What Are the Rules About Putting a Fence on an Easement?

The main rule of thumb for homeowners to follow when there is an easement on the property line is to avoid building anything, including fences, on said easements. Building a fence on an easement is risky, because the property owner may be ordered to take it down, or find it destroyed by a public utility that has easement access to the property.

The dominating rule regarding easement agreements in real estate titles is that the easement holder has rights to use portions of a property without the property owner’s permission. A neighbor with easement rights to access part of a yard can rightfully demand a dividing fence be removed. Utility companies with easement rights can also tear down a fence to perform maintenance repairs. Utility easements can be above or below ground, and these are usually electrical power lines, gas lines and telephone lines.

A utility company might choose to rebuild a destroyed fence, but property owners should speak with a company representative to find out how it handles fences obstructing its path. Instead of a fence, property owners can create a natural barrier using bushes. Any type of shallow-rooted shrubbery planted on an easement is preferable to a permanent structure such as a fence, or big obstacle such as a tree.