Q: Who's responsible to survey property before building fences. Contractor or home owner?
My neighbor had a contractor build a fence on our property line and says it's not his fault if it's on my property. Says he did not need to survey because the contractor is licensed and bonded and can't break the law. I hired a surveyor and proved the fence is on my property and now I want him to pay for the surveyor. Under which washington state laws can I sue him?
The property owner is ultimately liable for their fence and where it was placed. They may have a claim against the contractor if the contractor was supposed to verify the boundary, but I have never seen a fence contractor take responsibility for the survey or location.
There are a lot of other factors that make a simple answer difficult though. A survey is not the final answer on where the boundary is. If the new fence replaced an old fence in the same location, for example, there is likely a question of adverse possession. Likewise, there is sometimes the possibility of getting costs and attorney's fees, but you probably would not want to file a lawsuit merely to recover half of the cost of a surveyor. I would suggest a consult with a qualified attorney who can get an idea of the fuller picture and give you options.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.