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Old 07-14-2018, 12:20 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
184 posts, read 118,651 times
Reputation: 411



I live in a small 60 year old home with my husband that we bought about two years ago. It is a fixer upper and we've been making progress with updating it as funds become available. It is starting to look nice both outside and inside.

I live in a gentrifying neighborhood and huge new homes are being built. The house next to me was knocked down and a new large home (2500 sq feet) is going in. There is a "double fence" between our properties that is wooden. It has about five years of life left. The fence attaches to our double wooden gate that was likely put up at the same time.

The new neighbor asked if they could take down the fence. We said sure, no problem. They also asked if we would like a quote to take down and replace our gate as it has to be done with the fence removal given it's attachment. We said sure.

A couple weeks later the neighbor said the cost of removing the double fence is $300 (not including our gate. She left the gate out of the quote) and asked if we would contribute. We said, that we didn't feel the burden was on us as we would have to pay to remove our gate and replace is to match their new fence. That was enough of an expense for us at this time. Oh yeah, the neighbor is a doctor at the house is $400k.

They asked again saying they would be agreeable to us paying $150 to take down the fence instead of the full $300. We again stated that we are 100% agreeable to have the fence taken down and to remove/replace our gate but the actual fence removal is on them unless it includes gate removal (then we would pay). By the way it will cost about $1,500 to replace our gate. And we are not rich.

The neighbor then said she'd just take her side of the double fence as we were not willing. Mind you this fence is actually once fence (i.e. posts in ground) simply with two sides. She then said the other neighbor gave her the full $300 to have the other double fence removed as they are putting up a new fence and will benefit from it.

What do you guys think?
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:28 PM
1,914 posts, read 1,085,963 times
Reputation: 2042
I think your neighbor is pushy, rude, and completely out of line. Stick to your guns.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:31 PM
6,695 posts, read 2,608,873 times
Reputation: 18245
I can't tell what the set up is.

If they take down only their side and replace it, that's fine, isn't it?

It shouldn't affect you if you want to leave your side up - is that right? They aren't going to replace the posts?
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:33 PM
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,308 posts, read 3,528,493 times
Reputation: 22575

Sorry you must deal with her....
don't waver.
If she wants it gone that much... she can pay for it.

Have a pleasant day!
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:38 PM
369 posts, read 114,648 times
Reputation: 881
It seems the point of contention is the darn gate. I'm trying to imagine a $1500.00 gate, can't get there.
I made and installed a 16 x 8 double swing driveway gate, complete w/ architectual finials, animal motifs as well as latch and lock mechanisms and hinges for around $600.00.
Something's not right here.
There is value in being on good terms w/ neighbors. Invite them into discussion on the gate issue.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:44 PM
Location: on the wind
4,104 posts, read 1,535,580 times
Reputation: 14669
Let me see if I've got this right....pretty sure I can guess your response, but consider whether you really must replace the present structures with the equivalent made from the same materials. I think you are limiting yourself about what the choices actually are.

1. Your neighbor removes their fence. Why does that mean you lose your gate?

If your gate depends upon their fence, seems to me they should pay for a new attachment/anchor post for your existing gate, because their actions would disable what's there now. What would it take to separate your current gate from their fence? A reasonable compromise might be to suggest splitting the cost of doing this instead. You could end up with a gate that is independent of whatever they do with their property in future. You get to keep your gate and it is no longer their problem. If your current gate doesn't need to be replaced at this time, great. Just re-hang it onto the new anchor post.

2. Do you need to replace the current gate with the equivalent of what's there now? Isn't there a less expensive option? Who cares whether they "match" as long as neither is an absolute eyesore?

3. Do you even need the gate in the first place? If you say you don't need a fence of your own (just let them replace their "side" and leave it at that...it would create the same functional result), why do you even need/want a gate?

There's always the option to agree to nothing and end up in a pissing match with a neighbor. How long do you want to live with that?

Last edited by Parnassia; 07-14-2018 at 02:13 PM..
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:46 PM
10,868 posts, read 41,128,193 times
Reputation: 14009
Much depends upon where the fence is located.

If on the property line, and you're agreeable to replacing the fence, then you have a shared responsibility (which doesn't necessarily mean 50-50 split if the issue is cosmetic and not a functional need to replace the fence)

If the fence is inside one property or the other, then the fence is that property owner's sole responsibility. It would be neighborly if both property owners agreed upon a cosmetic/functional basis and split the expenses, but if the fence that's coming down is on your neighbor's property, I'd tell them that you're not interested in paying for something that you don't need.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:15 PM
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,831 posts, read 57,830,396 times
Reputation: 29215
Originally Posted by submart View Post
I live in a small 60 year old home...It is a fixer upper
I live in a gentrifying neighborhood and huge new homes are being built.

What do you guys think?
I think you should back off of your 'remodeling' work
and wait for the knock on the door with a BIG CHECK to buy you out.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:23 PM
Location: planet earth
2,883 posts, read 1,014,551 times
Reputation: 6527
What is the real issue? If it is your lack of funds, that is one thing - if that is the issue, ask if you can make monthly payments. If you disagree about the amount being asked for state your case, but then pay what you think is a fair amount (I think most people have to reimburse 50% or a lien could be put on your house, but check the rules in your area).

If you are benefitting from the work, just pay it.

It sounds like you are resentful that the neighbor has a bigger/nicer house than you and has more money. If that is the issue, just let it go.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:48 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
10,711 posts, read 19,040,812 times
Reputation: 14653
The fence must belong to either you or the neighbor. If it is their fence, they want it removed so they pay the cost - if it's your fence - just keep it if you want. I don't understand the gate thing either.
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