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Real estate disputes over fences: It is not uncommon

There are various styles of homes and communities in Florida. Some homeowners have expansive properties where large amounts of acreage is spread between themselves and their neighbors. Others live property line to property line, and real estate disputes can erupt if homeowners disagree about fences, shrubs or other issues.

Sometimes, there is common ground between houses, which might prompt neighbors to share the cost of a fence. However, what happens if one person wishes to replace a fence and thinks a neighbor should split the cost but that neighbor disagrees and refuses to do so? Fences that are located on boundary lines typically belong to the both owners of the adjacent properties.

In such situations, one owner would have to consult with the other before taking down a fence or making any changes to an existing structure. If a tree grows so that it reaches beyond a fence, most state regulations allow the owner of the property where the tree has encroached to trim or remove foliage, branches, etc., provided it does not damage the rest of the tree on the other side. If neighbors agree to replace a fence, build one, or even paint one that is already standing, they would do well to write out the terms of their agreement in a signed contract.

In a perfect world, neighbors would always get along and there would be no such thing as real estate disputes. In reality, it is unfortunate but not uncommon that Florida neighbors might disagree about local ordinances, homeowners' regulations or other issues. If a concerned party believes that amicable discussion has failed to resolve a particular issue, he or she can reach out for experienced legal support.

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