The court can do one of three things: Order removal. Observe boundaries: Don't risk having to tear down that fence by going even one inch over your property line. They will help you accurately identify the property lines. "This book from Nolo is updated to include the latest procedures for small claims courts in every state. That neighbor has since moved and a new owner bought the house as a rental property. I am not quite sure I fully understand your question. If you are not satisfied with the final product or it isnt what you had agreed upon prior to it being built, then you should not pay! What then if the neighbor will not pay half of the fence? I want to replace our fence and sent multiple notices to our neighbor south of us. If they say no then the fence building homeowner is normally obliged to build it on their own side of the property line, at their cost. I had contacted my neighbor twice that we need to get the fence fix. There is a brick wall between me and my neighbor. That or they will have to take it to small claims court where you will then be able to plead your side and hopefully you have kept pictures, notes, correspondence between you and neighbor as all this will be very important to your court case. No! While height limits vary from state to state, the general height limit is 4 feet for front fences and 6 feet for rear fences. If he continues to do so anyway, call the cops. Texas does not have a specific state law that addresses boundary line fences. My neighbor has informed me he's going to hire a company to fix the fence and then send me a bill for half the cost. Generally speaking, if a fence or retaining wall is on your neighbour's side of the property line, then they're responsible for paying for it. You should contact your insurance provider and file a claim. Best to have a survey done. I contracted with a contractor to do the job this month and let the brother know 2 months ago I did this because he never responded with a quote and I can finance the fence with the contractor and the homeowner is not responding. If your neighbor refuses to pay for his share then you could do any of the following: Put it in writing - send him a well written letter describing the issue. Yes, you can paint your side of the fence because you own part of the fence. Most HOAs have rules and regulations governing fence erection and erecting a fence that blocks light into a home is against the rules, they can force the neighbor to remove the fence. A mediator will help you two to reach an agreement. Also, it would be good to know for the future in case it happens again. I enjoy what I see, therefore Ive decided to follow you. A 2007 article from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center discussing the use of boundary agreements, both through formal and informal means. I sent a link to a fence I had received an estimate on: This fence was panels with lattice on top from Lowes to replace the falling down fence that was not panels but simply boards but would match the rest of the shared fence. Family Handyman. She is still refusing to do her part. They told me that as long as I dont pay then Im not allowed to touch their wall at all and they were going to take me to small claims for them to collect what I owed them. And after you are done, you can write a demand letter to your neighbor requiring that they reimburse you their share of the costs. Use this free tool to get in touch with a local fence expert, maintenance of a fence between two properties, Corrugated Metal Fence vs Wood Fence: Comparison, How Many Fence Posts Need for 1 Acre Of Farm Field Fencing, How Many 8-Foot Sections of Fence To Enclose A 1-acre Lot. In many states, fencing laws require the neighbor to pay the other owner one-half of the fence's value. I asked a contractor how much to tear down my older wooden fence. I am very concerned the wall could fall. The fence does not enclose their front yard but is still a neighboring fence. Is this situation an exception? Note that I dont believe good neighbor fence laws cover someone wanting to upgrade or replace for the heck of it. In cases where there is a property deed that stipulates whose responsibility it is to set up and maintain a fence, then that party will be the one to take care of all the costs of the fence. Contact your local government. Eventually, we could no longer see the fence from our side. This has been on going for 3 years. Its an aesthetic preference that she wants a brand new fence. Any time children, especially my own, sat on the fence, the homeowner would yell get off my fence. Never allowed us to consider disparate bids. 8 years ago I was worried that my dog would get injured by the new neighbors aggressive bulldog so I suggested we put up a new fence, he said sure as long as I replaced with heavy duty commercial chain link with slats (original is a leaning 42 yr old commercial chain link with broken and missing wood slats). Generally, it is required that you give your neighbors a formal notice of your intention to set up the boundary fence. This is due to the fact that the fence is not connected to another fence in your neighbors yard, therefore enclosing it. I stated I was not the owner at the time, but I was willing to pay half. It is very good you havent paid anything for it yet. My neighbor fence between the driveways in California needs to be replaced from wind damage last December. Who has to pay to replace it? I dont think I see this covered: I share a fence with a neighbor, and they have six 2-story-tall trees (overgrown weeds, really) growing tightly next to each other, just on their side of the fence. one side is finished and the other isnt), then the