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My neighbour is refusing to straighten up the boundary line between our two properties - can I force him to do this?

Miami, FL |

I left it as it was for the past 20 years as it was on the side access to my property but now it is on the main entrance to my property as I have converted my property. The new path is about 18 inches shorter in width from the middle of the boundary fence to the front of the property. He is flatly refusing to lose part of the 18 inch space between the side of his property and our boundary fence which is his but which I had to pay for when replacing the broken panels. I am having new furniture delivered in May but the space is not wide enough to get the furniture through and he has said I can take the panels down but not move the boundary line back to straight.

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Attorney answers 5


These disputes can get complicated, and have a number of issues involved. If you left it alone for twenty years, that could be a problem. When was the last survey? Can you not access your property at all based on what he is saying is the new line? You need to visit a real estate attorney and go over all the facts to make a decision about what to do.

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You may have lost your rights to this strip of land by not correcting the problem long ago. Consult with a real estate lawyer to check if you are still able to save your property.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at


The boundary line is not necessarily determined by where the fence is located. If you have not done so, you should have the property surveyed. When the survey is complete, you should have it reviewed by an experienced real estate lawyer in your area. Your lawyer can advise you on the best way to proceed.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.


Unless your neighbor has taken steps to adverse possession of this strip of land, you should have the property surveyed and then take it from there. Hire a good real estate attorney to review the survey and determine the appropriate course of action.

Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.


I agree with everyone else, but your question is a bit vague and confusing. If the 18" are under your title, then it's your land. I believe you can still bring an ejectment and quiet title action to recover the 18". However, give the consent, implied or actual as to the placement of the fence, I can see a judge ordering you to replace a fence on the boundary at your cost (usually w/in 6" of the boundary for safety) if 12 is enough, otherwise if you actually need the whole 18" that necessity might either win it for you, or with your neighbor's consent I can see the judge making you put the fence up at your cost just inside his boundary. BAD FENCES MAKE MAD NEIGHBORS.

The law is complicated and although the facts expressed may seem to be all that is relevant, there may be many other important facts to consider. Also, the law is constantly undergoing change, so what may be correct today, may not be accurate tomorrow. Only a full consultation with an attorney experienced or knowledgeable in the specific legal subject matter is likely to result in the optimal course of action. My practice has entailed more than a 30 year span of many real estate, personal property, and bankruptcy issues. Find out more about me at:

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