If a neighbor put a fence up without first doing a survey and is on my property, is it considered a gift?

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If a neighbor put a fence up without first doing a survey and is on my property, is it considered a gift?

Asked on May 27, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

What you need is for a court to declare that the fence is on your land; until and unless a court confirms your boundaries and that the fence is on your land, you do not have any rights vis-a-vis it (that is, your claim that it is on your land is not legally binding). File a lawsuit for a "declaratory judgment," or court determination, of where the boundaries are and whose land the fence is on; in that lawsuit, you can also ask the court to order that if the fence is on your land, that you get ownership of it. (The court does not have to order that; it can order that the neighbor remove the fence and remediate any damage it does at his expense, for example--but one way or another, a lawsuit should resolve the issue.) For such a lawsuit, you will need to have a surveyor re-survey your land and testify at trial.


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