Crossing the (fence) line. WWYD?

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GilaMinumBeer

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What would YOU do?

Rental property vs neighbor.

A fence that separates your (rental) property from the neighbor is in dis-repair. The picket panel is in fine condition and is on your property side. The posts are what have broken (4x4 wooden) and are on the property line(s).

The fence style and color matches that of the neighbors fence.

The fence is leaning over into your property and your tennant is complaining.

The City has no record of a permit. Nor does it require a permit for fences under 8 foot tall.

There is no ordinance requiring fenced separation between property.

Your tennant does not have an "agreeable" rental history. Not so bad that you evict or not re-new but, troublesome regardless (very long explanation).
 

Evan!

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Short answer, if they're troublesome and aren't doing you any favors by renting, then f*ck 'em. Tell them there's nothing at all requiring you to do sh*t about the fence, so if they want a new/fixed fence, they can do it their own damned selves.

Long answer, though, is that it depends. Is that fence actually your neighbor's fence, or is it yours? You say it matches theirs in style and color, but is it actually theirs, and is it on their property? If so, you might want to check with the city as to how they handle possibly dangerous, structurally unsound structures that overhang adjacent properties and present a safety hazard. If it's your neighbor's fence, you might be able to sic the city on 'em---but then, you also run the risk of making an enemy next door...and believe me, that's not what you need, because when you have renters, it's always a good thing to have your neighbors on your side so that they "look the other way" more often than not.

The other consideration is future renters...do you think it might pose a problem for you when you're showing the house to candidates?
 

Laurel

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If the fence really is in disrepair and it would a) cause your renter to move out, b) decrease the amount of money that you'd be able to rent the house for, or c) make it more difficult to rent the house out again, you should probably see about repairing it.

It's common practice for neighbors to split the cost of a fencing project providing that they both see need for replacement or repair. The fence on one side of our back yard is rotten beyond belief and needs replacing soon. We intend to contact the owner of the property (there are renters in it) and see if they're willing to split the cost of the materials if we provide the labor.
 

mmb

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Talk to the neighbors. I'm sure something can be worked out.

Otherwise, sink new posts on your side and then ask them to remove their posts from your fence. :D
 

GranillaNutz

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i've been waiting on this shed to fall into my bedroom for years so i can get a lil $$$ cuz the owner just won't fix it. but the damn thing just won't fall

it's kind of the same situation with the property lines and such. my insurance company did say that if the shed or fence were to fall and damage my house, it was still considered his property and he'd have to pay for the damages, even tho it does cross the property line, it's not considered my fence.
 
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I know in my area, if it is enough of an issue the city can step in and make the owner "take care of their property" I know the lady across the street has had the city make her neighbor ( no not me) cut his grass before it got way out of hand. If it's their Fence and on their property, I'd talk to them first and if they refused to do anything, build a nice fence on your property to cover it. It''s it's on your property Fix it. part of being a land lord. But what exactly is the complaint of the tenant? taking away outdoor living space or just looking bad? If it's cosmetic, tell him that's what you get for renting!

Granilla, Sorry about your shed neighbor there! But was it there when you moved in?
 

GranillaNutz

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i'm sure it's been there before my grandfather was born. it's been through several owners and the current owner is a renter. none of the previous owners have attempted to fix it. most say "oh yeau.. i've been meaning to get around to that" it doesnt' bother me too much really, but it would be nice if it fell on my house so i could get a new paint job ;) it lasted through so many hurricanes... IT JUST WONT DIE!!!
 

Reverend JC

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Its too bad you dont have a Neighbor from Munich that lives behind you with said ****ty fence and who likes to drink your beers especially a helles and who says that during his break from work while kids are on spring break he will fix the fence. Also, that same neighbor who knew you were using a strain of Andechs yeast to make a german pils and when he went to munich picked you up a glass at the Andechs brewery.

Yeah, to bad you dont own my house.

good luck though.
 

Saccharomyces

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In our neighborhood if the poles are on your side the poles are your problem and the pickets are not, if the pickets face your property the pickets are your problem but the poles aren't. This is in the deed restrictions since there is no HOA. It's worth a check to see what the deed restrictions say about the fence, if anything. If nothing you should probably try to work out 50/50 on any repairs with the neighbor.

