When neighbors hang things on shared fences, it can cause problems or become an eyesore. If you share a fence with a neighbor that does this, you’re probably wondering if neighbors are allowed to hang things on shared fences and what you can do about it.
Proper etiquette for hanging items on a shared fence is to have an agreement between both neighbors. Additionally, some laws and policies prohibit certain things from being added or changed with shared fences without the agreement of neighbors.
Neighbors hang things on shared fences, and sometimes they even change the fence without asking. If this describes your situation, you’ll want to keep reading.
In this article, we will share ways to deal with difficult neighbors regarding the fence and what is and isn’t considered acceptable.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
There are civil and legal ways to handle neighbors and their home habits regarding their treatment of your shared fence. However, you can suggest some other things to fix the issue.
Here are some of our favorite products you can use to come to a compromise with your neighbor:
1. Sunnyglade Artificial Hedge Plant: Artificial hedge plant panels for fencing is a pleasing way to add privacy to your yard while blocking out items in your neighbor’s yard. This pack comes in 12 Pieces, which are 20″x 20″.
2. UIRWAY Privacy Screen Fence: This screen is perfect for chain link fences to add privacy. It also lets in the breeze while blocking 98% of UV rays. It’s six feet high and 50 feet long!
3. Suncast Standalone Screen Panels: To hide small eyesores, like your neighbor’s trash cans, a screen of panels is perfect. This product comes with four freestanding wicker reversible screen panels.
Neighbors and My Fence
Neighbors might hang things on your fence or use your fence as their own if the fence is shared or is the only fence between you and them.
They might even be so bold as to paint it without talking to you first. In this section, we will cover what you can do about it and explain the Good Neighbor Fence Law.
Why is My Neighbor Hanging Things on My Fence?
Most of the time, a fence between both neighbors’ properties is shared by both neighbors. If this is the case, your neighbor may think it’s not an issue to hang things on the fence since it’s half theirs.
It is not proper etiquette to do anything with a shared fence without the agreement of both neighbors. A neighbor can also take the other to civil court and attempt to sue.
However, there may be a policy or standard already in place in the neighborhood that does not permit your neighbor to hang things on the fence.
Why Would My Neighbor Hang Things on My Fence?
Your neighbor might hang things on the fence to dry or as decorations. If you do not like them doing so, tell them and come up with an agreed-upon decision. Most likely, the fence between you and them is shared, and legally, both of you own it.
In some states, like California, laws are set in place to handle neighbor disputes.
Check the laws in your state and the policies set in place in your community neighborhood before you take your neighbor to court.
My Neighbor is Using My Fence?
Neighbors share the fence between them in most cases, which gives some neighbors the feeling that they use the fence however they want. However, there may be state laws and neighborhood policies against their actions.
It is not proper etiquette for a person to do something with a shared fence without agreeing on it with the neighbor sharing the fence with them.
In some states, you need to send your neighbor a formal letter before doing anything, and the neighbor has the right to object.
My Neighbor Painted My Fence?
If your neighbor painted your fence without agreeing on it first, even a shared fence, you could use that to take them to civil court, and in some areas, you could win. However, it is always best to talk to your neighbor first.
There might be a state law or policy already in place. If so, talk to your neighbor first.
They might fix it without any other arguments, especially since some neighborhoods only accept certain types and colors of fences in the neighborhood.
What is the Good Neighbor Fence Law?
The Good Neighbor Fence Law is an understanding that both equally own a fence between two neighbors. Therefore, both neighbors must agree upon anything one wants to do with the fence.
Sometimes neighbors do not agree. For example, maybe you don’t like the fence that is up, and your neighbor doesn’t want to help replace it or refuses to let you replace it.
If something like this happens, you might try to compromise by adding a privacy screen on your side to add privacy and cover up the fence on your side.
My Neighbor Builds On or Near My Fence
The fence between you and your neighbor is most commonly a shared fence, and both of you can agree to make changes or build on it as long as there isn’t a policy or state law against it.
In this section, we discuss what is and is not acceptable and what you can do about it.
Can My Neighbors Connect to My Fence Without Permission?
It is proper etiquette nearly everywhere to ask a neighbor if they agree it’s alright if you connect anything to the fence or make any changes to it. If your neighbor does not ask you first, it’s not likely to be against the law, but you can take them to civil court.
Suppose your neighbor does something you don’t like with the fence. Then you should talk to them first about it. They might not have considered how the additional connection or change would affect you.
If they do not do anything about your complaint, see if there is a state law or neighborhood policy regarding their action.
My Neighbor is Using My Fence as a Retaining Wall?
If your neighbor uses your fence as a retaining wall without your permission, talk to them first about your concerns and complaints. Then, if they refuse to do anything about it, check local and state laws and policies that might already be in place to help.
If there are no set laws or neighborhood policies and they will not do anything about the retaining wall, you can sue your neighbor in civil court for disrupting the ambiance on your private property.
Additionally, you can sue them for damages if they cause damage to the fence.
Can My Neighbor Build a Retaining Wall Next to My Fence?
In many states, a neighbor has to have the other neighbor’s permission before building a retaining wall next to the fence, even if it is technically on their property line. They might also need a permit to build a retaining wall.
In some states, a neighbor who builds a retaining wall must follow the Good Neighbor Fence Law.
This includes facing the unfinished side of the fence toward their yard rather than facing the good side towards their yard and the ugly side toward their neighbors.
