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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Retaining Wall and Fence Over Property Line

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: California

    The property line divides our backyard from the neighbors walkway which is used by tenants to access 2 condominium entrances. Our yard has a retaining wall and grapestake fence on our property to give privacy to our backyard. Prior to us buying our property, the neighbor had a cyclone fence to separate the property but she took it down when the previous owners of our property installed the grapestake fence. I'm not sure if they installed a retaining wall or if it was always there.

    Our neighbors just informed me that after we had some stone patio work completed 2 1/2 years ago, our builder reset the fence post on one end such that the fence overhangs on to the neighbors property line by 4 inches. She wants the fence posts reset so that everything is back on our property.

    I'm o.k. with resetting the fence posts but the entire fence has noticeable termite damage, beginning to lean and probably needs to be replaced. Question: Is my neighbor responsible for any cost of replacing the fence (Cost estimate is $1700) or at least the wood retaining wall? The retaining wall does control erosion from her property onto ours. Her property sits about 2 feet above our property.

    She is a good neighbor but refuses to share any of the costs. It seems she benefits somewhat but would like to know other opinions. I appreciate your comments even if I am considered to be responsible for the entire cost.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Retaining Wall and Fence Over Property Line

    Is the retaining wall on your property, or on hers? Without knowing more about any maintenance agreements, etc. that may exist, the location of the wall is the only thing I can think of that might dictate who is responsible.

    As for termites, I don't see how your neighbor could be held responsible for their actions. I would expect that termites would fall under an act of God category, much like a perfectly healthy tree being blown onto your house by a tornado. You have acknowledged that it is your fence, and by asking you to move your fence back onto your property, she has acknowledged the same.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Retaining Wall and Fence Over Property Line

    The retaining wall is completely on my property and there is no maintenance agreement that I am aware of. Sounds like it is on me. Thanks for the comments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    El Dorado County, CA

    Default Re: Retaining Wall and Fence Over Property Line

    The cost of repairing the wall is probably entirely on you. However, it sounds as if your neighbor is sharing the benefit of the fence, evidenced by her taking down her fence shortly after yours was built. If other parts of her yard remain enclosed by fencing she did not remove, that would be further evidence of that. If that is the case, CA law is pretty clear that she must share in the cost. I'll see if I can dig up the particular reference later today.

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