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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118788
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I own a home in the community of Palm Grande (aka Gateway

Customer Question

I own a home in the community of Palm Grande (aka Gateway Palms) in Boynton Beach, in the county of Palm Beach, Florida. Prior to purchasing my home the city of Boynton Beach officially abandoned the street known as Old Military Trail that abuts the backyards of 15 out of the 61 homes in the community. The city basically gave the land to each of the 15 homeowners. Since we all have fenced in backyards, the only way to access this land is to exit the community and drive around to the back. I need to know if I can - at my own expense, remove the HOA fence that encloses my backyard and replace it with a new fence that includes the land that I acquired.This would effectively increase the size of my backyard by at least a 3rd. There has been a lot of back and forth between some of the 15 homeowners and the HOA in an attempt to determine what is permissible. To save us both some time, if HOA law in Florida is not something you are VERY familiar with, please pass on attempting to answer this question.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under FL law, the HOA has the right to set its own rules regarding fences and removal of or adjustment of fences, so the first thing you need to do is review the HOA bylaws and likely you will need permission of the HOA to move the fence in accordance with the HOA laws. The FL laws do not say anything about you moving the fence, it is all up to the HOA.
As far as the right to use the abandoned road, when the city officially abandons property, the connected land owners acquire the rights to that property that connects to their existing property lines. So you have the right to acquire and use that property connecting to your property lines. To move or remove the fence though, this is something you need to get permission of the HOA in accordance with your HOA bylaws to do.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I build a fence on the land that the city gave up right up against the existing fence? It seems ridiculous but if it is my land i figure I should be able to build on it if I want to.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The land is legally your land if it is abutting your property, so you can use it and put a fence on it unless there is a HOA bylaw preventing construction of fences without approval. That is the big issue, the HOA bylaws for your HOA, which you need to review.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm confused: Since the land I acquired is not part of the community, why would I have to consult the bylaws?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If the land is not part of the community HOA, then you can fence it, the only issue is if you are going to remove the existing fence which the HOA would have something to say about.