Who pays when you are putting up a boundary fence?
What happens when an old one needs repairing?
Do you shoulder the burden or do the neighbors chip in with the costs?
Laws differ from state to state and even from county to county. The common understanding is that the landowners on both sides of a boundary fence are responsible for any costs involved.
The only exception to costs is if a neighbor does not use the fence. In practice it is difficult to see how a neighbor would not use a boundary fence.
If the fence is your idea then you will need to approach the neighbors to ask them to share in the costs. The best way to do this is to:
- Make Initial Contact
- Have A Meeting
- Draw Up A Plan Before The Meeting
- Explain Where Costs Will Arise
- Explain Your Need For A Fence
- Do Not Threaten Or Force The Issue
Let’s take a closer look at each point.
Make Initial Contact
Talkin’ is better than fuedin’ must be a saying somewhere.
If it isn’t, then it should be.
Give your neighbors a call. Tell them you are thinking of erecting or repairing a boundary fence and ask if they would like to talk about it.
Arrange a meeting well in advance of doing any construction work.
Do not make it sound like an ambush or that they don’t have a say in the matter.
Draw Up A Plan Before The Meeting
It is vital that you have the ideas for a fence clear in your head before the meeting.
Maybe jot down a few designs, including height and the fencing materials you would like to use.
While it is always a good idea to be well prepared, do not tie yourself to any ideas before the meeting.
You do not want your neighbors to think that they haven’t a choice with the boundary fence.
Have The Meeting
It may be a good idea to have the meeting on your neighbor’s property.
They may feel that bit more comfortable at their own kitchen table or on the deck outside.
If they are coming to your home, then make sure you have food and drink on hand to help them relax.
Always suggest that wives, husbands and family members attend the meeting, as often a few heads can talk a lot more sense.
It may not be such a good idea to bring your lawyer.
Explain Your Need For A Fence
At the meeting explain why you feel the need for a fence.
Your neighbor may be feeling the same.
It may be that you need the extra security and they will appreciate such a feeling too. If you want to enclose your yard, so the dog is under control, you can be certain they will feel the same.
Do not say you are building the fence to keep the neighbors out or for any other reason which may upset them.
Keeping the neighbors on your side is a vital part of the meeting, especially when the talk comes to money.
Explain The Costs Involved
If you are lucky the meeting will go well and your friendly neighbor will ask ‘how much do you need?’ and take out the checkbook.
While this is unlikely to happen, a good neighbor will nonetheless understand the obligation to pay towards the fence, especially if they are going to benefit too.
You will have to broach the subject of costs at some stage, so always direct the meeting towards that point.
Have the costs ready and show where the money is going and this should help you through the awkward phase.
If they have any suggestions take them onboard.
Do Not Threaten Or Force The Issue
Sail gently towards the idea of costs and who pays what for the fence.
Do not say something like ‘this is what you have to pay’ or ‘I’d like a check before the end of the meeting.’
Definitely do not start the meeting by saying ‘I’m going the build a fence and you’re going to pay half or I’ll see you in court.’
Avoid disputes at all times.
Maybe reconsider the size and material costs if money is becoming a problem.
Being conciliatory with your neighbors is the best way to get any job done.
Ask Us For Help
Give us a call a www.fencesupplyonline.com when you are thinking of building a fence.
We can give you a full quote, as well as plenty of options on style and materials
Our experts will be happy to look at your plans and offer a friendly opinion.
Contact us today for all your fencing needs.