Do you own land but don’t have access to it? Perhaps someone else owns it and you only have the right to walk along a specific path or drive down a certain driveway. You can think of an easement as the legal right for another person or entity to use your property in a specific way. They might drive over your driveway, for example, and that’s because they have an easement. This article explores whether or not you can build a fence on an easement. If you need to know more about accessing your property, we recommend reading our article
Can You Build A Fence On An Easement?
The answer is yes, you can build a fence on an easement. However, there are certain requirements that must be met in order for this to be legal. A fence must be built with studs and posts that are spaced at least eight feet apart. This spacing must be maintained for the entire length of the fence. The fence must also have a minimum height of eight feet from the ground and a minimum of one foot on all sides. Fences less than four feet high are generally not permitted on easements unless they are specifically approved by the county or city officials where the easement is located.
What Is An Easement?
An easement is a right to use someone else’s land. For example, if you own a house, but the garden is on an adjacent property, you might have an easement to use that garden. The owner of the garden would retain ownership of the land, but you would have the right to use it. You could use it, for example, to grow vegetables or herbs. You also might have the right to park a car there.
Fences And Easements Are Connected
- Easement laws are usually set by state law.
- Fences can be used to keep other people out of your property, or they can be used to keep animals or other things out of your yard. For example, you might need a fence to keep pets in your backyard, or you might have a fence to keep trash cans from being stolen.
- Fences are often used as boundaries between different types of property. For example, a fence could divide an area with commercial property from one with residential property.
- Fences can also be used to mark the boundary between different types of land uses (such as commercial and residential).
- Fences are sometimes used as dividers between different kinds of roads (such as highways and city streets).
- Fences are often built around private properties so that people know where the boundary begins and ends for their own houses and other buildings on their own land (for example, around a swimming pool).
- In many cases, you’re allowed to build something on top of an existing fence if it’s not already there (for example, if you have purchased an existing house that has a fence around it).
- Sometimes fences can be built on public land if the public has been asked for permission by the owner of the land (for example, in front of government buildings or military bases).
- Some landowners might allow another person to build an easement on their land for various reasons, including so that the owner of the easement can build something on top of it.
- Easements are often used to provide access to an area that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach (for example, a ladder to get into a treehouse).
Possible Solutions To Build A Fence On An Easement
- Build the fence on your own land. Yes, it’s illegal to do this. But it’s also a good solution if you just need a small fence or if you don’t want to pay for an easement. You can build a very small fence and then cover it up with landscaping materials or other objects. You could also put it on top of the existing fence so that it looks like part of the original structure (although this is not recommended). Or you could remove everything from the easement and then build a small structure on top of that area. Whatever you do, make sure that your fence does not violate any laws or city ordinances regarding fences or building structures in public areas.
- Ask permission from the owner of the property where you want to build your fence. This is usually not possible because most owners don’t want fences in their yards and don’t mind if someone illegally builds one there anyway. But there might be some owners who would allow fences on their land if they knew they were legal and safe to use (for example, they are close to a road that people drive on). If this is what you need, ask them first before proceeding with construction plans.
- Ask permission from the city where your property is located or from local authorities such as county officials or police officers who patrol the area regularly (such as at night). Again, this usually isn’t possible because most authorities don’t want fences in their jurisdictions. But if you can get permission from the city or from local authorities, you can build your fence without violating any laws.
- Build your fence on another person’s property and then ask permission to build on your own land. You would need to work out a legal arrangement with the owner of the property where you want to put your fence and the owner of the land where you want to put it (because they are both in different cities). The arrangement could be that you pay a fee for using their property and agree not to build on yours. Or it could be that they allow you to build, but only if you also allow them to use your land for something else in exchange. You would need an agreement with both owners because each is responsible for any violations of law that occur there. It’s a good idea for you and the other person(s) involved in this type of arrangement to meet with an attorney before proceeding with any plans for construction or improvements at either location.
- Build a small fence on another person’s property and then ask permission from them (or their agent) later on to expand it into a larger structure. You would just have someone else do it for you under agreement with the other person who owns the land where it will be built.
An easement is the right of another person or entity to use your property. That might mean using your driveway, for example, to drive over it. You can’t build on someone else’s easement without their permission. There are, however, some possible solutions to this problem. You could rent a garage or storage space near the property where you want to build. You could also buy the land and own both pieces of land. Make sure not to break any rules while building on an easement, or you might be fined.