less-attractive side should face your property. He charge me $80 that I paid him because I am tired of being harrassed. If you have ever sat through a small claims court session you undoubtedly saw at least one litigant going after a neighbor to pay for half of a fence. If the failure is due to encroachment by my neighbors trees, should they bear the full cost? My fence completely encloses my back garden and is a corner lot. To do this, the repair must be completed and paid for prior to the lawsuit. Our backyard back fence ( about 100 feet long) had a wooden fence built on our property. My neighbor just put up a new fence. Are you trying to say the fence will be in the front yard and therefore is not necessary or does it extend from the backyard all the way through to the front. If you do go onto a neighbor's property or harm the tree, you could be liable for double or triple the value of the tree! Often times this gesture will include the neighbor having some input into the fences design. Also, if one neighbor isnt using the fence according to the law then they dont have to contribute to paying the cost of the fence. Additionally, Neighbor B is responsible for maintaining the fence (and yard that leads up to the fence) on his or her side. Anyway, can they sue me for 1/2 the cost of this ? I have a neighbor that replaced my fence on one side. In that case, if a neighbor builds a fence, the fenceless owner doesn't have the pay for it. An informal approach, explaining the need for a fence and seeking your neighbors opinion on what is needed, has a better chance of yielding positive results and less resistance. Does it? I have 2 concerns, would we need to pay for the sections that dont enclose our backyard? This can result in the inconvenience of having to remove the fence and start afresh. No, if neither neighbor wants the fence, there doesn't need to be one. The other 5 are only occupied on weekends in the summer. Next door landlord(just purchased the land) approach me daughter of owner of the house & ask to sloppy cost on shared fence that was very water damaged. Can I build a fence on my side of the property line? I told them they need to trim back their trees and shrubs and that I would be getting estimates to repair the fence and take them to small claims court. This type of question has not been answered since the fence had NOT fallen over and was being maintained but was just not as pretty or strong as when new and so was replaced. What happens if the Neighbour refuses to pay for a fence? How Long Can Someone Leave Their Belongings On Your Property? The fence needs to replace much of it because of the poor maintenance on my neighbors side. You should obtain 2 or 3 estimates from fencing contractors for the cost to repair or replace, send them along with a letter to the neighbor . This means he has direct line of sight into my entire front yard, and we can walk into each others side yards if feeling entitled. Can I do half of the fence and they can do half of the fence? We need to have some stucco repair to the side of our house in that area and would like to be able to get in there periodically to weed, etc. Study your house line drawing or plat or order a new survey ($500 to $1,000) from a land surveyor to be sure of boundaries. She was under the impression that HOA would cover the cost, but after kindly explaining this isnt the case she has grown more difficult. If the existing fence is within your property, you can replace it with whatever type of fence you want and at your expense, although you should let the neighbors know of your plans in advance of replacement. Michael, thanks for the question. This applies only if the fence is currently directly on the dividing lot line. Pay for the fence and then send a legal demand upon him to pay his share. Usually in small claims if it is under the max amount in your state (usually around 10-15k). Here is what you should know about what happens if a neighbor refuses to pay for a fence. When I first moved in, he wanted to replace the current side yard fence, he played friendly for a bit, and so we split the cost 50/50. Certified letter of intent I know I cant remove the 3 foot rod iron fence because it is totally on his property but can I remove the 6 foot fence that is on my property? In summary, I WOULD NOT pay your neighbor a dime, as he not only replaced a fence that didnt need to be replaced in the first place, but he did not follow the proper steps in order to be able to collect half the costs fro0k you via the courts. The property line shows that the easement belongs to my neighbors parcel. Theres an old saying that good fences make good neighbors. Simple as that. So you are presented with the same predicament? To further answer your question as to what constitutes a valid reason to replace the fence in the first place, the fence must absolutely be beyond repair and failing. If they refuse to pay for half the costs, then Yes you can still take them to small claims court. Can she insist on a new fence and I have to pay for half? Neighbor wants to upgrade the whole new fence and pay for the whole project. And also if the fence forms part of a structure enclosing their property. I told them if we dont hear from them in 7 days to expect construction in 30 days from the response deadline. You can also let them know that their best bet at recouping some of the money would be to go after the previous owner of the house. Any advice on how to proceed or deal with this overbearing representative? Theres an easement/driveway between my backyard and my neighbors front yard. Are we under any legal obligation to pay him a penny? then more than likely a judge is going to side with