Can I go onto my neighbor’s property in order to paint fence?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I go onto my neighbor’s property in order to paint fence?

My neighbors moved in about 12-13 years ago. Immediately they asked us to
replace the fence that separates our property. They refused to help with the
labor or cost, so my family and friends worked together to put the fence up
on our side of the property line. We stained the fence without incident but,
since then, one neighbor has begun harassing my family. Now the fence
needs stained or painted again and I want to cover my basis to prevent
further harassment.

So, basically, am I allowed to go onto my neighbor’s property for a short
amount of time in order to paint my fence?

Asked on April 4, 2017 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't do this. The law does not let you trespass onto a neighbor's property for your own benefit--e.g. to paint a fence, or to make other renovations--even for a short period, without their consent. So either you need the neighbor to let you do this, or you need to do it in some way without going onto their land (such as by leaning over the fence from your side, with long-handled brushes or rollers).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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