Deciding that you want to build something on your property, whether that be a fence, pool, shed, or some other structure, can be very exciting. You are looking forward to the possibility of improving your land and having a structure that you and your family can enjoy for years to come. For many people, an improvement that they wish to make to their property is the addition of a privacy fence.
If you are building a fence on your property, it is essential to know the Virginia laws governing property boundaries. You might be thinking that you do not need to worry about this because you and your neighbors are fast friends and there is no way that they would dispute you building the fence. This might be true at the present, but there is no guarantee that there will never be a falling out or a new neighbor who might complain about something built too close to the property line.
Before you build a fence, it is important to take the following two steps to avoid a property boundary dispute.
Survey the Property
Before you build anything, or hire a company to come build the fence, you should get your land surveyed. A surveyor will come to your property and determine where the property line is between you and a neighbor so that you can build your fence with confidence of not encroaching on your neighbor’s property. A survey may have already been done and a copy of it may be kept at the county assessor’s office, but if not, a qualified surveyor can come out to your property to conduct the survey.
Check Current Laws and Regulations
There are various Virginia statutes that provide guidance on what obligations property owners are under in terms of a fence on the property line. According to Virginia law, property owners of adjoining land are supposed to build and maintain a fence that serves as a division of land. The maintenance is at joint and equal expense. However, property owners do have the option of not having a fence and leaving the land open.
This is not to say that you are liable for your neighbor’s decision to build a fence along the property. There may be local rules and regulations regarding the distance from a property line that a fence can be built, or additional permits that must be acquired before the building of the fence can commence
Even if you have the best of intentions or relationships with your neighbors, they might still dispute additions to you property, like a fence. In these instances, if an agreement cannot be made with your neighbor, the boundary dispute may end up in the court system. The property dispute attorneys at Greg Baker Attorneys at Law, PLLC are here to help you through the dispute. We know that it can be frustrating to receive pushback for improvements you want made on your own property. Let us handle that frustration and get the problem resolved as quickly as possible so you can go back to enjoying your land without an issue. Contact us today for a free consultation.