Affidavits Required by Ohio’s New Line Fence Law

(Published/Edited with Permission from Chicago Title Cleveland)

On September 30, 2008, the State of Ohio enacted a new "line fence law". This new law, also known as the "partition fence law" refers in several places to affidavits (formal, sworn statements of fact) that certain rural landowners must file in order to establish certain legal rights provided by the legislation. These affidavits help determine who is responsible for the costs of building and maintaining a line fence. As with any filing, timing can be an issue. There are several statutory deadlines the rural landowner must meet.

For example, pursuant to O.R.C. 971.05 (re-produced below), a landowner may file an affidavit that establishes that a fence line has existed on a property division line within two years prior to filing the affidavit. In this instance, the landowner must file the affidavit by September 30, 2009. Timely filing the affidavit would ensure that the property owners on each side of the property line would be required to share in the cost of a replacement fence vs. one property owner being saddled with 100% of the cost.

Pursuant to O.R.C. 971.06, a landowner who wishes to establish that a line fence existed on a property line, but has subsequently been removed, must file an affidavit to that effect within one year of removal. Failure of the landowner who wishes to remove a line fence to (i) file the affidavit, and (ii) send a 28 day advance notice to adjoining landowners expressing his/her intent to remove the fence, will result in such landowner being responsible for 100% of the cost of fence replacement.

O.R.C. 971.05 Affidavit Concerning Previous Partition Fence
(A) If there is evidence that a partition fence previously existed between the adjoining properties of two owners, one of the owners, or both, may file an affidavit with the applicable county recorder to be placed in the partition fence record established under section 971.15 of the Revised Code stating that a partition fence existed between the adjoining properties within two years prior to the filing of the affidavit. The affidavit also shall specify the location of the properties and that the fence has been removed and not replaced. The affidavit shall be filed no later than one year after the effective date of this section.

(B) If an affidavit is filed under this section, section 971.06 of the Revised Code applies.

(C) If an affidavit is not filed under this section, section 971.07 of the Revised Code applies.

Effective Date: 2008 HB 323 09-30-2008

For more in depth information on this law, click on the following link:

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