1. For a fence that already exists, property owners on both sides of the fence share the cost of upkeep in an equitable, not equal, manner. If there is a dispute as to what is equitable, township trustees and courts assign what is equitable using guidelines set by the law.
2. If a landowner needs and builds a completely new fence, they are 100 percent responsible for the cost and should file an affidavit with the county recorder to note what was spent to build the fence. If a neighbor who didn’t pay for the construction of the fence takes advantage of the fence line by placing livestock against it in the next 30 years, they must pay a portion of the cost.
3. Landowners are always free to make an alternative written agreement between themselves regarding shares of care, maintenance and upkeep. Alternative agreements should be filed with the county recorder.
4. Line fence law allows a property owner a 10-foot leeway onto neighboring property to build or maintain a new fence when the adjoining property owner does not share in the cost.
5. Owners of a line fence who plan to remove it must give 28 days notice to the adjoining property owner. If a fence is removed without the notice, the person removing the fence forfeits any reimbursement for construction and maintenance of any new fence.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact your county Farm Bureau if you would like an informational brochure on line fence law.
*County Farm Bureaus can only provide information and resources about the current law. They cannot settle disputes.