Can I have access to fence if I own 3″ of property on the other side?

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Can I have access to fence if I own 3″ of property on the other side?

I own 3″ of property on the other side of my fence my neighbor has put up a chain link fence up to my 3″ now I notice sticks of wood on the 3″ that I own on both ends of the fence on my property. I want them remove but have not spoken with owners. What are my rights and what can I do to solve this problem? I had gone to owners when I put up my fence and they didn’t want to go half on the fence then it would have been put on property line but no. Several years later they puts up a chain link fence, I don’t even have access to the side of the house just what I own. I can’t even repair fence.

Asked on June 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to act quickly and do not ignore it. To ignore could cause legal rights for your neighbors in the form of either an easement or worse, ownership rights (usually 20 years) to that portion of property that was initially your property. There is good news and the last resort is hiring your counsel. Before you hire your own counsel, contact the town or county (whichever is applicable in Minnesota) zoning and planning board and explain that this fence is now encroaching on your property. The person assigned to your complaint will be required to review official records (recorded surveys and lot lines) and see if indeed this person has encroached on your property. If the onsite inspection or visit confirms what is on the survey, then a process begins wherein a letter is usually sent or an order is sent to the owner of that home to explain that the fence must be removed due to the active encroachment. Once that happens, stay on top of the situation and if the fence is removed, great! If the fence is not removed, there may be an appeal process or hearing and eventually either a court order by the agency is pursued and fence taken down or as the last resort, you must hire your own land use attorney.


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