Dividing fences is one of the most common reasons for disputes between neighbors. However, if you and your neighbor can agree in terms of style, height, or design of the fence, then a good fence can make for good neighborly relations.
But, the biggest question in this issue is who pays for it. You might be thinking whether it is possible to approach your neighbor to share the cost of the dividing fence with your neighbour.
In this article, we have provided you with 4 helpful tips on how to get neighbour to pay for fence and how to approach your neighbor to split the cost of building a boundary fence.
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Does Your Neighbor Have To Help You To Build The Fence
State and City laws generally determine the fencing rules in an area. But, if those laws do not clearly specify how building expenses of fences should be shared between neighbors, then the issue needs to be solved by the affected homeowners.
Homeowners generally share the building and repairing costs of a boundary fence. But in the case of a privacy fence, it is a completely different thing.
Because a boundary fence is generally built on the shared boundary line, however, a privacy fence is a fence that is built within the boundaries of a property.
So, if you are building a privacy fence, then you are solely responsible for it and your neighbor doesn’t have any shared responsibility for the fence.
You will find some state laws specify that all affected landowners are equally responsible for sharing the cost of a boundary fence. However, there can be special circumstances, particularly while building rather than repairing the fence.
Because, in most cases, the homeowner that initiates the project has to pay the bulk of the fence expenses. And it is particularly true when the other party does not want to build a fence.
Before you start the project, you should remember that your neighbor is not duty-bound to share the expenses of a fence that you want to build, particularly if they are not financially able to pay the expenses of building a new fence.
4 Simple Steps To Get Your Neighbor To Pay For A Shared Fence: The Importance Of Maintaining Boundaries
If you want to approach your neighbor with the idea to build a new boundary fence to separate both of your properties, then your neighbor might not agree with you or might not want to share the building cost equally. Here we have shared with you 4 useful steps on how to get neighbour to pay for fence so that the cost can be split equally.
1. Discuss The Topic With Your Neighbor
Your initial approach to this issue will depend on your current relationship with your neighbor. If you already have a friendly relationship with your neighbor, then your work will become much easier and you can directly proceed to inform them of your plans.
But if you are not too familiar with your neighbor, then you should first introduce yourself to them and describe the location of your property. In your discussion, you should tell them your reason why it is necessary to build or replace the fence, even if they know the reason.
While you tell them your reason why you want to build the fence, you should also include several ways why it would be beneficial to them as well.
After you have briefly explained the issue, you should now inform them that you are open to contributions and it would be great if they can split the building expenses with you.
As you are approaching them and want them to contribute, you should have a rough estimated cost of building the fence before you discuss it with them. So, it is always best to consult with several contractors to get an idea about the building cost.
And you should give them sufficient time to think about it and if they want, you can exchange contact details also. So, if they want to help you with this project, you can discuss it further together.
However, if you couldn’t meet them directly, then you can send them a letter in their postbox introducing yourself and describing your issues clearly.
2. Gather All The Important Information Required For The Project
Before you start the project or discuss the topic with your neighbor, you need to familiarize yourself with neighborhood fencing laws. Also, your local community might have recommended fence design and heights for houses in the neighborhood.
If you want to appear serious about the project, then you must gather all the important information required for the project before you write a letter to your neighbor.
So, you might think about what you need to write in that letter and what information you need to provide. Here we have described that as well.
You should provide them with information about the materials, style, and dimensions of the fence. However, if your neighbor agrees to split the fencing expenses, then they might request adjustments.
Also, you need to have details about estimated costs for the building project from contractors. And you can give them information about what contractor you want to go with and why they are your top choice.
Finally, you should suggest a date or multiple dates when you want to start the project and how long it will continue.
By providing these detailed descriptions of the project, you can show them how much you are interested or careful about this project and it might even encourage them to contribute to the project.
And you should also tell them that you are open to addressing any issues they might have regarding this topic. To prevent any miscommunication, you should send the information in a written format.
3. Address Any Issues
Now, you know that you need to have the basic details of the project before approaching your neighbor. And if you have all the details, then you can give proper convincing answers to any question they might have.
Also, you have learned how to send them a letter with the required details such as fence material, dimensions, estimated cost, and proposed construction date.
Some neighbors will agree with whatever you decide and they will want to share the expenses. However, others might want to make some adjustments before they agree to share the fencing cost.
So, if your neighbor is not happy with only the date you have chosen for the project, then you both can decide on a date that is convenient for both of you.
But, if they want to make some adjustments to things such as the material or the dimension of the fence and if those changes can cause you extra cost or inconvenience, then you should discuss it with them or ask them to provide a portion of the extra cost.
