UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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I built a wood fence on my side of the property line, and my neighbor painted the side facing their property what are my options? Can I repaint the side facing their property? If I do, can I be cited for trespassing? Should I just remove the slats and repaint the side facing their property and then reinstall them? Would it be best to file a small claims court suit?
Asked on October 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Utah
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
The officer is incorrect: a fence built entirely on your property is YOUR property and the neighbor has no rights in or to it. By the officer's logic, the neighbor could paint the side of your house facing him. Under the law generally, you can paint the fence however you like, BUT you cannot go onto his land to do it--that would be trespassing--you'd have to be able to do it without trespassing. Even to work on something you own, you cannot go on another's land without permission.
You could however sue the neighbor for having painted your property and force him to repaint it, or pay for the cost of repainting.
Again, that is law generally. It is not impossible that there is some local or town ordinance to the contrary. Call and check with your town's building department to confirm.
All the above said, since it is facing him, not you, you may be best off leaving this alone.
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