Can My Neighbor Make Me Pay For Fence?

Fencing laws are not always clear. One neighbor may have the right to build a fence in his or her yard and another might be required by law to tear down an existing one. It can be tough for property owners trying to understand where they stand, let alone identify which walls belong outside their home’s boundaries and which do not.

The “Can a neighbor tear down a shared fence” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer to the question is no, but if the fence is owned by one person, then yes. Read more in detail here: can a neighbor tear down a shared fence.

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Fences are often at the focus of neighborly conflicts. It might be a matter of color, form, or size. Maybe they want to build a wall between your houses, but you don’t want it. You could be perplexed and upset if this occurs to you. You may be wondering whether your neighbor has the legal authority to make you pay for this dividing line.

In most places, if the fence is completely theirs, your neighbor cannot force you to pay for it. You must pay for it and contribute to its upkeep as soon as you begin to use it as part of your property. However, rules and laws differ from city to city and state to state.


You should be aware of your rights if you are presently involved in a fence dispute with a neighbor. Continue reading to find out whether your neighbor may force you to pay for a fence. If you find yourself in this circumstance, you’ll want to know the details. You should be well-versed enough on the issue to know what to do if a scenario like this happens in your community.


Contents Table of Contents

  • Is it necessary for me to contribute to the cost of my neighbor’s fence?
  • What Is the Fence’s Exact Location?
  • Paying for Damages to a Neighbor’s Fence
  • Conclusion


Is it necessary for me to contribute to the cost of my neighbor’s fence?

In most areas, the cost of constructing, maintaining, and paying for a fence does not have to be split among neighbors. It is permissible, but not necessary. However, if the neighbors do not talk about this, problems may occur. 

Every place has its own set of laws. If your neighbor asks you to help pay for the fence they’re planning to build, you should:

  • Check your state’s fencing regulations.
  • Check to see if there are any restrictions in your area.
  • Make your feelings known regarding the situation.

In certain jurisdictions and towns, you may be required to pay for the fence. If your neighbor is difficult to deal with, it is vital that you do your homework. You should prevent any needless legal conflicts that may arise if you misunderstand the laws.

The Good Neighbor Fence Law in California

The Good Neighbor Fence Law in California is an outstanding example of enforcement in a jurisdiction where you must pay for a fence. This legislation was enacted in 2013, and it has both positive and negative aspects.


Two adjacent neighbors, according to this law:

  • It is anticipated that a French that is placed would provide the same advantage.
  • Are equally accountable for all costs and expenditures related to the barrier.

Only a formal agreement between the two neighbors granting one complete custody of the fence may alter this. If you reside in California, bear this in mind if you are discussing something with a neighbor. You are responsible for half of the barrier unless you have signed documentation.

A Neighbor’s Written Request

In many other states, if your neighbor wants you to pay for half of the fence, they must give you both a letter of notice and a request. You usually have three weeks to react to them after that.

As a result, you can:

  • Reject the request to construct a barrier.
  • Refuse to pay for part of the fence, as requested.
  • Accept responsibility for your part of the fence and pay for it.

If someone take the time to send you a letter, you can be certain that they are a pleasant person. It’s typically easier to comply in these cases, but you can’t be forced to pay for the fence. It is up to you to choose which choice is best for you and the future of your living space.

What Is the Fence’s Exact Location?

In terms of payment, the position of the fence is critical. It’s yours if it’s on your land. It is theirs if it is on their land. It legally belongs to both of you if it falls on the property boundary.

If your neighbor is erecting a fence, be sure it does not cross your property line. Because the property line belongs to you and your neighbor, you would be responsible for half of the cost and duty for repairs and replacements.

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In the worst-case situation, your next-door neighbor may do the following:

  • You will be sued for your side of the fence.
  • You will be sued for damage repair.

A important separating point is the property line. Know it and understand it so that you can prevent any legal problems in which your neighbor may try to extort money from you. These may get vicious and end up ruining relationships for good.

What Is the Best Way to Locate My Property Line?

You must position this area between the two properties to guarantee that you will not have to pay for the fence due to the property line. Many homeowners, however, are uncertain of where this boundary runs and how to find out if they don’t know.

The property line of your house may be located at:

  • On the title paperwork that were included with your property when you bought it
  • Using the services of a qualified land surveyor or civil engineer.
  • By going to the recorder’s or assessor’s office in your area.

You may be sure in the difference between your property and their property once you know where the borders are drawn. If a disagreement arises, you may rely on this information to prevent your neighbor from claiming the right to make you pay for the fence.

Regardless, the property line is something you should be aware of. It can assist with a wide range of property concerns, including trees, autos, and flower beds. This barrier exists on every single property and is permanently and invisibly ingrained.

Paying for Damages to a Neighbor’s Fence

A neighbor might also force you to pay for a fence in another situation. In the event of property damage, this is the situation. If you cause damage to their fence, you may be held liable for the costs of repairing the dividing line. 

The following things might harm the fence:

  • If you make a mistake and drive into their fence, your automobile will be damaged.
  • On your land, a tree that has grown too enormous
  • You have a pet at home.

If it was an accident and your neighbor is understanding, you may always reach an agreement verbally rather than paying. They are under no obligation to make you pay. If you destroy their property, however, you should compensate them for what they have lost. Even if you pay, it does not become your fence after that.

Avoiding aggressive confrontation is the most essential thing to remember. People are more understanding when you are nice to them. The more understanding they are, the less likely you are to have disagreements that result in future financial waste.


In most cases, your neighbor will not be able to make you pay for the fence. Fences that run along the property line and the California Good Neighbor Fence Law are exceptions to this rule. You may be held liable if you cause harm to others. Most disagreements, however, may be resolved with a simple talk and a handshake.

If you’re ever in a position where your neighbor thinks you owe them money, it’s likely they’re bluffing. Unless you have legally consented to it, you do not have to pay for the barrier in most situations. Do your homework to ensure that you are aware of your rights when it comes to financial concerns.

Check out our post to find out how much the cheapest fence to install costs, as well as how to clean a pvc fence!


The “who is responsible for fence repair between neighbors” is a question that has been asked before. The person who owns the property, or the person who lives on it, will be responsible for repairing any damages to the fence.

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  • good neighbor fence law
  • shared boundary fence replacement law
  • “sharing a fence with your neighbor”
  • who owns the fence between two houses
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