Neighbor won't replace fence

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Sometime between signing the contract for buying my house and closing, the 6' privacy fence separating my yard and the next door neighbor's yard completely fell down (and was removed from the property). The previous owner and the neighbor figured out that the fence was owned by my neighbor, who submitted it to her insurance and was reimbursed.
I thought that there wouldn't be any problems, and didn't talk to my lawyer about it before closing, which I am now thinking was a mistake.
I had been thinking that the fence would be replaced "soon" as the neighbor keeps on insisting. However, it is now over two months since we closed on the house, and "soon" doesn't seem to come.
The problem is that I have a pool, so I need a fence for liability purposes. The neighbor's yard is completely fenced, except for between our properties) so this hasn't been such a concern. But in recent days, she has had a large number of children at her house in the afternoons (she is a school teacher, so I'm guessing she's running some summer daycare thing.) So, I am suddenly very concerned.
I am thinking that she's hoping that I'll rebuild the fence, so she can pocket the insurance money and still have a fence. But if I have to build a fence, the only thing I can afford is one of those orange plastic ones, after buying this house.
This seems to be a very complicated situation, and I'm really unsure of how to precede. What are the laws on this sort of thing?
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Well, your neighbor is smart -- she knows you're screwed and MUST have a fence. It's only a matter of time before there's a) a complaint, b) a tragedy.
The rules are generally that fences ON a property line are 50% owned by either owner. If a fence is WITHIN your property it's 100% your responsibility, and subject to setback rules and the like.
Assuming you weren't hoping you could get off scot free yourself with your neighbor putting up a new fence (but that's what it sounds like), your next step is to sound out your neighbor on a 50/50 split. She'll probably say no, since she doesn't HAVE to have a fence, and YOU do.
Failing that, your best bet is to find out what your neighbor absolutely hates in a fence (orange mesh, perhaps?) and put that up until she gives in to the split. Otherwise, eventually you're going to be stuck with the whole cost of a fence.
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Ammonium wrote:

you bought the house.. if the fence was on her property then its her fence and the location of the fence will be shown when they did the survey and will show if a portion of it or any part of it was on your property.... if it was on her property then you cant force someone to put up a fence, but the county, city or where you live can force you to put up a fence due to the pool in the yard.. in my area you need a 7 ft fence with a pool in the yard... you might just want to put up a fence just around the pool to cover yourself???? if the neighbor just wanted to take it down and it was on their property they can do that..........
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Document the HELL out of everything. Confront with a camcorder.
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Document what? That his neighbor has kids over, whilst *he* has an unfenced pool?
Banty
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Your neighbor might have a problem with fraud where her insurance company is concerned. They paid for the fence and she didn't replace it. In the very least, her insurance has the right to put a restrictive rider on her policy regarding the fence.
Tell her since you just moved there, you're needing to change insurance companies and ask if she would recommend her own. When she does, contact them and report her ass to them. She'll either end up replacing the fence or having a rider put on her property with no reduction in premiums.

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Lost-In-Translation wrote:

Her fence was damaged, they paid. Unless the policy says otherwise that is the end of it. The neighbor may have no requirement to replace it.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
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Right. Insurance is to make you whole - reimbursement for the lost value. There is no requirement to actually replace or repair the item.
Banty
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As was already pointed out, if the fence was on the property line, in general, it's a 50-50 responsibility. If it's on the neighbor's property, then it's generally up to the neighbor, whether to replace it or not.
I'd go to the municipality and inquire about any ordinances covering fences. You'll need to do this anyway if you have to put up your own to find out about any special setback requirements, etc. I'd also get out the sales contract for the property and read it for any requirements on the seller, like the property must be in compliance with all codes, etc. If it has that kind of clause, then you have recourse against the seller.
And here's a good question, when did the seller get a certificate of occupancy? This is typically required as part of the sales process. Was the fence already down? If it was, it's hard to imagine how they could have gotten a CO. If it came down after, I think you have an excellent case against the seller, to pay for a fence, if you wind up having to do it yourself. After getting all the facts you can, I'd contact your lawyer, as he should give you an opinion for free, since he handled the sale.
Once you know where you stand, I'd try to work with the neighbor, explaining your problem and asking what it takes to get them to do it quickly. If that doesn't work, then you'll have to put up a fence yourself. I'd make sure something is done immeadiately to secure the pool, ie keep it covered, etc.
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Sounds like she is going to have to go at least 50/50 on the fence. If I was the neighbor I would know there was a law about fencing in a pool and I wouldn't put up 100% of the cost of a fence. If they don't want to put up another fence and they have no pool there is nothing to force them to rebuild it. You may have a case against the seller of the house to you but that is it.

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Why would this be so? The neighbor does not have a pool, so they have no obligation to have a fence. The OP has a pool, and there fore needs a fence. Why is it the neighbors problem? Or even 50% their problem? Greg
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Greg O wrote:

The only choices available to the OP are paying 100% for a fence he *must* have, or *possibly* getting the neighbor to go 50/50 on a property-line fence. Hence, "at least 50/50". Nobody here is requiring the neighbor to do anything; the OP can, however, ask.
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Thanks for making my point a little clearer. Somebody called the neighbor with the felled fence a "Neighbor From Hell" earlier. In my mind she(they) haven't done anything to be called such a thing. It is their right to put the fence back up or not. The people with the pool are obligated to have a fence. If it is going to break the bank maybe they should have read a Dave Ramsey book first. lol

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Lost-In-Translation wrote:

The insurance company paid for the loss -- the old fence. Why would it matter if the fence was replaced? When someone ran into the back of my old truck and did $1000 worth of damage, their insurance company wrote me a big check. I spent about $40 to replace the bumper and pocketed the rest. The truck was worth quite a bit less now, but that was OK because I was compensated for it.
BTW, the orange plastic fence sounds lovely. :-) The neighbor will hate it. She will put her own fence back up to hide it, and OP can take the plastic fence down. Or at least OP will be in a better position to negotiate splitting the cost of a real fence right on the line.
Bob
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IIRC (it was several years ago now), my auto insurance company sent me a check for the estimated cost of repair less the $500 deductible, plus paperwork for the repairer to fill out and return to the insurance co. to prove that the repair was carried out. I didn't bother getting the repair done, but my understanding is that if I had had another claim, the amount of the first check (plus the deductible on the new claim) would have been deducted from any settlement amount. We've since moved to another state and have a different insurance co., so I don't know what happens in the case of a future claim -- I am sure the companies share information.
MB
On 06/07/04 11:52 am zxcvbob put fingers to keyboard and launched the following message into cyberspace:

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Ammonium wrote:

Your pool, your responsibility to provide a fence to protect it. In most areas you are required to provide a fence. It's not your neighbors responsibility. In all cases it would be very wise to have that fence as the possible legal and moral problems in the event of an accident are serious.
It seems it was determined that the fence was not yours to begin with. So you need your own fence. I would not suggest repairing the existing one as it is not yours.
Contact a local attorney to determine what your responsibility are and drain or otherwise protect the pool until the problem is resolved.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
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In Florida, even a drained pool must be fenced off. Most insurers won't touch you unless it's fenced, and if they find out after the fact that a fence is gone, they'll cancel. In South Florida, major insurers are forcing homeowners to remove slides and diving boards in order to get coverage, or they end up with a rider of no liability for the pool and any accidents thereof.
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message

No.
In Florida drained pools must be covered with 2x6's and wired off to prevent a hatian from tresspassing falling through and drowning.
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If you're the one with the pool, you need to a fence, and the only way you're guaranteed one is to have it installed yourself. Don't rely on others to put you in compliance with local regulations - it's your responsibility.
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