My Neighbor and I are having Issues Deciding Who Should Pay for our Damaged Fence, What Should I Do?

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“I have a problem, the neighbors do a german shepard keeps coming into my yard, about 8 times now within 2 weeks. He has weakened my fence so much it is beyond repair, the neighbor who owns the dog says he is not going to fix the fence because it is rotting and the wind blew a section down, needless to say open access to the do. I have called him every time to come get his dog and he does with an apology. Well today I came home at lunchtime and the dog came running up to my gate in my yard and started barking and looking mean, I wasn’t going to take a chance so I went to inform the neighbor again to which he did not answer the door or the phone so I called animal control, they took the dog away and left a note on his door. I proceeded to leave an apology note and a reason saying why what I did was necessary, since I had 5 more hours to go back to work. Well that only made matters worse, he decided to yell at me to say I was going to reimburse him the money it is going to cost to get his dog back since he was going to be neutured and he planned on breeding him also he wasn’t going to fix the fence he wants to go in halves with me to build a new one. There was nothing wrong with my fence before his dog started coming into my yard should I be involved in fixing the fence or should he have to fix it since it was his dog that cause all the damage?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Starting at the beginning, I assume that this fence is on the border between your properties. In many areas, this kind of fence is assumed to be owned equally by the two property owners on either side, so ordinarily it would be both owners’ responsibility to repair or replace the fence.

In a situation where one owner damages the fence, however, you could certainly argue that that owner should pay for the full amount of the repair or replacement. People are normally responsible for damage done by their pets, so that would apply as well.

However, you mentioned that your neighbor said that the fence was already rotting and that a section had been blown over by wind. Obviously, you have a disagreement as to how the fence was damaged, and you have to ask yourself how much of an argument you want to get into with your neighbor over half the cost of a fence.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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