As the old saying goes, good fences make good neighbors. When it comes to keeping your animals from roaming or keeping your neighbor’s dog out, the saying rings true. But what if your neighbor builds his fence too close to the boundary line for comfort? Or worse – encroaches on your property with his shiny, new fence?
In a situation where your neighbor builds a fence on your property, it doesn’t matter how well made the fence is. If your neighbor won’t move it willingly, you’ll have to force the issue or risk losing that portion of your property in the long run.
What are my options if my neighbor won’t agree?
One of the first things you should do is make sure you are right. If your property line has not been clearly marked by a qualified professional land surveyor within the last 10 years, now is the time to get it done. Keep in mind that your neighbor may be relying on a newer survey than the one you currently have.
If your survey is current, but your neighbor still refuses to move the fence, you may have to sue him for trespass and ask the court to order him to remove the fence from your property. Your recent survey map, along with the professional land surveyor’s testimony, will be crucial to convince the court that you are entitled to relief.
How much will it cost to take my neighbor to court?
Attorneys’ offices generally have various contracts and fees schedules for different types of cases, so it is impossible to quote an exact attorney’s fee without knowledge of your specific circumstances. However, as with most buying decisions, only you can decide whether the it’s worth the cost of taking legal action to try to force your neighbor to move the fence.
Your up-front costs will probably include an updated survey, a retainer to secure legal representation and the filing fees required by the court to open a case. The value of the land encroached on by your neighbor, both in dollars and sentimental value, should be considered in making your decision.
Ultimately, the court may order your neighbor to reimburse your out-of-pocket expenses, including attorneys’ fees and court costs, if you win your case.
Where can I find out more?
One of our Bryan-College Station, Texas real estate attorneys can review your situation, explain the law as it applies to your circumstances, and estimate the cost of legal services. Call us at Peterson Law Group to make an appointment at 979-703-7014 today, or visit us online to request a meeting using our online contact form.