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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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).


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