you. That being said I believe if you are set on getting a vinyl fence you have two options. And if that doesnt work, they will then allocate two independent mediators to help you reach an agreement. They have the planks on their side and our side has the 2x4s. You do not want to be caught by surprise. I said great, but I would throw the neighbors a bone and, as a curtsey, pay them something. We sent the insurance coverage, licenses. State law governing stray livestock or fowl. Boundary fences, or division fences, must conform to fencing laws established by local ordinances and CC&Rs. The law places responsibility on both parties because both benefit from the fence. It is less than 30 days out should I still provide him with a notice to do the work only and not seek payment? Now the neighbor wants the planks that my husband nailed to be removed. So he got one estimate and paid the company and then demanded I pay half. How is this even possible? However, it was brought to my attention that the retaining wall the fence is on is failing and will need to be replaced before the fence can go up. The existing fence isnt bad at all. As I just stated I would be very hesitant to allow her to build the fence for two reasons. Do we have to go along with my neighbors choice because they can prove that vinyl fence is cheapest with written estimate. Seems like a stalling tactic to avoid paying for it. , 72 S.W. Having said this I do not believe what your neighbor has done is in any way illegal and I must warn you should you take this stance and they go about replacing the fence according to the steps necessary in the CA good neighbor law, then you would likely lose in court. area let me know and Ill go talk to him! A 1996 article from Texas A&M Real Estate Center discussing how misplaced fences could result in loss of land through adverse possession. If you dont approve of this my advice would be to split the cost equally in which you will probably have to agree to alternate panels or build a good neighbor fence. It just appeared one day. You do not absolutely share the cost of the fence. Hes going forward with it and we will get the framed side. If they are not deemed by the law to be using it, then they cannot be compelled to pay. The second and third reasons only apply if the fence needed to be replaced in the first place, but I will touch on them anyway. An existing dividing fence is owned by both neighbors and so seeking your neighbors permission before replacing it is generally advisable. Moving the fence might cost hundreds to a few thousand dollars, but saves you both the expense and unpleasantness of a court battle that could cost each of you many thousands. The fence did add value to the house, and the neighbor built it to be pretty on both sides. The neighbor paying (if you are not splitting the cost) would have the right to insist that the good side be pointed towards his yard. Secondly, is the fact that she is stating the material are the same costs as the labor; that would be a huge red flag for me. As for your pathetic neighbor, fix the fence like normal and put cross boards WITH 2 1/2 or 3 inch screws facing his yard. The fence has deteriorated and a section has fallen over. Today the homeowner is tearing down a portion of the fence and replacing it with no notice and said he is not replacing the whole fence as we agreed nor my gate. I am on disability and cannot afford to even split the cost really. Examples of problems could be a wall that needs repairing or who should pay to replace a fence. Our road is in desperate need of repaving. Our side of the fence with the 2x4s looks ugly and unfinished. By reading the law it seems like I dont really need his permission to build the fence due to its condition and previous incidents but Im trying to keep the peace. State of Texas | Statewide Search | Report Fraud in Texas | Texas Statutes, Site Map | Library Policies | Accessibility | Employment Opportunities, 205 West 14th Street, Austin, Texas 78701-1614. This applies to those who live in rural areas where fences are not as common and many landowners dont want to build or maintain a fence around their property. They had a 5 day notice from time of the written letter to the fence being repaired. Which has become an eyesore. Never asked for financial help. (Part 1), Texas Fence Law: Open Range.Or Not? Or can I break down the fence that only covers his backyard ( since his property line goes passed mine in the back yard) because if Im not getting paid for that extra 18-15ft can I re use the wood for a gate on my property. Once your neighbor sees that you are suing him for considerably more than half the cost of the fence that you initially requested he will likely want to pay you the initial amount immediately. State they didnt have insurance policies he wanted. Can I Tear Down My Neighbor's Fence On My Property, Neighbor Connected To My Fence Without Permission, Notice To Remove Mobile Home From Property. At the end of the day you need to approach them with the possibility that they might not contribute anything. The pool has nothing to do with it. Now there are two fences that not only a too totally different styles but heights. We saved all receipts from the hardware store. If one party refuses to cooperate, the other party can do any of the following: The definition regarding Join for Use is likely going to be a major factor in deciding who is legally responsible to pay. 1. We like the open space and look. I dont want to get taken to court over this, but my other concern is I am struggling as is, and can no way afford to give our neighbors $3,000 for a fence. This must prime you to carefully consider the property lines before