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How Far From the Property Line Can I Build a Fence in Wisconsin?

Many homeowners want to erect a fence on their property. Whether to protect their home, provide a safe area for their children or pets, or simply give privacy, a fence is a popular addition to a home. At the same time, you need to follow the applicable laws and try to prevent disagreements with your neighbors. Boundary line disputes are among the most common real estate controversies.

What is the Property Line?

Boundary lines, also called property lines or lot lines, are the edges or borders of your property. A property line is an invisible line that designates the area of property that belongs to you. You likely share a property line with neighbors on at least one or two sides. If you are considering building a fence, you will need to know the laws that dictate how far from the property line it can be erected. Your property deed provides details regarding the boundary lines so you know exactly which portion of the property belongs to you.

How Do I Determine the Location of the Property Line?

Before you can build a fence or any other structure on your property, you will need to verify the property lines. The best way to do this is by obtaining a property survey. If you recently purchased your property, you may have a current survey that will be sufficient. In most circumstances, however, you will need to get a new survey completed. It is important to note that if a person builds a fence and the property line is later found to be incorrect, the person who built the fence is responsible for moving it.

How Far From the Property Line Can I Build a Fence?

Generally, you may place a fence on your property at any distance from the lot line. This means that the fence is set back a distance from the actual property line. In some cases, you may prefer not to lose any part of your lot to a fence. If so, you may want to build a fence directly on the property line. When a fence is to be built between your property and another person’s property, you may place it on the property line only when you have permission from the other party. In these instances, both property owners are equally responsible for maintaining the fence.

Local Fence Regulations

Municipalities have their own regulations and guidelines regarding property fences. It is best to check with your local town or county to determine the requirements for building a fence on your property. You may require a permit before you may begin construction. In addition, you will likely need to provide a survey or proof of the property lines before you can erect a fence. There may be specific requirements for fence height and materials, as well as details about where you can build a fence on your property.

An attorney will assist you through the legal process and will help you if you get into a dispute with a neighbor or municipality regarding your fence. Call us today at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or email us to schedule a consultation.

Published March 11, 2024
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