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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27621
Experience:  JA Mentor
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26 years ago, my neighbor and I erected wood fence on our properties

Customer Question

26 years ago, my neighbor and I erected wood fence on our properties He suggested I attach my fence to his garage, cutting off his access to that side og his garage. He said the small area was not worth maintaining, and by me not running fence along side his garage, the siding would be able to dry after a rain, instead of staying damp and molding. This remained in place fo 26 years. When that house was sold in December of 2012, the new owners bought the property "as is". Now, after being there a year and a half, they are insisting we redo the fence to take back that area. Do we have rights in this?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.Because your neighbor gave you oral permission to attach your fence to his garage, you have what is legally called a "license." A license can be freely revoked at any time by the owner who grants it or a subsequent owner. In order to have a right to leave your fence where it is indefinitely, you would have to have a written document, signed by the neighbor, showing that you paid for the right to put your fence on his land. You may have heard of a concept in the law that allows someone who has been occupying it for an extended period of time to become the owner. However, the first element of that defense is that your use of the property was WITHOUT the owner's permission - and your neighbor is the one who suggested putting the fence there. Based on what you've said, you have three options:Move the fence.Offer to purchase the part of your neighbor's land that the fence is on.Offer to purchase the right to leave your fence there indefinitely (which is an easement - he'd still own the land, but you'd be allowed to use it). An easement is usually cheaper than buying the land, however, only if the owner is also able to use the property.I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. Please rate my answer positively to ensure I am paid for the time I spent answering your question. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.Good luck.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
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