Many people take it for granted that their property lines are clearly marked by fencing and/or landscaping. In fact, some homeowners never think to survey their land in order to determine whether or not any discrepancies exist over where they and their neighbors’ property lines fall. It is important to keep in mind, though, that the raising of a fence can have major implications for property owners in instances where one neighbor encroaches upon another’s land. In such cases, it is important to understand how Florida property and real estate guidelines address fencing disputes.
The placement of fencing in order to distinguish between properties is common practice in Miami and all across Florida. As a result, it is not entirely unusual for property owners to disagree over where fence and property lines should be drawn. Neighbors may argue over who is responsible for raising and maintaining a fence, along with dealing with other complaints. Despite the fact that some fencing disputes revolve around cosmetic concerns and other less serious issues, others can have real and lasting implications for property owners.
According to the University of Florida, legal issues relating to the placement of fences and property encroachment can have serious consequences for landowners. Encroachment occurs when one person occupies a section of land that legally belongs to another. Raising a fence above or below a property line can be considered encroachment in many cases, and can even result in a property owner losing rights to a portion of land in some instances.
Any time there are doubts or concerns over where a fence or boundary line should fall, it’s important to take action promptly. Surveying the land can often resolve any confusion, and it may just be a matter of reviewing the property deed. Fencing and real estate disputes can be considerably more serious in instances where an extended amount of time is allowed to lapse. In disputes involving boundaries by acquiescence, for example, land that is encroached upon for over seven years can change ownership in certain circumstances.