the hotwire should prevent any "visitors."
                                      Eventing at Midnight Blog

                                      Rodan and Fields, Ask Me About it
                                      A Measure of Grace Blog


                                      • #20
                                        As others have said, check your local ordinances. Where I am, your neighbor would be totally within her rights, even if your fence was set back from the property line. It's your responsibility to fence livestock off your property, not hers to fence them in. She'd still be a bad neighbor in my neck of the woods, though.

                                        But then other places even in this same state that's different. Counties can make more stringent laws. If I lived in the next county over, she would have to fence her horses off your property. So you really need to check your town or county's rules.

                                        Agreed though that if your fence is right on the property line, it gets a bit murky--should she have to fence her horses a few feet off of it and lose some of her useable space, just because you put a fence right there? That doesn't seem fair to me either, and would make you the bad neighbor there. Not that you're suggesting that, just a way to look at it.

                                        Really, running some hot wire over it is probably the easiest solution.
                                        exploring the relationship between horse and human