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If you have a neighbor with a shared fence line, you may wonder who’s responsible for paying for the new fence. Do you have to pay for all of it? Does your neighbor pay for it? Do you split the costs? Read on to learn who pays for a fence between properties.
Have a Conversation with Your Neighbor before Getting a New Fence
The answer to this fence payment question may be as simple as a conversation with your neighbors. Before you officially get a new fence, have a quick conversation with the neighbors. Explain that you are planning to replace your fence, including the fence that runs between your properties. You can then broach the subject of payment and see if your neighbor is willing to pay for half of the fencing that runs along their property.
In many cases, the neighbor will decide to update their fence at the same time, saving both property owners money and time. If your neighbor does not want to pay for any of the fencing, you’ll need to evaluate your options. Replacing the fencing out of necessity may be deemed a cost for both of you, but if you’re replacing the fence purely for aesthetic purposes, the cost may fall on you.
Stay in communication with your neighbor about your fence installation timeframe. If they have pets or kids that need to stay inside during the installation, you should notify them as a courtesy. The more considerate you are, the smoother the process will be.
Check the Fence Installation Laws in Your Area
Each state and county has different laws regarding fence ownership and maintenance. In most areas, damage that happens to a division fence between properties must be at the expense of both property owners. However, fence installation is trickier to define because there is such a wide range in material costs. Your neighbor may only want to pay for a chain link fence, but you want a cedar privacy fence. At that point, the bulk of the cost will likely rest on you because you’re choosing to incur a higher price.
If You’re Getting a New Fence, Expect to Pay the Upfront Costs
As a general rule of thumb, you should plan to pay for the entire fence upfront. Your neighbor may agree to pay for a portion for it, but there is no guarantee that will occur. Our fence experts can help you find the right fence style for your needs and budget. If you happen to get extra money from your neighbor, great! But if not, you’ll still have an awesome fence that you can afford.
What If the Fence Is Not on the Property Line?
If you are installing a fence that is not on the dividing property line, the cost is entirely yours to incur. This is common for properties with large lots of land. A small fenced area creates a safe zone for pets and children to play, while a less secure perimeter fence defines the outside of the property. Once again, we can help you create a custom fence design that aligns with your needs and budget.