Property Line and Fence Laws in Oregon

Having a good relationship with your neighbor can add to the ease and comfort of living in your neighborhood. However, when there's tension between neighbors, it can be extremely stressful. Although neighbors can disagree about various things, property line and fence laws are usually a major area of dispute. It's preferable that neighbors come to a mutual understanding when disputes occur but, regrettably, that's not always possible. Thankfully residents can refer to Oregon's state laws for direction.

Property Line and Fence Laws in Oregon: Major Issues

One major issue that arises between neighbors in fence disputes is whether both parties are equally responsible for the costs of maintaining and repairing a fence that is located on the property line between the adjoining properties. In Oregon, adjoining property owners for the partition fence must equally share the expenses of constructing, maintaining, and repairing the fence.

Another issue might be the exact location of the property line. If this is in doubt, then you may have to conduct a survey to determine where your property actually ends. This is significant information because it can impact where the fence should be located as well as ownership of the fence itself. The law states that when there is a good faith mistake in building a fence on an individual's property, that the owner who made the mistake must remove the fence within a year of the discovery of the mistake.

Oregon Property Line and Tree Laws

Tree trimming and the placement of trees on the property line can also trigger disputes with neighbors. Trimming trees up to the boundary line is usually considered an acceptable practice, but the law favors it when you obtain your neighbor's permission ahead of time. You should also consult with local ordinances since the laws may vary throughout the state. If a neighbor deliberately damages or injures your tree, then you may be able to sue them for three times the damages done to your tree.

Oregon Property Line and Fence Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of state laws related to property line and fence laws in Oregon, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

Partition Fences: Shared Expenses

 

  • Adjoining owners are responsible for shared expenses for partition fences.
  • When the adjoining owners do not agree about the construction of the fence, the party that wants the fence may sue the other party for half of the actual construction and maintenance costs.

Partition Fences: Removal

  • When a person builds a fence by mistake and in good faith, they must remove the fence within one year of the discovery of the mistake.
  • The owner/occupant of the property where the fence has been built by mistake must not bother the fence during the time period when the other owner/occupant is authorized to remove the fence.

Tree Damage

  • If a person willfully injures an owner's tree, that person is liable to the owner for triple the amount of damages.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources for Property Line and Fence Laws in Oregon

Have a Property Line Dispute? A Local Real Estate Attorney Can Help

When you can't agree with your neighbor about the repair costs for a shared fence or you have other property line conflicts, then you need to protect your property and your peace of mind. Before you take your next step, consider speaking with a qualified real estate attorney near you to learn about your legal options.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.