Replacing fences between neighbors
Because of fences between neighbors, some questions can raise related to ownership and responsibility. When it comes to the maintenance of the fence, the rules are different from one county to another. In some private communities, there can be additional laws regarding the restrictions for the upkeep and replacement of the fence.
When you purchase your materials, you have to check if they respect the local codes and laws. If a new material is adopted, it should respect the same requirements as the old one. When some point in time you intend to replace the fence with the same material, you should check again the laws because they may have changed. For example, you can find yourself in a situation where the residential area in which you live prohibits the use of barbed wire, railroads ties or even similar materials. Another restriction can be that you are not allowed to use any type of material which is not specifically designed for fence construction.
There are areas where you need an application, together with a permission to replace your old fence. For example, in specific areas you need a permit if you intend to replace more than 50% of a fence structure in an interval of twelve-month period. The same thing is required if you want to make some changes to the foundation or footers of the fence.
You may find areas where you need, for example, to place the fence on your own property and not on the property line. This way, everybody will know who is responsible for the maintenance or replacement of the fence. In different states, the fences must be soundly built, clean and free of rot or decay or even maintained to have an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
About 50% rules
When the fence is running directly along the property line, the neighbors may share the responsibility of maintenance and replacement. There are areas with laws that require for the landowners to erect fencing along their own property lines. Each neighbor will have his own part of the responsibility and will take care of the right half of the fencing. This rule may not apply in case the neighbors come up with different rules that they agree in writing.