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Question DetailsAsked on 10/9/2016

I just put up a vinyl fence is my neighbor allowed to plant against it? They have dirt pushed about 8 inches up it.

They have 8 inches of dirt pushed up against my fence. I'm worried about damage!

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1 Answer


Assuming the posts are adequately deep so they don't tilt, 8 inches of dirt would not normally hurt a commercial vinyl fence of normal manufacture - that height really puts a pretty minimal lateral load on the fence (probably about 10-20#/LF), though some really light weight picket types and such might bow under the load. Fences of that type commonly take about a foot of dirt against one side before you start seeing distress.

Normally the complaint with fences with dirt against them is rotting or termite damage of wood boards, or the dirt being on the "bad" side of the fence so it is pushing the boards off their nails or screws into the frame.

If this fence is right on the property line (so a shared ownership fence), you have joint responsibilitiy for it and should discuss your concerns with your neighbor, but absent visible damage occurring not much you can do about it.

If fence is on your side of the line but tight to it, technically his dirt cannot cross the line but from a legal and practical standpoint again not much chance of winning a case, because minor slumping of dirt or a slope at a properly line is generally not considered a "trespass".

If this fence is a bit on your side of the line, then his dirt is "trespassing" and you can demand it be removed - or remove it to the property line (assuming you know exactly where that is) yourself.

I would nicely express your concern and either ask them to remove it, or (if on your side of the line) offer to remove it yourself - just be sure you do not go over the line and give THEM cause to scream traspass - you do not want a neighborhood Youtube incident or a Hatfield and McCoy situation to develop. It is quite likely they did not think anything of it - or thought - Oh look - a nice back board for our planter and did not consider the possibility of it bowing or tilting the tence.

Solution, if they ask and you want it removed but fence is on the line - putting a railroad tie or couple of tiers of landscaping blocks along and just shy of the fence, using those as the back support for the planter.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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