Aurora, CO asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado

Q: How to replace a boundary fence without neighbors permission in Colorado

We live in an HOA and have houses to our right and left that share fences. The fences were built almost 30 years ago when the development was built and they are now rotting away, as well as the bottom of the 4x4 posts. This has caused the fence to lean to one side (theirs) and one section is about to fall over with a good wind. We have an extremely contentious relationship with them and when we initially mentioned needed to replace the fence they ignored it. They do not maintain their backyard and have also built a garden up against one portion of the fence, so even if we replaced the fence in our own, that would need to be displaced. The previous owner, they bought the house almost 2 years ago, laid a cement porch down and the cement comes right up to the fence as well with no room to remove the posts that have cement bottoms without coming up against the cement. They would also refuse to allow builders on their property side either. What are our options? HOA won’t help.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ben Volpe
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  • Parker, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: I'd double check all the HOA governing documents that speak to fences. If it is up to your neighbor and you to maintain, repair, and replace the fence as a shared fence, you will have to try to work with them. This can be difficult with contentious neighbors. No matter what you do, there's a good chance you will be sued in a fence/boundary dispute or you will sue your neighbor. So, consider whether doing a fence replacement without permission could end up in a huge financial loss to you if it is disputed and ends up in litigation anyway. Another thing to consider is adverse possession and acquiescence. You'll want to think about boundaries and whether there has been acquiescence as to a new boundary and who actually owns what. You might be well-served to hire legal counsel to negotiate with your neighbor on your behalf and work towards a resolution.

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