Love thy neighbour- Install fencing
If you are thinking about putting up a fence at the edge of your property for any number of reasons, you’ll want to go about it in a considerate way, especially if will be placed between your property and a neighbour.
There are a variety of factors you need to consider, such as where exactly the property line is, why you want to put up a fence and, most importantly, what will your neighbours think and will they be accepting of this new addition?
Before you decide to start installing a fence, make sure all your bases are covered. Know why you are installing the fence, where exactly it will go, what materials will you use, and what style will it be. Are you sticking to the legalities of installing a fence? Do your neighbours approved of it and will you be splitting the cost? There is such a thing as fence etiquette, which you should understand before starting the process.
Good fences make good neighbours – Negotiating fence
1. Function or Aesthetics
Firstly, consider the reason for installing a fence. There are a variety of reasons people install fences, from keeping people out to keeping pets in, or simply for aesthetic purposes.
A fence can create privacy and prevent unwanted visitors from gaining access to your property. Your fence can act as a barrier to keep your pets on your property or prevent small children from wandering into the street unsupervised. You might simply just want to install a white picket fence as an embellishment to your property’s look.
2. Contact Your Neighbours
The polite thing to do before installing a new fence, whether there was a fence there before or not, is to contact your neighbours. Discuss the details of the fence with them and make your purpose for the fence clear.
You do not want to offend your neighbours because even after you put the fence up, they will still be your neighbours and you do not want to create any bad blood with them. Your neighbour may even want to follow suit and install a fence of their own.
Make sure you have all the details covered before contacting them in order to answer any questions they may have about the project. Let them know what kind of fence you will be installing and why, and assure them that it will not affect their property in any way.
3. The Property Line
Another important consideration to make is that of the property line. This should also be discussed with your neighbours in case there is a dispute as to where exactly the line is, if there is no current fence marking it, or the current fence is not accurately placed.
If you do not discuss this with your neighbour before installing the fence, you risk getting into a legal case if it is misplaced. Contact your local council to find out where the property line is if you encounter any disputes. This can help spare the time, effort, and money needed for a legal dispute, as well as keep a good relationship with your neighbour.
If there is an obstruction, like a tree, that prevents you from installing the fence exactly on the property line, the council can advise where the fence should then be installed.
4. Legal Considerations
Before looking at fence options to install, check if there are any legal regulations you will need to abide by in your area. Some councils and states have regulations as to where a fence can be placed and how high it is allowed to be.
Before going to all the effort of clearing it with your neighbour and installing a fence, check that it will abide by the law. This will save a great deal of money and effort in the long run.
5. Sharing the Cost
If both you and your neighbour will benefit from the fence, propose sharing the cost of the installation. It is important to approach this conversation with your neighbour with an open mind, and be prepared to pay the full amount yourself.
If the fence was your idea and your neighbour is not too enthusiastic about the idea, you will probably have to foot the bill on your own. So, do not expect that your neighbour will be open to paying half without having a discussion about it first.
Should you decide to share the cost, be sure to draw up the required documentation before the installation starts detailing who is responsible for what and that you have agreed to fund the project together, as well as future maintenance.
6. Fence Maintenance
Once the fence goes up, who is responsible for maintaining it? This you can decide before the fence is installed, and set out the responsibilities clearly to avoid any disagreements down the line.
Once again, it is a good idea to draw up a contract that states who is responsible for the maintenance of the fence, or who is responsible for the cost of repair. It is important to go to these lengths; however close you are with your neighbour. You do not want to ruin a good relationship with your neighbour since you are very likely to see them often.
Whether you are aiming to get more privacy, to keep your pets in the yard, or simply want to install a fence for aesthetic purposes, there is a lot of thought that should be done before installing a new fence between your property and your neighbour’s property. Be sure to consult with all the relevant officials to cover any legal issues you may face installing a fence. In addition, discuss the idea with your neighbour before installing a fence that might affect their property or cross the property line.