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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53669
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I purchased a home in 2012 in Germantown, MD. At the time

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I purchased a home in 2012 in Germantown, MD. At the time of the purchase we were given the plat map, but only later understood we were never supplied the surveyor's map that he did a month before we purchased the home. We met with the surveyor a few months after the sale was final and he gave us his map at that time. Only then we learned our fence did not follow the property line. We paid the surveyor to come out and clearly mark our property with stakes and we would like to move our fence to the property line. Our neighbors, although admitting to us they knew our fence was not at the edge of our property, (it is INTERNAL to the edge our our property), have done gardening right up to our fence. When we move our fence to the property line, they will lose all the gardening they have done.

My questions:

* is there any legal reason they would be able to prevent us from moving our fence to our property line as indicated by the surveyor's markers (at most it will be 4-5 feet farther out than where it resides right now)?

* once we move the fence, as long as we keep it within our property line, can we say the neighbors cannot hang objects on the fence, nail into it or have clinging plants such as ivy (which damage the wood) grow on it?

* what is the legal boundary we have to maintain between a fence and our property line (ex. I have read in some places it is six inches or one foot)
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. 1) You own your property to your property line. You have every legal right to put your fence at the property line so that you get the full benefit of all your property. You would best be served by first sending them a letter by certified mail putting them on official notice that their gardening is located on your property and demand that they move it to their own property within a short specified period of time. Inform them that otherwise you have no choice but to have it removed yourself when you move the fence. 2) As long as your fence is entirely on your property inside the property line, the neighbor has no legal right to hang objects on your fence or otherwise take any action which could damage your fence. Everything affixed to your property belongs to you and the neighbor has no more right to hang things on your fence than they would to hang something on the side of your house. 3) There is no legal requirement, you can put your fence as close to the property line as you want, but typically in order to insure it's entirely on your property, a fence contractor will allow about 6 inches.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your prompt reply. I just want to confirm that your answer is accurate for the state of Maryland and ask if there could be county specific rules that might differ from this? Would 45 days be a "reasonable amount of time"?

You're very's my pleasure. I noted that you were located in Maryland, so I provided you information applicable to Maryland. Although the county could have some local ordinances, it would be very rare and unusual to have any that would run counter to the information I provided because it would be likely they would be considered an unconstitutional "taking."
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