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What are my rights if a fence was built onto our property before I bought it, and can I make the neighbor tear it down or modify it?

**Adverse Possession**: Even if a neighbor builds a fence on your property, they can still claim ownership of that land if they can prove they've been using it for a certain number of years (varies by state).

**Grandfathering**: If a fence was built before local fencing laws were enacted, it can remain even if it violates current regulations.

**Property Line Disputes**: If a fence is built on your property, you can give your neighbor permission to use the land, but this permission can be revoked at any time.

**Easement**: You can give your neighbor a permanent interest in using a small part of your property, but this would require a written agreement.

**Boundary Fences**: There is no formal law requiring a boundary fence between two adjoining properties, but owners can still erect a fence if they wish.

**Cost-Sharing**: When a fence is built on a property line, both property owners are usually responsible for the cost of installation and maintenance, unless they agree otherwise.

**Notice and Demand**: If you discover a fence on your property, you can send a notice to your neighbor demanding that they remove or modify the fence.

**Local Zoning Laws**: Check your local zoning laws to see if the fence violates any regulations, which could be grounds for its removal.

**Survey and Markings**: If you're unsure about the property line, hire a surveyor to mark the boundaries, which can help resolve disputes.

**Mediation and Litigation**: If negotiations fail, you may need to pursue mediation or litigation to resolve the issue.

**Property Deed**: Check your property deed to see if there are any encumbrances or restrictions that could affect your rights.

**Neighborly Relations**: Try to maintain good relations with your neighbor, as resolving the issue amicably can be less costly and time-consuming than going to court.

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