Who Owns That Fence That Separates 2 Homes in Illinois?
Luckily, my neighbors are pretty darn cool. No need for a 7 foot fence so we aren't being spied on all day. But there are those neighbors that you want to keep at way more than an arms length away. FINDLAW
So what's the law in Illinois about the fence? Here's what I'm talking about...
There's a fence that separates you and your neighbor. It was there when you moved in, who owns it?
That's something I never gave much thought to, but what if there's an issue? What if a storm knocks part of it down? That if the neighbor kids running through backyards try to hop it, and accidentally knock out one of the pieces of wood?
Here's the legal explanation on how this is handled from FINDLAW
Illinois state law and local ordinances place the responsibility for maintenance of a boundary fence separating two properties on the owners that use the fence. Consequently, when a fence needs repair, both property owners must share the cost. - FindLAW
So if you both "use" it, you both are responsible for it. So...What if I don't think I "use" it even though it separates property, that's kind of weird.
If there is an issue with the fence and you want to contact your neighbor and say, "hey Bob it's broke, you need to fix it..." Here are steps that are recommended to mend this fence with your neighbor, ok that was bad.
- Write a letter to the neighbor explaining the problem with the fence
- Request a "fence viewer" examine the fence and make a recommendation of whether the fence needs repair or whether the amount requested for repair is reasonable
The last recommendation is to sue the neighbor, but let's try to avoid that.