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Fence repair question.

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metamorphisis posted 11/2/2013 07:50 AM

We had really high winds the last few days. I noticed this morning that the fence that is at the back of our yard is leaning into our yard. Upon close inspection the nails have come out, and it looks like it's being pushed by the tree in our back neighbours yard.

My question is should we fix it? I don't technically know who's property line it's on because it was here when we got here. I don't care about money or anything, as it won't take much to fix and reinforce it. I just don't want to go get all the stuff and then find out I made some terrible neighbourly faux pas by touching something that isn't technically mine.

I suppose I should just go over and talk to them. I just don't know them so I figured I'd ask here before I went over and suggested anything or agreed to anything. Like I said I don't mind paying as I benefit from it too.
We put up the fences at the sides of our property and my husband just pointed out that we wouldn't expect our side neighbours to pay to repair them, or even want them to as it's our job.
So what say you fine SI'ers? Leave it alone until they fix it? Go over and offer to do it? Or split the cost?
I basically just don't want some weird uncomfortable conversation with people I don't know

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:51 AM, November 2nd (Saturday)]

SerJR posted 11/2/2013 08:02 AM

Sounds like you're sitting on the fence about this?

Just go over and talk with your neighbour and find out what's what. Nothing wrong with clearing up expectations.

metamorphisis posted 11/2/2013 08:07 AM

Well that's all logical and stuff.
Have you noticed I tend to over think things?

SerJR posted 11/2/2013 08:08 AM

That's never been my problem!

metamorphisis posted 11/2/2013 08:13 AM

I say I'm a planner, Dh says obsessive. Tomato, Tomahto

SerJR posted 11/2/2013 08:15 AM

I say ineffectually indecisive!

[This message edited by SerJR at 8:17 AM, November 2nd (Saturday)]

TrulyReconciled posted 11/4/2013 10:51 AM

Look at your plot plan or survey. Fences are normally shown. If it's on your neighbor's lot it's theirs. Don't touch (no 'technical' about it). You can ask them directly or complain to your municipality (if ordinanced).

If it's on your property it's yours to deal with.

gahurts posted 11/4/2013 11:59 AM

Use this as an excuse to go over and say hello and introduce yourself. If you aren't concerned about the money then I would suggest that. The worst thing is that they say to go ahead and fix it. And the best is they tell you not to worry about it and they take care of it.

Or I guess the worst thing is that they tell you not to mess with it but then they do nothing.

MovingUpward posted 11/4/2013 12:05 PM

Tomato, Tomahto

Isn't that Tomehto, Tomahto?

I'd go over and talk with the neighbors about the fence and gauge your direction on how they respond to your concern.

TrulyReconciled posted 11/4/2013 13:57 PM

IANAL .. but

I strongly suggest being aware of the facts (fence on which property?) before having a discussion.

One conversation goes: "Sorry my fence is falling apart - I just wanted to let you know that I plan to be back there fixing it and was concerned about the proximity of your tree" and the other one goes "I'm concerned that your fence is falling into our yard - do you have any plans to take care of it?"


Waiting4Daylite posted 11/4/2013 14:27 PM

Our fences (three sides) belonged to us and the neighbors. The fences were put in when the houses were first built and on the property lines so they belonged to both. When we replaced them (they were 20 years old and falling apart), two of our neighbors split the cost while one refused. Sure they agreed on replacing the fence but didn't want to pay.

So, we along with the other two neighbors picked out the fencing we liked and shared the cost. The neighbor who didn't want to pay didn't have a say in the matter. We also talked to the city about this before the new fence went up. We also, per the city, put that fence up on our side of the property line so it was solely ours, meaning they couldn't paint their side.

I would talk to the neighbor before doing anything.

somanyyears posted 11/4/2013 14:52 PM

..'good fences make good neighbours' ..usually!

..did the wind blow the fence over or did the tree push the fence over??

..fences placed on the property line are generally considered a shared expense.

..some neighbours may claim they can't afford to pay for a new one and may want to 'do nothing' ..

..the ownership of the tree may complicate your situation if it's on their property.. and if it may impact the new fence when the wind blows again..

..if they put up a big stink about it, I suggest you install barbed wire and razor wire to ensure your privacy and safety.. have the right to cut off any branches from their tree that hang over into your yard if you choose. least let them know you're "no pushover"

good luck..


[This message edited by somanyyears at 2:54 PM, November 4th (Monday)]

TrulyReconciled posted 11/5/2013 09:40 AM

It's rare to find a fence right on the property line that no one seems to remember anything about.

In recent practice, any reputable fence installer is going to find the property line and put it 6" on the side of the person paying the bill.

sportsfan posted 11/5/2013 10:00 AM

We have metal markers a few inches below the turf directly on the corners of our property lines. The fence company used a metal detector to locate the markers prior to installation. Maybe you can rent one or borrow one?

I would suggest having a plan with options in place before alerting your neighbors that the tree is going to have to be cut back.


TrulyReconciled posted 11/5/2013 11:59 AM

Those would normally carry the designation on the plot plan or survey "Iron Pin Set."

Knowing that, it's worth looking for them with a metal detector, and even so they can be hard to find (been there, done that).

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