If you accidentally put a fence on your neighbor’s property andthey got a survey to prove this, are you responsible to pay for the survey?

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If you accidentally put a fence on your neighbor’s property andthey got a survey to prove this, are you responsible to pay for the survey?

I erected a fence between my house and my neighbors. At the time of installation my neighbor agreed to the placement. I have a witness to this. A month later my neighbor got a survey and the it shows we are on his property a foot in some areas and on my property a foot in some areas. I offered to move the fence and he said no that I couldn’t until he took me to court. We received a letter demanding to pay for his $850 fence is not going to satisfy him because he wants us to pay for his survey.

Asked on May 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is a saying that bad fences make bad neighbors.  Your neighbors have really taken that seriously.  How a court will come down on who pays for what is not only a matter of what the law says in your area but really the Judge you get in the lawsuit.  The best Judge will try and arbitrate or mediate the matter because in the end you may have no choice but to split the costs.  Why did your neighbor do the survey to begin with?  The fact that you have made the offer to move the fence which shows your willingness to settle the matter amicably and without the necessity of going to court is a plus for you.  Now put it in writing.  Respond to the letter indicating that you had no idea that the fence - which he agreed to - was on his property and that you will take the necessary steps to promptly remove any portion that is encroaching thereon.  Mention nothing about the survey.  The part her about the $850 I do not understand.  Good luck.  


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