erecting the fence. If you erect the fence and it encroaches into the neighbors property, they can report you. If you want to fence in your property, you can't require them to pay for half the fence. You will just have to go ahead and erect the fence. Im 21 year old I have put a little more then 1,400 in this fence (redwood) I told him 800+ was material we can go half on that. The new neighbor had a dog and wished to build a fenced-in yard, the 1st on our side of the street. I hope the business property has to clean up and replace it. In short, each owner has to pay one-half of the cost of maintaining or replacing the fence. Search for state-specific templates available for you to download and print. If it comes down to it you might need to get a restraining order against him. Your neighbor is not legally required to pay half of the fence. The other lot owners, said they want to erect a fence on the eastern boundary and for us to pay half. Your 50 percent ownership of the fence is no different. He said he could not pay half only $600. This applies to both the costs of maintaining and installing the fence. However, if for some reason one side looks better than the other (i.e. The fence boards (good side) all face our property, the framing is all on their side. Using the website, you can get 3 estimates fast by real certified experts in your area in just 2 minutes. If it is on your property and you are sure of it (please make 100% sure) then yes you can go ahead and do whatever you want with it, such as tear it down. They did not inform us and did ask for us to help pay for the fence. Agreements between neighbors can also exempt one of them from sharing the cost of a fence. You must be absolutely sure the fence is along the exact property lines to avoid disputes later. I think she should pay half. A tree located on your neighbor's property fell on the fence. You are not responsible for any of the costs whatsoever and therefore you should not pay half much less the full costs, which I have no idea how this neighbor believes this to be fair. We gave them a written letter explaining that we would be repairing the fence along with their equal responsibility for the cost of repair. Period. Thanks. Nolan v. Mendere. poor maintenance, or sprinklers hitting the fence, etc., causing damage to the fence, therefore, causing the fence to have to be replaced before it should have with proper care and maintenance. We did not like it. In the letter, make sure to clearly state the requirement that the neighbor participates in sharing the costs. I bought a newly built home in 2000. Its been about two months now and I have not heard from them and they have not trimmed their trees/bushes. How To Live Without Paying Property Taxes. At the beginning of March I put a notice on there door that were replacing the fence with a textured vinyl fence. If your in need of a new division fence between you and your neighbors adjoining properties, and a dispute arises, you may be at a lose of what to do. Thank you for your article. , 14 S.W. A final option is to erect a new fence on your own land at your own expense, alongside your neighbour's old one. Am I still responsible for half? for court! Can she force me to pay for the materials and she do the labor? It happens all the time. However, it is usually fair to swap the good side after every 10 years to 15 years when the fence is to be replaced. When you show up for court be prepared with the pictures, the bids, a copy of your check, a copy of the 30 day notice and proof of service, as well as a copy of Code of Civil Procedure section 841. Although I know this is now besides the point, I would actually always recommend a custom built fence to the prefabricated fence panels they carry at big box stores. Apart from etiquette, decency to your neighbour, or even the "right" thing to do, the fence should show the "good side outwards. What can we do? He has planted shrubs and now most of the water for those shrubs in between our shared fence and his retaining wall is over saturating my soil, the fence post and baseboards. During these early years, most of the neighborhood had children. I have now recently discovered he placed video surveillance pointed /monitoring my front yard. I have offered to help with the labor and split the cost 50/50. This means that your neighbor (s) have the same rights to the shared fence as you do. My gate is set back from the street more than my neighbors. From the way you have explained it, I would predict you are not going to be responsible whatsoever. He came and did the job. Most states provide mediation services. 2. In Texas you do not even need the neighbors consent to erect the boundary fence. Often, six feet is the maximum height anywhere on the property, except for: Within 15 feet of a street line or street curb. You must then pay the contractor in full. Hi Annie, thanks for the great question! In short, each owner has to pay one-half of the cost of maintaining or replacing the fence. I know personally, I would never get involved with such a situation! First off, please whatever you do, do not pay this man a dime. Whos responsible? In such a case, the responsible neighbor will shoulder all of the costs pertaining to maintaining the fence. Do we still split it in half? I know this is not exactly fair and therefore a situation like this is best handled by sitting down with your neighbor and trying to have a mature constructive conversation. The most common remedy is to take the neighbor to small claims court to recover the non-paying neighbor's share of the costs for the fence repair. Despite this, many neighbors will downright refuse to pay a penny towards the costs. My