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Fort Lauderdale area Broward County
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:47 PM
112 posts, read 393,862 times
Reputation: 47


Just wondering...how does this work? We planted some very small young arecas aslmost 2 years ago along the fence line on our property. They are now wayyy tall and thick and provide complete privacy. Neighbor got a horse (boarder, so it is a business/money maker...not sure if that matters but want to provide all facts) and in a matter of 2 days the arecas are thinned out and shortened.

Is he responsible to provide protection for our plants? It wouldn't be a big deal for us to build a 6 ft fence with some sort of wire mesh between the boards, but the permitting process in Plantation is ridiculous.

If the answer is no...if it is indeed our responsibilty...what if we had planted something that was toxic to horses, say avocado, or hibiscus. I am amazed at how many seemingly innocent plants are possibly toxic to horses! Then who is rersponsible?

whatever the answer is...is this a general, common sense property rights law? is it county or city specific? Is there a site online you can provide a link to? thanks!
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:52 AM
Location: Ft Lauderdale
351 posts, read 1,072,941 times
Reputation: 108
General property law applies. It goes without saying that if the horse is stretching across the property line to eat your plants, the neighbors are responsible to replace them. If your plants encroach over on to their property , (the horse isn't crossing the line to get to them), then I don't think you would have a claim. Have you tried communicating with your neighbor?
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:25 AM
112 posts, read 393,862 times
Reputation: 47
Oh yes! See, my husband built a fence to protect the arecas...and she called code enforcement on us! Turns out we needed a permit. The CE officer was very very nice, but now we will have to pay double the permit fee as punishment, plus we have to put posts every 4 feet instead of the 8 ft separation we have now..plus we have to remove the posts and pour concrete. This is a VERY small section of our fenceline. I am guessing about 20 feet in length. She has her 4 foot fence on her side that runs the length of our property line. We just wanted this one section fenced at 6 ft high, to protect the palms from the horses, so we built this section with wood and mesh. Looks identical to her fence, just higher, and newer.

So, we were wondering if we simply remove the fence (since she called CE on us) and let the horses eat the arecas and then I guess we would have to take her to court, correct? We planted the arecas almost 3 years ago, they have grown so much and we would hate to lose our privacy, just to prove a point.

Yes, the horse reaches OVER the fence and eats the arecas down to stubs. He doesn't even really eat all of them, he just plays with them and leaves a lot of the fronds laying around, but he does eat some of them. Not all horses seem to bother them, just this one particular, new horse. That's why we had to act fast or else the arecas would be totally gone. In only a day we noticed a few of the arecas down to stubs, and we saw the horse with his head over the fence (and we took pictures.) If we didn't build the fence quickly, all the arecas would be gone, I am sure.

Ironically, when the CE officer was out, she cited the neighbor for her fence and rotting posts. I swear on all that is holy, we did not even say anything to the CE officer...I did not really even know her posts were rotted, I just knew her fence looked shabby. I am sure she thinks we called CE on her for her fence, but we really did not!

When we moved into this house 3 years ago, we were told by neighbors to be wary of her, that she calls code enforcement about everything. I thought we were "safe" because I have taken her to doctor appointments, fed the horses and cleaned the stalls when she was out of town (for free...trying to be neighborly, even though these are NOT her personal horses, these are boarders she makes money off of) so i will say, my feelings are a bit hurt!
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