How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask socrateaser Your Own Question

socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34111
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
10097515
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

we are considering renting land to a neighbor. He has sheep

Resolved Question:

we are considering renting land to a neighbor. He has sheep and wants to put a fence on our land. He says that the fence will cost him between 6-8,000. He wants us to either buy the fence, or he buy the fence, and then he wouldn't give us rent money until the fence is paid off....3+years...then we would own the fence. Either way he wants to have the first chance to buy, should we want to sell. I am Leary of being bound like that. We have 4 grown children...and grandchildren...right now, we don't forsee any of them interested in buying the place, but since we don't know the future, I hate to be bound to a new neighbor we don't know. What should we do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Title 29 P.S. sec. 41 requires that neighbors share the cost of the boundary fences equally between them. See Fogle v. Malvern Courts, Inc., 701 A.2d 265 (1997). If this fence effectively operates as a boundary fence, then the neighbor and you and the neighbor are required to share the cost.

If the fence is constructed all on your land, then at the instant it is installed, it is your property, because a tenant who affixes property to the land permanently ceeds ownership of that property to the landowner, unless the property can be removed without causing damage to the land.

Given the law, you as the landowner have a a great deal of leverage. The neighbor obviously needs your land, but he is trying to get you to pay for a fence that you may not need. If you don't need the fence, then why would you pay for it by relieving the neighbor from the liability for rent?

Answer: you wouldn't. Moreover, if the tenant decides to by the property, then you won't own the fence -- which means that the tenant would have obtained the use of your land for no rental cost at all. So, if the tenant wants an option to purchase, then you may want to make that option contingent on the tenant paying all of the rent that you waived in exchange for the fence.

Otherwise, the answer is probably to reject the "fence for rent" deal, and simply tell the neighbor that if he wants to rent, then it will cost $X per month, and the fence is his problem -- not yours.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

SO, let me be sure. If the fence can be removed without damaging our property, the tenant is the owner of the fence.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
That's correct. Example: Metal fence posts pounded into the dirt without concrete foundations, strung with barbed wire (and electrified, if necessary), is a de minimis invasion of your property. Pulling the fence stakes out at the end of the tenancy would leave small holes which could be quickly filled, or perhaps need no backfill at all.

Fence posts set in concrete is an entirely different matter. The holes are deep and the concrete is difficult to remove. This would not be a removable fence.

I'm not a sheep rancher (though I did own a small horse property once upon a time), so I have some experience with fencing. This must be quite a sizable amount of property to generate $6-$8,000 in fencing costs. I suppose a fair amount of labor is involved -- so I think that the neighbor may be trying to mitigate his costs in advance, if he ends up having to pay workers to remove the fence.

Your real concerning, in my opinion, revolves around whether or not you would instal the fence if there were no tenant. If you wouldn't, then I don't see why you would want to pay the neighbor to do so.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

is there a way I can save your answers to show my husband? Also, neighbor wanted the 'first chance to buy' should we sell. What does that involve? Would we be 'obligated' to sell to him? I was thinking of putting our property into a living trust....would an agreement with the neighbor to lease the land, and put a fence on it and have 'first chance to buy' impair our ability to put the land into a living trust?


 


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Is there a way I can save your answers to show my husband?

After you rate my answer positively (a smiley face), the answer will be unlocked and you can do with it as you wish.

Also, neighbor wanted the 'first chance to buy' should we sell. What does that involve?

A: Right of first refusal would be a paragraph in the lease stating, something like, "As additional consideration for this lease, landlord agrees that tenant shall have the right of first refusal to purchase the leased property during the lease term, as long as tenant is not in breach of any material lease provision at the time of exercise of tenant's purchase right. Price and terms for tenant's purchase shall be at least as good as the highest and best offer made by a disinterested third party at the time of exercise of tenant's purchase right."

Would we be 'obligated' to sell to him?

A: Only if he meets or beats everyone else's offer (assumes you use language similar to that which I have provided above).

I was thinking of putting our property into a living trust....would an agreement with the neighbor to lease the land, and put a fence on it and have 'first chance to buy' impair our ability to put the land into a living trust?

A: No.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you. one more question. should we decide to go with a living trust, could you help me with the paperwork, or do you folks just give advise, and then we still have to go to another lawyer to get the trust set up?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
I'm flattered by your interest, however I cannot draft legal documents in this forum. I "justanswer" questions about the law. If you need a referral to a competent estate planning attorney, I can give you a reputable referral service to contact.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok....is there one in our area? 16833 say within 30-50 miles?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Click here and contact a relevant referral site. They will find someone as close as may be available. I can't provide direct referrals.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34111
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 5 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns. Loretta T Illinois
< Last | Next >
  • My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns. Loretta T Illinois
  • Thanks Adam!! - A very direct and understandable response - you have been a great help! Happy Customer Ellicott City, MD
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Thomas McJD

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3076
    Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MC/mclemorelawyer/2011-9-21_193631_IMGP8718Version2.64x64.jpg Thomas McJD's Avatar

    Thomas McJD

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3076
    Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3781
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2188
    13 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/rayanswers/2012-6-7_23346_Untitled1.64x64.jpg RayAnswers's Avatar

    RayAnswers

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1484
    Texas lawyer for 29 years in Estate law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1226
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    770
    12+ yrs. of experience including estate law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    754
    Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.