It all depends on the neighbor, how long you intend to live their, and your
If your neighbor is a reasonable sort, and the kind of person you want to
live next door to, a capitulation on the fence might be appropriate. I
wouldn't let him bully you into paying half of the fence since you will get
NO use out of it, but a token payment would be a good thing.
If you want to live there a long time, and start off on the right foot with
the person you will probably see most, it would be wise to start off
If you are the type of person who believes that they are right, and doesn't
care what the other person thinks, do whatever you want.
Our neighbors wanted to put up a fence around their yard & also replace
a bit of fence that actually was ours. Some of the fence was right on
the property line. Even though they were replacing a fence, they had to
get a special variance from the city because there wasn't enough room
for a proper inset. We also had to write a letter of support for this
project. Permits are required for fences and neighbors have to agree to
We had wanted to replace the beaten down little picket fence with a
privacy fence but hadn't gotten around to doing it. When the neighbors
asked us to pay half of the cost for that portion, I said I'd have to
talk with DH about it. After I hung up the phone & told him about it, we
did a dance of joy that we were only going to have to pay half. I waited
until the next day to call them back and agree to the payment & make
some requests (we have dogs & dogs & no fence are a bad combination).
I don't know how much room there is between the property line & the
fence, but having the fence properly inset would benefit you. I would
suggest that since the neighbor's pool is kind of a nuisance, the newer
fence would benefit you. Since you have no use for fences, I can
understand why you don't want to pay for a part of your neighbor's
fence, but I would ask what your neighbor thinks is a fair amount to
chip in & negotiate from there.
I agree with SteveB about it all depending on the neighbor. Our
neighbors are very nice people (she's a master gardener) and we would do
just about anything to keep them happy because we are not the best
neighbors in the world. As it turned out, the fence cost more than what
they quoted us and they told us they'd pick up the extra cost. We added
to the check.
have your approval before he puts it on the property line, otherwise he must
put it just inside the property line?<<<
In my neck of the woods, unless he has you permission he must place it 6
inches inside the line. With your permission he can put it on the line.
Absolutely no way would I pay (not one cent) any part of fencing his
property. What good is it going to do you?RM~
If you say nothing when he erected the fence, you consented to its
placement. Where he puts the fence does not impact your obligations. Either
way, you're in for half.*
* Here's the drill. You are responsible for your portion of the cost under
the principle of unjust enrichment. At the first moment you detect such a
project underway, you must announce your opposition. Failing to say
anything, under the principle of "assent by silence," you implicitly conset
to the construction and its attendant costs.
Interestingly, much of contract law can be covered using "the fence" concept
as examples (the rest can be covered by the concepts of "the bull" and "the
When studying "the fence," you can get off into interesting areas such as
"no notice" (the fence was erected while you slept), "total cost" (you
consented - by silence - to the idea of a fence, but not one made of
polished marble with gold gryphens), and so on.
Never heard this argument - the fence was the other party's and placed
in all probability to comply with safety/zoning requirements because
of the pool. The fence was in place when the OP took title to his
property so the argument you make for "unjust enrichment" has no basis
in this instance.
The fence was the neighbors,on his property line and besides was
already up when the OP took title to the property on HIS side of the
The OP has no obligation for the replacement or maintenance of his
neighbor's fence - it is solely the neighbors responsibility. Again
the fence was not a new addition but an existing feature of his
None of this is applicable to the instant case and it appears that it
is your intention to use obfuscation as the basis for your arguments!
Has anyone ever thought of this ..............
In order for the man to build the pool and fill it up, the city/county had
to sign off that the fence was of legal construction, that it was located
properly, and complied with code. And since you weren't around, you have no
real obligation or liability regarding the previous homeowner, structures
built OFF of your property, or any agreements the previous owner entered
into, either implied or expressed.
Since the pool was built and filled with the supervision of the local
building department, the city/county has stated by their actions that the
fence met ALL laws. If the fence is on the property line, or one inch on
your property, it was an illegal structure that the city/county authorized
as safe and legal.
