What are adjoining propertyowner’s rights with regard to fences and livestock?

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What are adjoining propertyowner’s rights with regard to fences and livestock?

I have no agreements/leases with this farmer, and he decided to let his cattle graze on his property for 2 months until it gets snowy/cold, but our property is in the middle of his, and there is only a portion of our property which is somewhat fenced. Without our consent, he installed a “temporary” fence on our land so his cows will not escape, but it is well within the boundaries of our property, and now we have cows roaming on about 6 acres of our property without our consent or a lease. Can I force him to remove it and am I now responsible if his cows get out? The fence is not to up to code.

Asked on November 6, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can force him to remove the fence AND force him to keep his cattle off your property.  If the fence is on your property you can remove it.  Take pictures of the temporary fence and the cattle grazing on your property.  I would send him a letter indicating that you wish the cattle to remain fenced on HIS property, and that you intend on removing the structure that he placed on your property if he does not do so within 24 hours.  No, you are not responsible for his cattle that run a muck.  He has to keep the cattle on his land.  But may I ask: is there an easement her in the property?  How else would he access the other portion of hi land on the other side of yours?  Check your deed.  And seek help from an attorney in your area if you do not think that he will comply with your request. Good luck. 


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