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How to Handle Issue with Neighbor's Fence

10 years ago

We bought our home a year ago. We have a neighbor behind us, and our properties are separated by a wooden privacy fence. Judging by the location of the posts, I'm assuming this is a fence that they (or someone who owned that house before them) put up...and judging by the condition, it was put up many years ago. The wood is starting to rot at the bottom and boards are starting to loosen and fall off.

To make matters worse, we have two dogs, and so do they. Neither our dogs or theirs are aggressive by nature, but when the four of them "meet" at the gate, the barking and snarling and growling is crazy.

So the big problem is that one of the panels of the fence are starting to be pushed away from the fence line because of a palm tree growing at the edge of their property. It has caused the boards to begin coming away from the fence and yesterday, what I had feared happened....their dogs came THROUGH the fence, right into our yard! Thank God our dogs were inside because there could have been a horrible dog fight. My husband ran them back to their side of the fence, and we have since patched up the gap as best we could with a big sheet of plywood (which looks absolutely dreadful).

I know we need to approach the neighbor about this situation (they probably don't even know their dogs came into our yard), but what would be a reasonable request, beyond fixing the gate? Should we offer to split the cost of the repair? I don't know how the gate can be fixed unless they remove the tree, and I hate asking someone to do that...not to mention, that's an even bigger expense that I would also offer to split with them if I had the money, but I don't...and I don't think they do either.

Any thoughts?


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