Action 9: Property owners' responsibility to have fence built in right spot

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A homeowner wanted her pit bull contained to her yard, especially with so many children in her neighborhood.  So she put up a fence, but one side ended up on her neighbor's yard.
"I try to do the right thing," Lorie Card said.
So she shelled out thousands to build a fence.  She hired B&H Fencing, showed the builder where she wanted the fence to go, and he listened. 
"He did a great job as you can see.  But the neighbor got word that I put a fence up, came out and looked and said, 'You're on my property,’” she said.
Eighteen inches on the property, to be exact. 
"Very frustrating.  I paid him $2,400 to do this fence," she said.
The fence contract stated it's Card's job to know the lines.  But, even if it didn't say that, lawyer Ralph McMillan says, assume it is your responsibility.  You may even have to hire a surveyor.

"Know your boundary lines," he said.  "Know where they are." 

He estimated about 20 percent of fences in Charlotte cross the line.
Even so, Action 9 called B&H.  The owner said he'd help Card, that he would pick up the entire tab to move the fence, roughly $600.  He also said it's a busy time of year, so it may take a few weeks to circle back to Card's home. 
If you end up with a fence on your neighbor's yard, you can always see if the neighbor will agree to what's called a permissive use agreement. 

Basically, the neighbor agrees to keep it way it is and if anything ever happens to the fence, it will be rebuilt in the "right" spot.