Is Your Fence Too Close to the Property Line?

Check with the New Jersey (NJ) Laws on property lines and fences to know about your rights and legal provisions.

Living in the Garden State, the thought of having a private outdoor space would have certainly occurred at some point. Overgrown tree branches, unwelcomed visits from the stray and wild animals and intruders are reason enough for installing fences around the property line in NJ. But before making the move, it’s better to be aware of the state laws on property lines and fences to boundary homes to avoid conflicts with the neighbors or run into some legal trouble.

The first question that most homeowners need to ask is how close the fences should be to the property line. Because there are possibilities of mishaps that lead to building fences beyond the property line, onto the neighboring land. In the legal sense, this is called trespassing which can have serious consequences.

There can also be instances of adverse possession wherein, a homeowner who built the fence a feet outside the actual property space illegally claims for its ownership. The laws ruling adverse possession varies across states in the U.S. Homeowners or fence companies in South Jersey, therefore, must to comply with the county or city regulations, local zoning and community laws for laying out fences even if they are within the property line.   

Therefore, to ease your confusions and avoid regrets, below are some of the steps to follow before installing fences:

  • Confirm the actual positioning of your fence through a survey.
  • Refer laws and jurisdictions on fences to confirm how far it must be laid beyond the property line. Generally, the rules prescribe that fences should be kept at least between 2 to 8 inches away from the line. This number depends on the location and its population density.
  • In case of properties having cattle and domestic animals like horses and cattle inside the premises, the laws also have provisions on the fence material and its height above the ground level. This is to ensure the animals do not escape from premises and encroach on neighboring property. As per the law, boundary fences must be made of strong material and minimum 4 feet and 2 inches high.

In case the fences are laid out exactly on the boundaries then the law suggests that burden and responsibility of its building and maintenance should be equally by both parties. The law also prohibits the use of barbed wires or wire fences for agricultural land or property with cattle and domestic animals unless both property owners provide their consent.

There are multiple laws and rules that govern a home owner’s fencing decisions. It is best to seek consultation regarding the legal matter and rules about fence laws in NJ.

Alenco is leading distributor and provider of fencing services. If you have more queries about fencing and fence supply in NJ, our experts would be more than glad to walk you through the process. Visit our site for more information.

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