Real Estate Law
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As long as no part of the fence crosses over the property line onto the neighbor's land, a property owner can install a fence right up to the property line, but not over it. If any part of the fence crosses, it is an encroachment on the neighbor and a trespass to property and the neighbor could file suit for trespass to force the owner to move it.
As for maintenance, that is tricky because the owner would have no legal right to enter the neighbor's property to maintain the side of the fence that faced the neighbor's property. So they had either get along with the neighbor, or install the fence with enough space between it and the property line to maintain it.