Since the future fence will be located on his property, I would either tell
him to pay for the thing himself, or offer to pay some small amount to keep
the peace. I would insist that the fence be located at least one inch
inside his property line so he can't come back at you later. Since he
"notified" you that you would "have" to pay half, he may be incorrectly
advised, not know the facts, or just be a garden variety putz.
If the fence IS on your property, even half of it, I would thank him for
removing the fence, let the city/county know that THIS time you will make
certain that the fence is legally located, that you DO NOT want it on your
property, and encourage them to do the same. I would still offer to pay a
SMALL amount just to keep the peace.
If your neighbor continues to be a putz, just make sure the fence is on his
property by notifying the inspector and city/county of your concerns that
the fence is PROPERLY AND LEGALLY situated, and let him pay for it all. It
is ALL of his responsibility to fence in an "attractive nuisance" and NONE
of yours. Is he going to want you to help pay for some pool furniture next?
This one requires the wisdom of Solomon. You have to live next to the guy,
but if he is unreasonable, you gotta stand firm. Otherwise, he will be
coming up with something new every time you turn around.
The fence guide lines in the HOA by laws for our association require
that fences either be on the property line or FIVE (5) feet inside of
it. (Double fences are not permitted - cases where two home owners
want different style fences along the same boundary line.)
Since he notified the OP that he would have to pay half, I would feel
the only obligation the OP has is to notify him that he was NOT paying
Learn something new every day. You've heard of it now. Consider this: the
fence is not a pool fence - the fence is a property fence.
1. Have you SEEN the neighbors in swim suits?
2. The owner paid more because of the fence (in all liklihood).
3. One can make the case that ALL the neighbors are enriched by the safety
features of the fence. The immediate neighbor more than anyone else.
Nope. If it's a common fence - on the property line or close enough - its
value is shared. There's a difference between a property fence and a pool
fence: one has shared value, the other not.
Hey, that's what lawyers do. Although I admit, I've never handled a fence
"PROPERTY" v s "POOL" fence these are new distinctions - would you be
kind enough to provide your source of these descriptions is it made
under some law or just something you pulled from the air. Regardless
in this case call it what YOU want to call it, "property" or "pool"
fence if it was erected as it appears to have been, to comply with
requirements that the pool be fenced - th OP has no obligation to
contribute to the expenses of its maintenance or to pay any portion of
the cost of its replacement.
Neither have you nor will the OP if they chose not to look at them -
you sound like you are overly inquisitive or just plain nosy - do you
make it a practice to look into bedroom windows if there are no window
coverings on them too?
Unless you have some basis for this comment - in all likely hood you
are again making this up as you go along - in fact a property that has
a fence ONLY on one side might not be found to be offered with this
anomaly as a positive feature, and in this case ther OP stated that
they had no interest in fences.
This is not an "enrichment" by a long shot, it is a requirement
usually contained in the zoning codes and fencing is normally
required when a pool added to a property.
NO "my" approval is not required - depending on whether there is or is
not a HOA which determines the conditions relating to fences in
general, he may only have to inform me and his other adjoining
neighbors that he intends to erect the fence and comply with the HOA
restrictions regarding the type, placement and height of the fence.
My neighbor or I can erect a fence either on the property line or 3
feet inside the property line, with the approval of the HOA.
No lawyers involved in this case and regardless of what you think or
what opinions you may have the OP is under no obligation to contribute
to the expenses of the maintenance or the cost of replacement of his
With respect to you references to "contract law" you might do some
"reading in the law" and find out what is necessary for a contract -
in the described case there is/are no contracts involved, especially
one of the most significant elements of a contract is missing - I
won't bother to tell you what it is since you are the expert, but
without it there could be no contract and it ain't present in this
Horse poop, an attorney you're not.
