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legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
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My neighbor wants to paint his fence, but needs to enter my

Customer Question

My neighbor wants to paint his fence, but needs to enter my property to paint the side that's facing my property. I don't want to allow him to enter my property for any reason including maintenance to the fence. I want to know what my rights are and what recourse I can take to prevent them from entering my property. I've heard claims they can get a course order. The fence is on their property but close to the property line. Can they get a court order that would allow them to enter my property for the reason of doing maintenance to the fence.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Unfortunately a neighbor can go on one's property for purposes of repair- here is the statute - please note that it must be limited and efficient:

Section 120. Whoever, without right enters or remains in or upon the dwelling house, buildings, boats or improved or enclosed land, wharf, or pier of another, or enters or remains in a school bus, as defined in section 1 of chapter 90, after having been forbidden so to do by the person who has lawful control of said premises, whether directly or by notice posted thereon, or in violation of a court order pursuant to section thirty-four B of chapter two hundred and eight or section three or four of chapter two hundred and nine A, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days or both such fine and imprisonment. Proof that a court has given notice of such a court order to the alleged offender shall be prima facie evidence that the notice requirement of this section has been met. A person who is found committing such trespass may be arrested by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or police officer and kept in custody in a convenient place, not more than twenty-four hours, Sunday excepted, until a complaint can be made against him for the offence, and he be taken upon a warrant issued upon such complaint.

This section shall not apply to tenants or occupants of residential premises who, having rightfully entered said premises at the commencement of the tenancy or occupancy, remain therein after such tenancy or occupancy has been or is alleged to have been terminated. The owner or landlord of said premises may recover possession thereof only through appropriate civil proceedings.

I'm sorry that I could not locate any exception to this, and I do my best to provide accurate information and unfortunately that is as the law stands.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's not clear to me. Can they get a court order to come in to my property without my permission and theirs nothing I can do?
Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Yes, unfortunately they can - I'm sorry - the wrong statute posted - it is here:

Section 120B. Whoever, being the owner of land abutting that of another, the building or buildings on which are so close to the land of such other person as to require an entry on said abutting land for the purpose of maintaining or repairing said building or buildings in order to prevent waste, shall not be deemed guilty of trespass or liable civilly for damages, provided that such entry is made expeditiously and in the exercise of due care and that no damage is caused by such entry to the land or buildings of said abutting owner. Before such entry said owner shall notify the chief or other officer in charge of the police department of the city or town in which the land is located that he has requested permission to enter on adjoining land from the owner or occupants thereof for the purpose of maintaining or repairing a building or buildings and that such permission has been refused, and that he intends to enter under the provisions of this section. Before entering on said land, said owner shall post bond with the chief of police in the amount of one thousand dollars to protect the adjoining land owner from damage caused by said entry. No person so entering on land of another shall store material or tools thereon for more than eight hours in any one day nor shall he continue to enter thereon for more than thirty days in the aggregate in any calendar year. After said entry, said owner shall in all respects restore said adjoining land to the condition in which it was prior to said entry.

So if there is damage, then the neighbor committing the damage would be liable.

That statute is here:

Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Hi- just checking in to see if you needed clarification on any of the above information. If so please post here (there is no additional charge for this) and I will do my best to get you the requested information.

Thank you!

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