If I have just found out that my neighbor’s fence is actually 6 inches onto my property line, what can I do?

I bought my house about 5 years ago. They put their fence up 2 years before that. We never had any reason to question the property lines until recently when they were coming into my yard claiming they had rights to it because it was their property. So, my husband went and dug up the front and back and found the survey posts that show their fence is actually in our yard. We wanted to put up a privacy fence in the back and are being told we have to leave 2 feet between fences which would cause us to lose 3 feet of our own property. Can we force them to remove their fence?

Asked on July 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Speak with a real estate attorney, but yes, you should be able to force them to move their fence. They have no right to encroach on your property; the fact that their fence has been built on your land and has been there for seven years does not give them any authority or right to keep it there. If you cannot resolve it amicably, you can likely sue for a court order (injunctive relief) requiring them to move the fence, and/or for the damages (cost) for you to remove it.

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