Author Topic: Fence quandary . . . UPDATE #38  (Read 7698 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2014, 01:02:20 PM »
Now for a completely different point of view.  :)   If your big project this year is your roof, you are a property owner of long-standing and probably intend to stay in the house for the forseeable future.  If this were my situation, while I might not need/want the fence because I don't have pets or young children anymore, I would repair the fence in order to get a few more years out of it then replace it as funds became available and the project drifted up my priority list.  I have three reasons:  1) it would keep the neighbors' children and pets out of my back yard, 2) depending on its design, it might allow privacy/screening for me to enjoy my backyard without without everyone else watching, and 3) eventually I would be selling, and a fence would be a plus for the new owner.

This makes a lot of sense to me, too.  And it would give you a chance to discuss it with your neighbours to see if they would be interested in splitting the cost.

But if you decide you just want the fence gone, I would notify the neighbours when I knew what day the workers were going to be there, however much lead time that ends up giving them.
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bopper

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2014, 01:51:33 PM »
I agree with the others...mention it to the neighbors.  Otherwise you may end up with dogs in your yard until they can figure something out.

Aquamarine

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2014, 02:04:14 PM »
If the fence doesn't look good, take it all down.  There is absolutely no reason to leave part of a bad looking fence intact for the neighbors to use.  If the neighbors want a fence, for whatever reason, then they can build one instead of relying on you to subsidize their fencing needs with a beat up fence that you want gone.

I would not discuss this with the neighbors other than to inform them of when it was going to be torn down but not open up a discussion or negotiate with them.  If you open yourself up to discussing this then you are probably going to get requests that you leave the fence up because it will save them money if you do. 

As a homeowner I would not be pleased if someone just left parts of a ratty looking fence up for people to use who didn't want to pay for their own fence because it would be an eyesore.  In the end this really is completely up to you as to what you do, and no it's not "rude" to tear down the fence that others may be using.
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fountainof

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2014, 03:59:51 PM »
As others have said I would notify the neighbors and give them at least a couple of weeks so they can make arrangements to either do their own fence or get a toddler coral or something.

I will say that you might have more people enter your yard by accident without a fence.  For example the toddler, it is hard to contain all balls, etc. without a fence so while I don't think you have to accept people using your property you may have to forgive some accidents if there is no longer any fence.

My area was built in the 70s and back then one side fence belonged to one neighbour and the other side to the other (I think it is the left side fence) and the back was joint.  But these days it is different and now the bad fence I have the neighbour wants to split the replacement cost of but really it should be his fence.  However, because I want that fence to be longer (closer to the front of my house) and the fence looks awful I will pay for part of it just because he might not change the fence otherwise.  The rest of my fences are mine as though, the last owner redid them.

The two fences up together isn't common here.  In new areas, sometimes people who really want a fence just do their own fence though and then if neighbours build a fence they fill in the missing areas and use the other neighbours fence.

TootsNYC

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2014, 04:03:15 PM »
Now for a completely different point of view.  :)   If your big project this year is your roof, you are a property owner of long-standing and probably intend to stay in the house for the forseeable future.  If this were my situation, while I might not need/want the fence because I don't have pets or young children anymore, I would repair the fence in order to get a few more years out of it then replace it as funds became available and the project drifted up my priority list.  I have three reasons:  1) it would keep the neighbors' children and pets out of my back yard, 2) depending on its design, it might allow privacy/screening for me to enjoy my backyard without without everyone else watching, and 3) eventually I would be selling, and a fence would be a plus for the new owner.

I would also probably repair--or at the very least, call a fence company. Or three. Or a handyman. Or three.

Sure, they might want to try to sell me a fence, but I can certainly say, "No, I just want you to fix these poles. How much?"


DanaJ

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2014, 04:52:20 PM »
At the old house, one side of the fence was in very rough shape, but we didn't have the funds to replace it. We spoke with the neighbours on that side about potentially splitting the costs of getting the section replaced, and they said they would do that if we waited a year. We ended up moving first, but I do wonder if they would actually have put up the money.

It's quite possible they would have. We've replaced fences on two different properties and split the costs with the neighbors who shared the fence. It was mutually beneficial to have the fence.

The only fussy part was determining if the fence would be ON the property line (or if that would cause insurance headaches as far as "who owns the fence and, therefore, liability?"). IIRC we ended up putting the fenceposts just barely on our side of the property line.

Deetee

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2014, 05:25:07 PM »
Like everyone else, I think the right thing to do is let the neighbours know your plans so they can arrange to fence in their own yards if need be. Just be sure you know in your own mind what you are willing to do in terms of letting them help pay for upkeep. (E.g., If they pay for the whitewashing and repair, you will let the fence stay for another 3 years) If there is some upkeep, I suggest having it in writing so you both remember what you agreed to.

Otterpop

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2014, 06:23:47 PM »
I agree, it is a quandary.  What will you do if the neighbors with the dog or the toddler start treating your yard as "defacto" theirs once its accessible.  It's happened on this forum and there was a neighbor war over the new owners wanting to put UP a fence.  It seemed the whole neighborhood used their yard as a passthrough and didn't want to stop.