And one of the common reasons why homeowners don’t want to contribute to shared projects is the timing. Sometimes they might have more important financial responsibilities at that moment.
So, if the building project doesn’t need to be done urgently, you can ask them when they would want to contribute and you can postpone the project according to their preference.
However, if they still give you excuses even after the postponement of the project, then they might not be interested in contributing to the project at all.
4. Decide How Costs Will Be Split
If your neighbor agrees to share the fencing cost, then both of you should decide on the payment model before you start the building project. So, both of you need to decide what percentage is each party expected to pay.
Your neighbor could agree to split the building expenses equally or 50%-50% or you might need to pay a larger percentage so that they can cover 40% or 30% of the cost.
Also, they might want to cover specific costs. For example, they might want to pay for labor costs or some of the fencing materials. You need to ask them when they can pay the money.
And you need to know whether they are sending the money directly to the contractor or they want to send the money to you. In that case, you would have to provide them with a convenient mode of payment. It is always best to finalize any money-related issues before starting the project.
Are Any Approvals Needed To Build A Fence
Generally, building and planning approvals are not required for a front, side, or rear boundary fence, provided that your fence meets all of the following requirements.
- Your fence is associated with a dwelling house or it is built for other residential use.
- Your fence is less than two meters high because building approval is needed for any fence that is higher than 2 meters above the natural ground level.
- The fence is not associated with a swimming pool, because swimming pool fences have their own different requirements.
- Your fence should not restrict water run-off from other adjoining properties.
Basic Rules For Dividing Fences That You Should Know
Before you start building the fence, there are some basic rules for dividing fences that you should know.
- In general, both neighbors must contribute equally to the cost of building and repairing or maintaining a dividing fence.
- You should remember that you can’t attach anything to a dividing fence that could potentially damage it.
- And in most cases, any issues regarding dividing fences need to be solved by the owners of the properties. However, if you are a tenant, then you should refer queries about a dividing fence to the property owner.
Responsibility For The Maintenance Of Boundary Fences
Boundary fences are built on the boundary line between two properties. And boundary fences or dividing fences must be built according to fencing laws that are established by local ordinances. Both of the homeowners own the fence built between the property lines as they both use it.
And most state laws or local ordinances specify that the responsibility for the maintenance of boundary fences is on both the owners that use the fence if there is no agreement that indicates otherwise.
According to the law, the responsibility is on both homeowners because they both benefit from the fence. And from some reports, it has been found that it would cost between $1,700 and $4,210 to build a new fence.
However, when a fence gets damaged or needs repair, then both the property owners must share the cost. But, if one party refuses to share the cost, then the other party can do the following things.
- You can write a letter to your neighbor explaining the issue with the fence.
- Also, you can complete the repair work first and then write a demand letter to your neighbor requesting payment from them.
- If the above methods don’t work, then you can take the help of mediation services.
Wrap-Up On How To Get Neighbour To Pay For Fence: The Importance Of Communication
You might know that good fences make good neighbors. And you are not legally required to discuss your new fence with your neighbor.
But we strongly recommended you to discuss this topic with them, particularly if you want your neighbor to share the expenses with you.
Fence issues might feel unimportant or not that serious, however, they can impact property rights which are extremely important. And if your neighbor doesn’t want to build a new fence, in that case, you should be prepared to spend the whole cost.
We hope that our informative article has helped you to know how to get neighbour to pay for fence. If you are still having some issues with your neighbor regarding this topic, please let us know in the comments below.
FAQ: How To Get Neighbour To Pay For Fence
A lot of people want to build boundary fences and but they don’t know how to convince their neighbors to share the building cost. That is why they are asking how to get neighbour to pay for fence. Here we have picked some related questions and answered them briefly in the FAQ section.
Q1. How Do I Ask My Neighbor For Money On The Fence?
Ans: You should give your neighbor a letter telling them about why you need to build the fence, how and when it will be built, the estimated cost of building, and how much they should contribute. Also, you should keep a copy of that letter.
Q2. Can I Put A Fence Up Next To My Neighbour’s?
Ans: Yes, you can definitely build next to your neighbor’s fence. Because as long as you are inside your property line, you are absolutely fine.
Q3. What Is A Good Neighbor Style Fence?
Ans: A Good Neighbor Fence is a wooden privacy fence that divides two different properties. And the finished side of the fence or the more attractive and smooth side faces your neighbor’s property and the homeowner who builds the fence will have a view of the rails and posts from inside their property.