Fence on the other side of the property


I am new to this forum and i hope you can help me. I bought a bank owned property in dec 2011 and i don’t remember ordering for a survey during the closing.

Now, my neighbor sends me a text saying that he has his survey done and found that the fence to my house is on his land and not mine. The fence is typically 6 feet tall one.

My questions

  1. How do i know he is not BSing me and asking to relocate the fence. He is been complaining about the fence falling apart and i get it fixed everytime it happened in the past year and half.

  2. How do i resolve this problem?

My understanding is that i have to order a survey first and hire an independent to make that determination. This is almost a 1000$ cost and i want to know if there is way to resolve this cheaper.

Any help is much appreciated.

Tell him to prove the boundary dispute by providing a certified copy of the land survey.

You don’t need to pay for a second survey. If the first survey was forged, the neighbor won’t be able to provide a certified copy.

If he provides a certified copy of the survey, and it shows the boundaries are not what you thought, you should go to the planning commission, or whatever office provides plot maps for your neighborhood, and see if the numbers match.

Ask a surveyor for help in confirming the survey, if necessary. It’ll cost less than $100 for this service. You’re not asking for a full-on survey, just verification of what’s been provided by the neighbor.

Meantime, do nothing until the neighbor provides verifiable proof of his claim.

In the event that the neighbor’s claim is provable and legitimate, then all of the sudden …the fence belongs to the NEIGHBOR, not YOU…!

In many places, both neighbors are required to share the costs of fence construction, if its on a boundary line. Just saying.

As an aside, this is what I would tell the neighbor:

"If your survey is correct, Mr. Neighbor, then this fence belongs to YOU.

Since this fence belongs to you, you can do whatever you want with the fence. (evil laugh inserted here)

Meantime, if you remove the fence, I will sue you for half the cost to build a new one on the property line. And I’m not putting up a flimsy wooden fence. We’ll be installing concrete block. I’m sure your half of the fence won’t be more than about six thousand dollars, after all is said and done.

So, Mr. Neighbor, you are going to pay for the demolition of your existing fence, and then you are going to pay for half the costs of “our” new block wall. Let me know when you want to start construction."

I’m betting the seller will all of the sudden be quite content with the fence as it stands. Meantime the fence could be ‘grandfathered in’ at the current location, depending on how long it’s been there, and as importantly, ‘whom’ built the fence that far into the neighbor’s property in the first place.

In the event the survey is correct, the neighbor ‘could’ threaten to build a new fence on the “correct” property line, and demand the YOU pay for half. It could go both ways.

The neighbor could build a fence on the property line, and then put the ugly side facing your house. Whoops. Worse, he would try to make you pay for ‘half’ of ‘that.’

Meantime again, I’m betting a former owner of your neighbor’s property built the fence on his side of the property line, so he wouldn’t have to get permission from the previous neighbor about its style, construction, and appearance. I don’t know.

So, if the fence IS inside the neighbor’s property line, then the neighbor can go suck eggs, and/or remove the fence at his own cost, and then figure out how he’s going to pay for the new one on the property line.

Hope that helps.

Thanks Javipa for your response.

I sent him an email asking him to prove his case. Lets see what he says.

Question on an unrelated topic:

Would you consider or rent to someone with credit score 496 as your tenant? This guy has a lot of past dues and collections on his account.

I won’t rent to deadbeats, but I will rent to someone that had a catastrophe, and is now trying to catch up.

I’ll ask for a cosigner, and the largest deposit possible. Frankly, the amount of money I can get from a credit hiccupy renter is like getting an FHA quality down payment. I also want more rent, and a two-year lease agreement.

They changed the law in CA, so that the max deposit I can ask for is 2x’s the rent. That isn’t enough to overcome the risk in renting to ‘high risk’ prospects. So, instead I double the ‘contract rent’ amount, and then base the deposit on the contract rent. I then offer, on paper, a discount for ‘on time’ payments which is effectively about 10% above retail. Of course, too, I charge a huge late fee, apart from the “contract” rent.

In actuality, I never insist on the ‘contract’ rent in the event the tenant is late. I’m not trying to create a catastrophe for the tenant. I just want to give them a reason to pay me on time.

BTW, I’ve got clients that mail their rent ten days before it’s due, to avoid late fees.

Finally, the prospects have to have the (combined) income, and they have to appear to take care of themselves. I don’t talk about the latter very often, but dress makes a HUGE difference to me.

If the prospects are too stupid, and ‘organic,’ that they can’t figure to fake it for a day, and ‘not’ wear the tube tops, flip flops, wife beaters, and hide the tats, than they don’t really qualify.

Meantime, I don’t recommend my ‘bad credit’ land-lording strategy, for getting more rent for longer terms, to newbies. It takes some negotiating and people skills to pull this off profitably.


Thanks again. The fence thing worked. I sent him an email asking for a a certified copy of survey and asked him to split the cost of surveyor and the neighbor mellowed down.

He asked to fix the fence wherever it is broken and i am totally ok with it, infact i am getting it fixed today.

Coming to the new tenant part, this guy has a full time job and his fiance works part time , so there is a combined and the guy is catching up to his late payments based on his credit report.

They appear to take care of themselves the first time i met and apart from one small tattoo i saw, they appeared fine. I can’t tell anything else on the surface, they have an 18 month old child, so i am guessing they are not on that stuff.

I have asked for 2 months rent as deposit and will put a high late fee clause to cover myself.I am not sure if i will get a co-signer but i will ask.

BTW i live in Illinois and the property is in Illinois.

Thanks again Javipa.