neighbor destroyed my fence with premeditation to install his plastic one on mine property without my consent and told to the people who was doing the installation that he paid for the vandalized, lien to the workers.I requested him to show me the invoice,he just turn on back and left to his home.This person did a sneaky manoeuvre , he had a fence that was separated by a passage 3 feet wide . In most states, your neighbor cannot make you pay for the fence if it is solely their fence. Be Aware of Tree Root Issues. However our back fence was not vinyl, but an older wooden fence, in some need of repair. Now as far as the law is concerned although your neighbor is not being a very good neighbor nor is he being very diplomatic, but I believe he still has a right to refuse the vinyl fencing whether or not he is paying a dime. If they dont listen, then you can inform them you are monitoring and documenting the issue and when the time comes to replace the fence you will not be paying 50% of the costs due to their actions causing the premature failure. While the law may vary from state to state, it is generally clear when it comes to boundary fences: they are jointly owned by the neighbors. I wasnt even the owner when he decided to build the block fence. Your situation is one I have not directly encountered yet, so I will give you my best educated answer, yet please check with a lawyer to be 100% positive. Thus it is important to be abreast with any such ordinances. Once you get three estimates from reputable companies, present them to her, then decide on a fence contractor, and send your neighbor the 30-day notice. While repairing is an option sometimes, although we usually do not recommend it, this article is based on the notion that your fence has fully failed, needs replacement immediately, and your neighbor refuses to pay for it. But there's a catch. Any thoughts not input would be greatly appreciated. The neighbor said he gave notice ahead of time but has no proof and I never got any prior notice. QUICK CONTACT. This is so mainly because the law considers boundary fences to be joint property that is owned equally by adjoining neighbors. He then complained about us buying expenseive material (6ft red wood) and did not want to spend that. Neighbors dont always have to share the cost of a fence. In the front yard. Secondly, I wouldnt pay them a dime if I were you. My city (Fresno) does not have a code or requirement for the neighbor splitting the cost. Only one of them communicated this to us. Should You Use Exterior Paint in Your Garage, Cost to replace drop ceiling with drywall, Approaching your neighbors about paying half. How do I keep the gap clear or how can I get my neighbor to allow a new fence on the property line (since he has 2 large dogs it cant come down without his participation)? Thats my fence, how could you do this, you are encroaching on my property, etc, quiet animated and critical. He argued that it was, and that the neighbor on the other side of him gladly paid her portion, and told me that legally, I have to pay. Unless the fenceless owner someday decides to fence in his own property benefitting from the already existing division fence. Posted by 4 years ago. and defecate on them. The fence currently keeps the neighbors (lot to the east) cattle in. They replaced it a couple of times, and eventually changed the style to a more traditional looking front yard fence. Any other way will show you up as the impolite, inconsiderate, crass and selfish person that you really are. . We cant afford the cost for the fence that he wants($14k). Yet, I am going to have to disagree with you that this is not a good resolution solely for the fact that there are no other options. Our neighbor, without talking to us, tore his fence down and had a vinyl fence put up. However, another possibility is that your neighbor doesnt care about a new fence, in which case you should prepare to assume 100{5fae7dcccc1057dbda1e018640e298c291ecbda3e3a3c6a23c160c38759dcd72} of the cost, unless your neighbor approaches you and says he wants to contribute to your costs. Having said this I can see where he is coming from, many people are still on the fence as to whether they like the look of vinyl fence yet. (Personally, I think we paid for the whole fence for him.) If a fence falls over and it in-closes his backyard, but not my front yard, other than being on the property line. An article from the Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension that reviews the general fence law in Texas and the two major exceptions that modify that rule. For instance it might involve replacing the fence or getting it fixed. Fencing disputes are common in cases where neighbors disagree on the type of fence to be installed, its location, and how to split the cost of installation and maintenance. Archived . The equal sharing of obligations does not stop at installation. requires a neighbor to get a minimum of 3 estimates and chose from those accordingly based on price, experience, warranty, etc. As long as you have some proof of everything your telling me (i.e. The homeowner says without any notice, her neighboring property owner recently demolished and replaced the shared fence between the two homes, leaving her with a "tacky" backyard separator.. Lawyer's Assistant: The Real Estate Lawyer can definitely answer that. He didn't ask me for anything. Im confident if I contracted any work on the wall he would not allow workers on his property. The other 400ft i f that line of fence is livestock open space fencing. One of the most contentious aspects of properties neighboring each other is property lines.
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