Having fence wars is quite common in neighborhoods. And if you happen to have disputes between your neighbor over fence sides, you have to understand boundary rights. For instance, you might ask, “can my neighbor paint my fence on his side?” Or do you have to ask permission to do so?
Your neighbor cannot paint his side of your fence without your permission, unless his side of the fence falls on his side of the property line. If his side of the fence does not fall on his property line and he paints it anyway, then he could be sued for vandalism.
It can be challenging to live next to someone who you will have disputes with. If you want to always maintain a decent relationship with your neighbor, you have to know boundary rights. In this article, we will explain about the issues involving boundary fences, specifically fence painting etiquette, and how you can avoid neighbor disputes.
Understanding Property Boundary
Consider this scenario: You just moved into your new home and you’re excited to do some projects to turn the property into one that you’ve always wanted. And then you noticed that you don’t have a fence to separate your side from your neighbor. Or perhaps, there’s one but it’s rotting and taking away the aesthetics of your property.
And so you decided to build one over the weekend just so you can have your privacy. But before you do, you have to understand all about property boundaries to avoid any problems with your neighbors. The boundaries are usually indicated in your property deeds and you should read them over before building a dividing fence.
While each state may have different requirements, the general rules are somewhat similar. If you are uncertain, you can consult a solicitor for clarifications about the requirements for building dividing fences.
Negotiating With Neighbor
If you want to build a fence, the first thing to do is approach your neighbor. Make a reasonable proposal of what the fence should look like. Generally, you and your neighbor will split the cost of erecting a fence. You should also give your neighbor a chance to make a proposal.
In the end, both parties should agree on something – which is usually the easy way. An important reminder is that this agreement should be put in writing and signed by both parties. And as a general rule, the care and maintenance of the dividing fence should be the responsibility of both property owners.
Meanwhile, if your neighbor gives you a hard time because he doesn’t accept your fence proposal and you can’t agree on something, then you may want to resort to making a fence that ends on your property line.
Can You Legally Paint Your Side Of Your Neighbor’s Fence?
The scenario may be reversed. For instance, your neighbor has already put up a fence. You see that the color of his fence does not suit your preference, then you decide to paint the side of their fence. Is this acceptable? Can you legally do this?
The answer is both yes and no, depending on the situation. If your side of your neighbor’s fence falls on your property line, then, by all means, you have the right to paint it. But usually, if you’re a good neighbor, or if you aim to be one, you need to tell your neighbor about it.
If your side of the fence falls entirely on his property line, then don’t touch the fence as that is against fence painting etiquette. You legally cannot and should not paint your side of the fence that didn’t even touch your property line.
Your neighbor is within his right to oppose your idea of painting your side of the fence, even if you think that it’s the best way to keep things tidy around the neighborhood. You could be sued for criminal charges if you do it anyway.
When Can I Paint my Neighbours Fence?
There may be cases where you can paint your neighbor’s fence without any issues. As mentioned, you can do it legally if you’re painting only one side of the fence – the side on your property line. But make sure you have at least consulted your neighbor. After all, they worked hard and paid for that fence and it would be rude to just jump in and paint it.
One tip is to promise your neighbor you will do an excellent job at painting your side. This means you have to avoid any unsightly drips that will ruin your neighbor’s side of the fence. And if you do otherwise, ensure that you will pay for their paint job.
Do I Have To Ask Permission To Paint My Side Of The Fence?
If you don’t mind painting the fence the same color as the neighbor’s side, then go ahead and paint. Still, it would be best to ask for permission. Usually, this will be a good option and we don’t think your neighbor would oppose the idea.
Generally, whether or not the fence is on your property line, you should still ask permission to paint your side of the fence if your neighbor paid for it.
Can I Paint Both Sides Of My Fence?
Painting both sides of the fence can be acceptable if the fence didn’t fall on your neighbor’s property line. Because that would mean the fence is all to yourself. You don’t have to explain or even ask permission, because you are building within your property and it is your right.
Still, there may be issues to this, especially if you don’t have considerate neighbors. You could have neighbors that will paint your fence and not inform you beforehand. That may be rude and inconsiderate behavior. No matter how much you dislike it, it could happen to you.It’s best to be prepared by knowing what you can do. Let’s discuss the example below.
My Neighbor Painted My Fence Without Permission
What if you are the one that paid for and erected your fence, which falls within your property line? Then here comes your neighbor, who painted his side of your fence just so it can match the color theme of his entire property. Perhaps, you wanted to retain the wood color and your neighbor thinks it’s not pretty. What should you do?
Having to deal with a neighbor who dislikes your fence color of choice just for the sake of arguing can happen. At times, the neighbor might even take it up to your local council and fabricate stories just so you can get rid of your fence. Or perhaps, so he can have an excuse to paint his side with the color of his choice.
Keep in mind that your neighbor doesn’t have the right to paint your fence, especially if it’s on your property. And they certainly can’t paint it their own color just because yours was distasteful to them.
Neighbor Stained My Fence: What Can I Do?
When a neighbor painted your fence without permission, know that this is unacceptable. But what if he decided to paint his side? While you may choose to ignore it, you might not be able to shrug it off if he stained the paint job you worked so hard on.
If your neighbor didn’t ask for your permission when painting the fence or if he stained on your fence, there may be several ways to approach this situation (this is assuming that the fence is in your property line):
- Talk to your neighbor, and ask him to remove the color because the fence is solely yours. If not let him pay, since you did spend on the painting of the entire fence.
- If you are the type who doesn’t want to go down without a fight, take it to small court claims. You could claim damages but the consequence will be fallout with a person who lives right next to you.
- Ignore it. This may be easier said than done knowing you just spent time, money, and effort on your fence work. But consider this: How much is the color of the other side of the fence worth? Is it really worth fighting your neighbor with? Did the other paint job damage your side? Can you even tell that the other side of the fence is a different color? If there’s not much difference, then it’s not worth stressing over this.
Conclusion: Can My Neighbor Paint His Side of My Fence?
Disputes between neighbors over fences are quite common. They are usually resolved through proper communication with each other. If only both parties will discuss thoroughly, they should arrive at a compromise and everyone wins.
However, the situation will be more challenging if you don’t have a good relationship with your neighbor. In any case, you should remember that painting on your side of the fence you did not build may be legally acceptable if your side is on your property line. Still, it’s a more appropriate step to ask for permission from the person who spent time, money, and effort in building the fence.
If the fence is entirely on someone’s property, then the other person doesn’t have the right to touch the fence or change its color, and vice versa. A fence that is on someone’s property line is solely owned by that person. No one should have the right to touch it unless they want to head to court and pay fines.