You can probably guess what part of the fence is falling apart here... yeah that'd be the part that faces the street which is all mine. :D
 

Bedlam

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You know, your tennant is the real issue here. If he/she'd offer to help out with the fence, I feel that it would be a non-issue. Everywhere I've ever rented, I've left it in better shape than when I arrived. To me, renting a place doesn't automatically absolve you from putting a dime into the place on occasion. After all, YOU are living there to enjoy the improvements.

Want an example? Read my blog from our last rental adventure. (Scroll down to the one titled "The Big Move"):

Shiny Side Up


Words can't describe, really, what that place was like before and after we were there. Fence, hell. Your tennant needs to chip into that, at least marginally. Show him the blog, then tell him to complain.
 

Bobby_M

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I would approach the neighbor and request that they either repair or remove the broken fence. It is customary (though I have heard of the opposite) to face the nicer finished side towards your neighbor. Some cities require fences to be jointly maintained if they are ON the property line. I would let the neighbor decide whether to repair or remove, and then tell your tenent what the deal is.
 
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GilaMinumBeer

GilaMinumBeer

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Bedlam,

If more tenants were like you then I'd have less to complain about. My current tennant is a PITA when it copmes to getting the rent. It always comes, and the late fees always get paid. I just never really know what part of the month I'll get paid.

To add to the insult, this tennant is Section 8 which mean that the mortgage is at least guaranteed every month (and is on time). The bit I am at odds with is what she "agreed" to pay by contract and that I cannot "legally" collect.

She keeps the house clean but, she does not hesitate to call in for repairs for every and anything.
 

ohiobrewtus

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In my county, fences must be set back a minimum of 6"-12" from all property lines in order to clearly indicate who the owner is. It wasn't always that way though. I've had a couple of houses where there were disputes over fences with neighbors. Not fun.
 

Coastarine

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I can't really give you advice but I can share a similar ongoing story:

I am currently a tennant at a house which had a moderately crappy fence on 3 sides of the yard. It offered some privacy, and it was better than nothing. My landlord offered to build a full fence because we have a dog. We figured that meant he'd just build on to what is there, but his contractor came a few days later and ripped the whole fence down and dug up the posts. Then the landlord and his contractor cleared all the brush from the back of the lot. All of this got piled in my back yard, and all of a sudden nobody was showing up to work on it. That was around halloween. Now, 5 months later, they finally hauled off the wood and are going to get started on the new fence. I really appreciate him doing this, but I would have loved the privacy of the old fence for those 5 months instead of having it a pile in my yard. I'd call once in a while and ask what was happening with the fence and he'd always make it sound like his contractor was just about done with another project and would be coming tomorrow. He owns multiple properties and just has one guy that does all his work, so really its no wonder it takes forever for anything to get done.
 

bluehouse

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Ask your neighbor if they value the fence and would agree to repair the posts. If they say no, say well then I am thinking about removing the fence completely. They will either fix it or you remove it, and you won't have to worry about it anymore. Then use the wood to build something you want or need for your yard/ brewery or bar.
 

GearBeer

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Wedge the fence up with a couple 2x4s.

You could inform your tennant that it's not technically your responsibility but offer to reduce a month's rent if he fixes it himself. My parents do this with the maintenance on my late-grandmother's house in Wisconsin (it's usually more cut-and-dry regarding ownership, though).
 

gratus fermentatio

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Bedlam,

If more tenants were like you then I'd have less to complain about. My current tennant is a PITA when it copmes to getting the rent. It always comes, and the late fees always get paid. I just never really know what part of the month I'll get paid.

To add to the insult, this tennant is Section 8 which mean that the mortgage is at least guaranteed every month (and is on time). The bit I am at odds with is what she "agreed" to pay by contract and that I cannot "legally" collect.

She keeps the house clean but, she does not hesitate to call in for repairs for every and anything.
If you rent to a sec. 8 tenant, you're stuck with 'em, unless you refuse to rent to any Sec. 8 tenants. Sec. 8 tenants will tear your property apart in one way or another. the only thing close to an "up" side to them is the fact that the govt will pay on time every month, but it's quite a balancing act to keep repairs down long enough to actually profit from the arrangement. Good luck to you, GF.
 
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