Exactly how has the OP been enriched? By a neglected fence? You're way off
base, I suggest you review exactly what enrichment consists of. The OP
clearly states the fence was there when they moved in, they have NO
obligation to help unless the pool was a _shared_ pool.
The property owner of the pool has an obligation legally to maintain the
fence through code enforcement.
You're not by chance the OP's neighbor by trying this lame brain tactic, are
Depending on the local zoning that may not even be the case - the
zoning in the last township we lived in only required pools to be
fenced if the lot size was LESS THAN 1 acre - a pool on a lot larger
than an acre needed no fencing around the pool or the lot!
My goodness, the lawyers come running don't they. While all the legal mumbo
jumbo is fine, and I do suggest you go to your town hall and find out what
is and isn't in the books legally (and it will probably vary from what you
have read so far, backset, plot plan, permits, etc, etc.), you have to weigh
in on what others have mentioned about being able to live next door to your
Before being given a notice about sharing the cost, was there any discussion
between you about the replacement of the fence? Your neighbor might just be
going according to what was done with the previous owner, which depending on
you may or may not be a correct assumption.
To cut this short, let's get back to the important idea.....livability.
Sit down without any agenda's and discuss as neighbors what your feelings
are. Costs, maintenance, property lines........whatever, and hopefully you
will get to where you stand, look your neighbor in the eye and shake hands
as friends. And maybe put it in writing (for you legal eagles)
If your neighbor is a jerk THEN cover yourself legally.
Remember.............You have to live there.
Yes, livability is important. Get him to pay for painting the portions of
your house that are visible from his property. After all, he does not want
to look at a shabby house that brings property values down. I'm sure he
will want to chip in.
Where do you park your car? Is yours as nice as his? If not, get him to
make the payments on a new one.
I wasn't advocating he pay for his neighbors fence, just the opposite. What
I was saying is do it civilly, like the neighbor should have done with him.
All the points about needing the fence to have the pool, gaining nothing
esthetically or property wise, not wanting to maintain it, etc. are all
points I would bring to the neighbor, but if it were me I take the high
road. Tell him what your thoughts and expectations are, hoping there is an
understanding friendly neighbor. But walking in with an attitude, or worse,
a letter from your lawyer, (sorry guys, and my brother is a lawyer) will
most likely only make matters worse.
When I built a 6 ft stockade across the back of my property, abutting two
other properties, I built it one foot inside the property line, faced the
better side toward the neighbors, and paid for it myself.
I never heard a complaint. But then I'm 6'3" and 320 lbs. ride a Harley and
have two sons bigger than me. Go figure.
being a big guy i guess you learned to be civil.. the big ones that i
remember who grew up did so, and the ones that did not well someone
either shot them or they are in prison now..... young nephew tells me
that he cant stand to be around with his cousin, big kid, always picking
fights with the other guys his age at bars, pool halls.. i told him to
stay away from this guy, as someone is gonna get back at him and go to
their car an get their gun and let him have it(in their eyes it will be
the only alternative ) , sure enough he got shot in a bar.. so justice
prevailed, well at least for now.....
The neighbor has pretty much already proven himself a jerk by asking
for the money. The only exception that I can think of is that he let
his previous neighbor (previous home owner) have full use of the pool
and assumed that the new owner was told of the arrangement and was
happy with it.
Property line fences bring a special problem.
How does the owner of the fence maintain the fence on your side without
trespassing on your property? This is why many jurisdictions require the
fence set in far enough from the property line to avoid that problem.
If this is a wood fence, who will paint it? If you do, can you pick your own
Since the fence in question is "falling part" I don't see your neighbor as
being high in the maintenace area. Has the fence become an eyesore.
My take would be, somewhat apologetically, "Gee, you need that fence bacause
of your pool. I don't get any benefit from either your pool or your fence
(which by the way you have not been diligent in maintaining). I am sorry but
I cannot see a reason for spending my money on something that is not to my
And finally, I think he is trying to pull a fast one on you. Remember those
words of P.T. Barnum abou suckers being born every minute.
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