You take a look at your fence and come to the realization that it’s time for a fence face-lift. To make sure that both you and your neighbor can have a beautiful fence you might want to build a Good Neighbor fence. Before you get too excited and start drawing up those plans here are some things you will need to consider.
What is a Good Neighbor Fence?
A good neighbor fence is a fence that is shared between two houses. Instead of having a fence where one neighbor gets the “ugly” side and the other neighbor gets the “pretty” side, this type of fence is built so that both neighbors have the “pretty” side. Any expenses associated with the fence are shared 50/50. Since both sides are identical, also leaves less room for disputes between neighbors.
How to Contact Your Neighbors
There are a few steps that you’ll need to go through before you can start building a fence. Since a good neighbor fence is created so both parties get an aesthetically pleasing fence, it needs to be clear that both parties are benefiting from the fence and that the process is fair.
When one party is interested in building a fence, they need to contact their neighbor 30 days before the building even starts. An agreement about what type of fence is being built needs to be made between both parties before beginning the building process.
A fence installation company, Ergeon, has created a list recommendations for people to follow when writing their proposal to their neighbor:
- Reference the “Good Neighbor Fence Law of 2013”
- Why the fence needs to be replaced
- How much it will cost
- When and how long it will take the fence to be installed
There’s also the law to consider, which helps protect homeowners from taking all the costs on a shared property, while also making sure that everything if fair when it comes to dividing the process and expenses.
The California Civil Code 841, states “Adjoining landowners shall share equally in the responsibility for maintaining the boundaries and monuments between them. Adjoining landowners are presumed to share an equal benefit from any fence dividing their properties and, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties in a written agreement, shall be presumed to be equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction, maintenance, or necessary replacement of the fence.”
Divide and Conquer
The fence needs to be built on the property line between the two houses so that one party isn’t more responsible than the other for repairs, upkeep and other issues. It’s also recommended to call a surveyor to show the exact layout of the property line. If you live in an area that has a homeowner’s association, you’ll have to check with their guidelines before planning your new fence.
If your good neighbor fence is ready for a fence face-lift, follow the steps above and contact Experts in Your Home to help – we do more than you think!