For this reason, there are now neighbor-friendly fences that look nice on both sides.
Can My Neighbor Build a Fence Right Next to My Fence?
Your neighbor should ask you first, and if you agree, they can build a fence next to your fence as long as no community policy says otherwise. Additionally, some neighborhood communities want fencing to be more uniform.
When your neighbor builds a fence next to your fence without your permission, you can ask them to tear it down. If they refuse, you can sue them for disrupting your outside space.
Additionally, if it is illegal or against neighborhood policy, you can report them.
Can My Neighbor Lean Things Against My Fence?
Your neighbor shouldn’t lean things against the fence in between the yards without your consent. If they cause damage to the fence because they lean something on it, they should pay for the damages, and in some states, they are liable.
Before taking action against your neighbor, you should always try to talk with your neighbor first. Oftentimes, they haven’t considered leaning an item on the shared fence can damage a fence.
Should My Neighbor Pay for My Fence Repair?
If your neighbor damaged your fence, they should be the ones to pay for the repair. Additionally, because the fence is shared, you should split the cost equally if there is damage due to weather or natural causes.
In some states, it is a legal requirement for neighbors to split the cost of repairs unless otherwise agreed upon.
Therefore, it is also good to ask your neighbor about anything regarding the fence and to come to an agreement before starting to make changes.
Additionally, if your neighbor has homeowners insurance and has a tree or another accident resulting in fence damage, their insurance might cover it.
You might also enjoy our post on How to Find Out if My Neighbor Has Homeowners Insurance
Attachments on Shared Fences
Fences are a convenient item to attach to, but neighbors should agree on anything attached if the fence is shared.
In this section, we will discuss common issues with neighbors attaching plants, bird feeders, and other objects and what you can do to stop them.
A neighbor is Attaching Things to My Fence
In some neighborhood communities, it is against policy to attach things like plants, trellis’, bird feeders, and such to the fences. Additionally, in some states, attaching something to a shared fence is illegal without agreeing with your neighbor about it first.
Attachments can damage the fence and be an eyesore for neighbors. It’s always good etiquette to talk to your neighbor about adding something to a shared fence before putting it up.
It’s also best to go to your neighbor first if they put up something you don’t like before reporting them.
My Neighbor Attached a Trellis to My Fence?
So, your neighbor attached a trellis to your shared fence and if you don’t like it, tell them. If they refuse to do anything about it, you can complain to the Homeowners Association or landlord. If they don’t have an issue with it, you can look into putting up a privacy fence.
Instead of a new fence, you can attach a trellis or screen that will block out the neighbor’s trellis.
It might seem petty, but if it helps you mend the bridge with your neighbor and keep your yard how you like it, then maybe it’s not.
Can My Neighbor Grow Plants Up My Fence?
In most neighborhoods and cities, neighbors can plant flowers or vines that go up the fence. However, neighbors should communicate any changes they want to make or additions they want to the shared fence.
If you don’t like the plants or they are attracting snakes and such, ask your neighbor to remove the plants. If that doesn’t work, try reporting them to the Homeowners Association.
Additionally, if you and your neighbor rent from the same landlord, you can call them.
Can My Neighbor Attach Things to My Fence?
Yes, your neighbor can attach things to your fence in most areas, but they should get your consent first. In some states, it is illegal for them to make drastic changes to the fence, and they can be heavily fined for it.
If your neighbor is doing something you don’t like, talk to them first rather than reporting them. They might not have considered that their attachment would bother you.
They might even think it’s a beneficial thing for both of you.
Neighbor Nailed Something to My Fence?
Your neighbor should talk to you first before nailing something to a fence. Nails can cause damage, and exposed nails might stick through on your side. This is not typically illegal, but you can report them to the neighborhood community if they refuse to remove the nails.
In some states, your neighbor is held accountable for any damage they cause. This includes nailing something heavy that bends or tears down a section of the fence.
Also, if they put a lot of holes in the fence, they can be accountable for filling them in or replacing the panels of the fence.
You might also enjoy our post on Can My Neighbor Move My Fence?
Can I Attach Things to My Side of a Shared Fence?
You can attach things to the side of your fence, but you need to ensure there isn’t any code in your neighborhood community that states otherwise. Additionally, you should first talk to your neighbor who shares the fence and ensure they agree.
Also, before you attach something to your fence, make sure it won’t cause any damage because you would most likely be held accountable for the damage.
Both neighbors are responsible if a storm or other external things damage the fence.
Can I Hang Things on My Neighbor’s Fence?
It is not a good idea to hang something on your neighbor’s fence, even if it is a shared fence. This can become an eyesore for your neighbor. Ask your neighbor first; if they are fine with it, you can.
Most neighborhood communities do not care if you hang things on your fence, but some do and expect the yard and fence to look a certain way.
Additionally, if your neighbor is against you hanging anything, you should refrain from doing so. Otherwise, your neighbor could sue.
Can I Move My Fence to the Property Line?
If your fence is more on your side of the property line, you are losing space on your side. However, you should still get your neighbor’s consent before moving the fence because this can make a big difference for them.
Also, if you move the fence without them agreeing, they could sue you or report you to the neighborhood committees.
In some cases, you could be fined, and if something damaged the fence during the move, you would be responsible for the damages.
Neighbors do not always make life easy, but we hope this article helps.
Just remember to try and talk to your neighbor and come up with a civil solution before reporting or suing your neighbor because you will probably still be living next to them after it’s all said and done.