That being said I would let the neighbors know of your plans with a tear down date to build their own fences if they want them.  They should have no decision on what you do with your own fence.

Rusty

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2014, 07:45:15 PM »

Its almost unheard of here not to have fences on three boundaries, back and right and left sides.   Local laws stipulate that fences must be built on boundaries and each party is responsible for a half share of each boundary fence.  Except of course in rural areas where different rules may apply.    I could not imagine what it would be like to not have privacy in my own back garden, not to mention leaving my dog out back when I'm not home.    Don't you find it strange that your neighbours can view whatever you are doing in your garden.

Having said that I think it would be neighbourly in this instance to inform your neighbours of your wishes regarding your fence.

Possum

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2014, 08:10:31 PM »
Local laws stipulate that fences must be built on boundaries and each party is responsible for a half share of each boundary fence.  Except of course in rural areas where different rules may apply.
Local laws vary.  We're not rural, but our fences have to be built a certain distance *away* from a boundary (unless by agreement), and you're fully responsible for your own fence.

shhh its me

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2014, 08:28:08 PM »

Its almost unheard of here not to have fences on three boundaries, back and right and left sides.   Local laws stipulate that fences must be built on boundaries and each party is responsible for a half share of each boundary fence.  Except of course in rural areas where different rules may apply.    I could not imagine what it would be like to not have privacy in my own back garden, not to mention leaving my dog out back when I'm not home.    Don't you find it strange that your neighbours can view whatever you are doing in your garden.

Having said that I think it would be neighbourly in this instance to inform your neighbours of your wishes regarding your fence.

There are several areas here which require no or extremely limited  and specific fencing.  EG.  there are yards with in ground pools with immediately  surrounding (like 12 inches ) the pool is an iron fence (wooded privacy fences are not permitted) and the pool size is limited by how big the maximum % of the yard which can be fenced. 

sammycat

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2014, 08:33:32 PM »
This is a very interesting thread for me. Where I live, just about all fences are on the shared boundary line (by law) and 90% of the time the costs are shared by both property owners, so it's unlikely one neighbour could, or would, just pull the fence down.  I actually can't even envisage a property without some sort of fence between it and the next one, even if it's just a row of garden beds, as I don't think I've ever actually seen this.

That aside,  I agree with pp that OP should give the neighbours notice that the fence is coming down. If I were one of the neighbours, and I owned a dog (or other pet that can wander around at will), and the fence was there one day and gone the next without any warning, I wouldn't feel any remorse if said pet got into your yard and did damage, as I wouldn't have been given the chance to prevent if from happening

eventually I would be selling, and a fence would be a plus for the new owner.

I wouldn't even consider buying (or renting) a property that didn't have a fence around it on all sides, bar perhaps the front. In fact I probably wouldn't even get out of the car to go and look inside. I like a clear boundary that says 'this is mine and that is yours', and if it's a six foot high privacy fence, all the better.

Rusty

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2014, 08:41:18 PM »


I'm with Sammycat.    I'd never buy a property without clearly defined boundary fences.    Maybe its just what we are used to, there's a saying "good fences make good neighbours".

sammycat

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2014, 08:41:57 PM »
our fences have to be built a certain distance *away* from a boundary (unless by agreement), and you're fully responsible for your own fence.

I've often wondered about this when I've seen it mentioned on US forums.

Say the ordinance for your area is that fences must be one foot from the boundary line - this basically seems to be saying that you've given up access to one foot of your own property? This would be intolerable to me. If the neighbours doesn't put up a fence they're really gaining an extra foot of land for free.  If the neighbour also builds a fence there's two feet of no man's land. If my neighbour built a fence before I did, I doubt I'd build one too - why waste my money and lose part of my land when my neighbour has already provided me with a fence, especially if it's an actual privacy fence, not just a token boundary stating one.

What about grass that needs mowing? Weeds about weeds that might grow between two fences? Vermin that might inhabit the area?


sammycat

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2014, 09:16:00 PM »
there's a saying "good fences make good neighbours".

Most definitely! The very first thing everyone did in our last neighbourhood (new development) was install their boundary fences, some even before the house was built. I think having that division is what made for such a harmonious neighbourhood as we all knew what was ours and what was someone else's.

This was part of a housing estate and the only drawback to these fences was the lack of privacy initially as they were more for defining boundary lines and keeping pets in, and strangers out, until all the trees and bushes everyone planted along the fence lines grew and so we were all offered privacy. They were supposed to be a certain height (4 feet?) and style (which everyone hated - bagging on the fence style was always a great ice breaker though.  Along our front we actually put in a different style fence as the covenant stipulated one was so ugly, and then many other neighbours followed suit).

We used to live on a very large semi rural block of land before recently moving to a smaller property where we are much closer to our neighbours. But we all have six foot high wooden privacy fences.  I love it! I can go out into my yard without worrying that anyone can see me, even though the neighbours are only a few feet away rather than over 3/4 of an acre away. The psychological 'division' I have now is worth its weight in gold even if the actual physical division is smaller.