How Can You Tell if a Fence is Yours?

Many homeowners have been victimized by contractors or other people who were installing fences and gates. To avoid this, you need to lay out a process for determining whether something is yours when it’s installed on your property.

To tell if a chain link fence is yours, you can look for any signs that prove the fence is your property. This includes anything like a sign or an entryway. Read more in detail here: how to tell if a chain link fence is yours.

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As time passes, fences begin to show signs of typical wear and tear, necessitating a refurbishment. Alternatively, you may opt to modify the look of your fence to better match the rest of your house. When it comes to improvements, though, homeowners may run into a typical issue: is this fence mine or my neighbor’s? Before making any major adjustments, you must first identify whether or not the fence is yours.

Examining where a fence meets the property line is the easiest method to tell whether it belongs to you or not. The fence is yours if it is built on your side of the property line between your home and your neighbor’s.


This article will discuss how to determine if a fence belongs to you and what to do if the fence is not on your side of the property line. Before you decide to make any major alterations to your yard, read on!


Contents Table of Contents

  • How to Determine whether a Fence Belongs to You
  • Which side of the fence am I in charge of?
  • Who Covers the Cost of a New Fence?
  • What if My Neighbor Doesn’t Keep the Fence in Good Repair?
  • As a renter, is I allowed to make changes to a fence?
  • Last Thoughts


How to Determine whether a Fence Belongs to You

If you’re amicable with your neighbors, renovating a fence may be a breeze. Typically, homeowners are unconcerned about renovations that improve the appearance of their property. However, in many circumstances, in order to perform modifications, you’ll need to figure out precisely who owns the fence.

The first step is to figure out where your property line is, which divides your land from your neighbor’s. To do so, you’ll need to contact a land surveyor who can come to your house and survey the property appropriately. However, this might be a very expensive procedure. If your house has been around for a long, you may be able to get this information by calling local city hall.

If the fence is on your side of the property line, you may do anything you want with it. Of course, informing your neighbor about your plans to renovate your shared fence is usually a good idea, but it isn’t required. Because the fence is on your land, it is yours to keep. Check out our page on fence ideas if you’re looking for some inspiration.

What If My Side of the Fence Isn’t on My Side?

You may find it more difficult to remodel if the fence is not on your side of the property boundary. 


If the fence is on your neighbor’s side of the property line, it is fully theirs. If the fence is squarely on your neighbor’s property line, however, you and your neighbor share liability.

No matter where the fence is located, we suggest checking with your neighbor before doing any improvements. It’s critical to have an agreement since pulling down and rebuilding a fence between properties would eliminate that border for a short period of time.

Which side of the fence am I in charge of?

If the fence just need basic upkeep rather than replacing, the whole project is not always your duty. 

You are solely responsible for the side of the fence that faces your yard for care, such as painting. As a result, feel free to do anything you want with your sides of the fence in terms of look without contacting your neighbor.

The Positive and Negative Sides of a Fence

Fences, particularly wooden fences, often have two sides:

  • The “good side” is frequently referred to as the completed side.
  • The “poor side” is frequently the side that shows structural components like support beams.

The debate about who owns which side of the fence often comes down to who has the good side and who has the evil side. While some fences have the completed side facing one way and the structural side facing the other, others have the finished side facing one direction and the structural side facing the other.

The side of the fence that faces your yard has no influence on who owns the fence, according to Red Wagon Properties. As a result, you don’t have to rush out and mend the fence if your enraged neighbor says it’s your fault since the poor side faces their yard. 

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As previously stated, the fence owner is purely determined by the location of the fence in relation to the property line.

Who Covers the Cost of a New Fence?

A recurring topic posed by homeowners is who pays for the construction of a new fence between two homes. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this subject since it relies on your relationship with your neighbor as well as who owns the fence in terms of the property boundary.

Consider dividing the expense of a new fence if you utilize the fence together and have a nice connection. This is a popular strategy to save money on something that will benefit you both. If your neighbor agrees that the fence needs to be repaired, he or she will most likely pay their fair amount without complaint.

However, not every area has pleasant neighbors who are prepared to pay for their portion of the fence. Your neighbor is under no duty to pay for a new fence if it is on your side of the property line. Even though they might benefit from a modern fence, they have no need to pay for one.

If you decide to construct a new fence with your own money, you must be willing to pay for its upkeep in the future. Maintenance and upkeep aren’t your neighbor’s obligation, just as a new fence isn’t.

What if My Neighbor Doesn’t Keep the Fence in Good Repair?


Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about an unattractive fence from a legal standpoint. You may be trapped with an ugly yard for the time being if your neighbor neglects the fence and refuses to do regular upkeep. 

Of course, you may always talk with your neighbor directly about your worries, but we urge exercising care in the case that your neighbor isn’t the pleasant sort.

Your replies to the following questions, according to MMC Fencing & Railing, may assist persuade a neighbor to start maintaining their fence: 

  • Is the fence built in accordance with municipal and Homeowners Association regulations?
  • Is the barrier a threat to your safety?
  • Will the presence of this fence depreciate your home’s value?

We suggest that you take action if you replied “yes” to any of the following questions. You may raise your issues about your neighbor’s fence’s safety and attractiveness with your Homeowners Association or City Hall. Even if your neighbor isn’t obligated to do anything, it’s a step in the right direction.

If your neighbor’s fence does not fall under one of the above criteria, try erecting your own or growing bushes to conceal the unsightly aspect. However, if you can just let it go, it can be simpler in the end!

As a renter, is I allowed to make changes to a fence?

None of the preceding information applies to you if you are renting a home. It makes no difference whether the fence is on your side of the property line since the property does not belong to you; it simply implies it belongs to your landlord. 

If you believe the fence is broken and needs to be repaired, or if your neighbor is not keeping up with the upkeep, speak with your landlord. They ought to be able to help you.

Last Thoughts

Finally, if you’re attempting to find out whether a fence belongs to you, look at where it crosses the property boundary; this will tell you if the fence is yours, your neighbor’s, or shared responsibility. 

“Good fences make good neighbors,” as Robert Frost famously stated. However, there are instances when you must take things concerning a fence into your own hands. Remember to always consult your neighbor before making any modifications!

If you’re considering of replacing your fence now that you know which side belongs to you, make sure to check out which style of fence will survive the longest here. Also, if you want to know what the legal fence height between neighbors is, we can discuss that.


A “shared fence” is a fence that is shared by two or more neighbors. It can be either a shared gate, where the gate is owned by one neighbor and you share access to it, or a shared wall, which means there are no gates on either side of the property line. Reference: what is considered a shared fence.

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