When Florida residential neighbors have disagreements concerning their property lines, it usually involves building or maintaining a fence or dealing with a tree. Unfortunately, these arguments can escalate, making it hard for neighbors to tolerate one another. There can also be a lot of confusion over whose responsibility it is to pay for repairs and damage. So, how do you go about managing property line disputes with your neighbor in the Palm Beach area?
Residential Fencing and Walls
In Florida, the law does not explicitly address residential fencing and wall disagreements. Nor does it require a property owner to erect a fence or wall. If a neighbor happens to do so, it will be at their own expense and the other neighbor is not obligated to help pay the costs. Ideally, if you decide to put up a fence or wall or spend money on repairs, you and your neighbor will discuss the matter beforehand, and agree to split the expenses. However, it’s important to remember that your neighbor is not legally required to pay you anything.
If you are a member of a homeowner’s association (HOA) and decide to put up a fence, be sure to check your HOA rules and agreement beforehand. Many HOAs have limitations on fence types and heights, and if you are not careful, you could end up building a fence that violates the rules.
Trees are another potential source of a property line dispute between neighbors. In Florida, if a tree is close to a property line and is healthy, and a neighbor removes it without the owner’s permission, he or she may be liable to the owner for its replacement. If a healthy tree limb is hanging over a neighbor’s property line, that neighbor can cut the branches at his or her own expense. However, if the tree is dead, the owner may be responsible for damage caused by branches falling onto their neighbor’s property.
Talk with A Florida Real Estate Attorney
Quarreling with a neighbor about a property line dispute can create negative feelings that last for years. In this situation, it may be best to take a step back and get the opinion of a professional before taking action. An experienced Florida real estate attorney can help you take a reasonable look at the facts and identify possible ways to reach a resolution.
At Rabideau Klein, we have extensive experience handling real estate matters in the Palm Beach area. Guy Rabideau, Esq. and David E. Klein, Esq. are Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorneys with the experience you need to evaluate your Palm Beach area boundary line dispute and protect your interests during every stage of the process. Contact Rabideau Klein