Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances [Effective October 1, 2019]
5/29/2020

Article 6. Division Fences.

§ 55.1-2821. (Effective October 1, 2019) Obligation to provide division fences.

Adjoining landowners shall build and maintain, at their joint and equal expense, division fences between their lands, unless one of them chooses to let his land lie open or unless they agree otherwise.

Code 1950, § 8-887; 1970, c. 713; 1977, c. 624, § 55-317; 2005, c. 873; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2822. (Effective October 1, 2019) When no division fence has been built.

If no division fence has been built, either one of the adjoining landowners may give notice in writing of his desire and intention to build such fence to the landowner of the adjoining land, or to his agent, and require him to build his half of such fence. The landowner so notified may, within 10 days after receiving such notice, give notice in writing to the person so desiring to build such fence, or to his agent, of his intention to let his land lie open. If the landowner giving the original notice subsequently builds such division fence and the landowner who has so chosen to let his land lie open, or his successors in title, subsequently encloses his land, he, or his successors, shall be liable to the landowner who built such fence, or to his successors in title, for one-half of the value of such fence at the time such land was so enclosed, and such fence shall thereafter be deemed a division fence between such lands.

If, however, the person so notified fails to give notice of his intention to let his land lie open, and fails to agree, within 30 days after being so notified, to build his half of such fence, he shall be liable to the person who builds the fence for one-half of the expense, and such fence shall thereafter be deemed a division fence between such lands.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no successor in title shall be liable for any amount prior to the recordation and proper recordation of the notice in the clerk's office of the county in which the land is located.

Code 1950, § 8-888; 1977, c. 624, § 55-318; 1985, c. 486; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2823. (Effective October 1, 2019) When division fence already built.

When any fence (i) that has been built and used by adjoining landowners as a division fence, or any fence that has been built by one landowner and the other landowner is afterwards required to pay half of the value or expense of such fence under the provisions contained in this article, and (ii) that has thereby become a division fence between such lands, becomes out of repair to the extent that it is no longer a lawful fence, either one of such adjoining landowners may give written notice to the other, or to his agent, of his desire and intention to repair such fence and require him to repair his half of such fence. If the landowner receiving written notice fails to repair his half within 30 days after being so notified, the one giving such notice may then repair the entire fence so as to make it a lawful fence, and the other shall be liable to him for one-half of the expense of such repairs.

Code 1950, § 8-889; 1977, c. 624, § 55-319; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2824. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recovery of amount due in connection with division fence.

Any sum that may be due and payable by one adjoining landowner to another in pursuance of any of the provisions of §§ 55.1-2822 and 55.1-2823 may be recovered by action or warrant in debt, according to the jurisdictional amount.

Code 1950, § 8-890; 1977, c. 624, § 55-320; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2825. (Effective October 1, 2019) Requirements for agreement to bind successors in title; subsequent owners.

No agreement made between adjoining landowners, with respect to the construction or maintenance of the division fence between their lands, shall be binding on their successors in title unless it (i) is in writing and specifically so state, (ii) is recorded in the deed book in the clerk's office of the county in which the land is located, and (iii) is properly indexed as deeds are required by law to be indexed.

If any notice, as required by § 55.1-2822 or 55.1-2823 is recorded in the deed book in the clerk's office of the county in which the land is located and is properly indexed as deeds are required by law to be indexed, then any subsequent owners of such land shall be liable for any sum that may be due pursuant to § 55.1-2824.

Code 1950, § 8-891; 1977, c. 624, § 55-321; 1985, c. 486; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-2826. (Effective October 1, 2019) How notice given.

Any notice required to be given pursuant to this article shall be given to the landowner, if he resides in the county in which the land lies; otherwise, it may be given to such person as, under the laws of the Commonwealth, would be his agent or to any person occupying such land as tenant of the landowner, who shall, for the purposes of this article, be deemed the agent of such landowner.

Code 1950, § 8-892; 1977, c. 624, § 55-322; 2019, c. 712.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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