What to do regarding a gate put on a property line fence without the other property owner’s knowledge or consent?

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What to do regarding a gate put on a property line fence without the other property owner’s knowledge or consent?

A gate was put into the property line fence between 2 properties without one of the property owner’s knowledge or consent. The property owner went to work and came back to a gate in the fence. This was about 7 years ago. Now, the property owner who put in the fence is now going to replace it and the gate in it saying that he has the right to have the gate to the other owners property in case of a fire. I have heard of no such law. The only thing that has happened with that gate is trespassing and illegal dumping of garbage.

Asked on May 22, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no right to access another person's property in the alleged event of fire. After all, if you had a fence not on the property line but fully withing your property, he'd have no right to go and cut a gate into your fence simply because he wants an additional eggress; the same principal applies--your property is your property, and he has no right to acces your property.
That said, if he has sole ownership or control over the fence, he can put a gate in it, the same as he could tear it down. That still doesn't give him a right to access your land: whether there is a fence or not, gate or not, etc. it is your land.
If he dumps on your land, call the police. If he or guests trespass, call police. If you like, put a small fence around or in front of the gate/eggress, one that is solely on your land (100% under your control) to block anyone from coming through. And/or set up a video camera to capture dumping or trespass and use that when you call the police.


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