The Neighbor’s Fence

Our neighbor on a bordering property is going to have her father build a privacy fence to connect the fences of the two neighbors adjacent to her property. Her father came over and knocked on our door yesterday and told me that the fence that’s already there is on our property and that they therefore would like to split the cost of the fence that’s being built, and that the materials are about $400. But where they want to build the fence, I’m pretty sure, is on the neighbor’s property, or on the property line. Then, the neighbor’s father wants to take down the fence that’s on our property and use the material to build something else on her property, like some kind of walkway, because that fence is made out of redwood.

So, not only did this guy come over and ask for two hundred dollars to build a fence for his daughter, but he is just assuming that he can take down the fence that’s in our yard and use it for his purposes. We happen to like that fence and would prefer to take it down and use the materials ourselves, if we so choose. Furthermore, he claims that he can’t make any promises about the safety of our plants in our yard along the fence line, or our tree, which is ridiculous. To carry it one step farther, the girl who lives in that house hasn’t said one word to either of us nor come to ask us any of this herself. So I feel like this guy is coming over here to steamroll us into paying for his daughter’s fence and that’s not okay. I don’t think they have any right to make any claim over any part of our property and I think we should be able to hold them liable for any damages that arise from building the fence.

We want to be good neighbors, but I don’t think the definition of a good neighbor necessarily includes any of that. I’m inclined to write a notarized letter to them, telling them politely that they can build the fence along the property line, but that they can’t come on our property or do anything to our property without being held liable for any damages to our property arising from the building of our fence, and that they should leave the existing fence on our property for us to do with as we please. I think that’s a good solution, but I’m not sure. How would you handle this? Let me know in the comments.

This is the property line edge-on. As you can plainly see, the existing fence is in our yard and therefore need not be taken out in order to build the fence our neighbor wants.
This is where the new fence would be built, and the fence it would replace. The new fence would be identical to the ones seen on the left and the right.


  1. I would ask the father if he has permits through the township and a survey of the property line to start with. You could say “thank you for the offer to put the fence up, but I enjoy the set up that is there now, especially my fence that I paid for.” it sounds as if this girl is going to have the fence installed regardless and since you won’t have a choice as to what type it is and it requires your view being rearranged I don’t think you should have to pay for it. Be sure to mention the permit and survey, this would relay that you aren’t going to stand for being pushed around. Good luck!

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