My question involves real estate located in the State of: NY
Hi, We have a fence that borders the sides of both mine and my neighbors house that spans from our backyards down our respective houses side alleys. The fence and brick wall base has decayed and frayed to the point that the fence is leaning into my yard. The bricks surrounding the fence posts are all scattered & missing to where the posts are leaning freely on my side of the yard. I try to push it back but the wind just blows it back to my side.
My own gate at the end of the fence is connected to my own separate post & their gate is in line with their fence and the 18" brick wall base (that is falling to pieces
) that the fence is built into.
Here's the issue: Both houses were built from the same builder 20 years ago. My neighbor had purchased their house as the builder worked on it & had say-so on certain "specifics" along the way. It seems my neighbor might of knowingly or unknowingly coerced the builder to build their own brick base for their fence on the eight inches of my side of the property and thereby giving their yard & side alley the extra space that I see they have over mine. My house's first owner didn't come around until a year after the house was built and basically just purchased what was already laid out by my neighbor's and builder's (of both houses) original plans.
The reason I know it's their original fence (and not mine) is that bases is made from the same exclusive brick that they used for their house exterior walls. Also, that same fence brick base extends around the perimeter of their house leading up to their side gate. I also know it seems to be 8" on my property as their front bricked (same brick also) landscaping border is back the eight inches towards their proper property. So to visualize,my grass line from the street goes along their front properly aligned landscaping brick border, but then goes up to the 18 " brick base which is conveniently made to be eight inches onto my property, while giving them a walkable space on the side of their house to it's fullest surveyed property extent while having the luxury of maintaining their same brick border (again, used on their house exterior) and a good looking fence that was put up when they had the house built to have the nice side facing them.
Not a big deal until now that the expensive brick wall base started cracking and falling apart to the point the fence is leaning into my yard with constant brick debris all over as it continues to fall apart. Also, there's a danger for my kids that use their tricycles in the back yard as the wind blows on this vicariously swinging 7 ft chain fence with the fence post bases, brick, and mortar debris all exposed and dangling over on my side of the yard thereby taking even more of my property up then the original 8".
To top that, as we live in an exclusive neighborhood, my neighbors promptly fixed their decaying side gate (which faces the street) with an approximate $2000-3000 designer hand made wrought iron gate. But they have left the decaying side gate for years as it falls apart. For the past two years this eyesore & dangerous gate has leaned onto my property & has been the gorilla in the room yet we all have been politely just waving at each other as we get into our cars.
After watching them make repairs on all other parts of their house to keep it looking it's high level immaculate way yet ignoring the eyesore that only I can see, I realized this fence thing must be a waiting game for them as they must be looking for me to make the first move to offer in splitting costs.
One reason I haven't offered is the fact that this fence seemed to be knowingly encroaching on my property when they built it yet made to look like their property due to it bordering their house. Letting them have full use of their property to it's ends. An even BIGGER reason that it's a hard pill to swallow on helping split the cost is that ten years ago (about a year after I moved in) when they were upgrading their backyard to all pavers with landscaped borders, they, had a little accident with the small Bobcat Bulldozer they were using to dig out their earth for landscaping. They accidentally bumped into the fence's brick base that borders our property, thereby denting and damaging the fence. This knocked about 2 bricks out that fell on my side right under the post and started the crack that turned into today's eyesore. The neighbor (who's also a contractor) admitted to it back then, politely apologized for the eyesore I had of two bricks missing and said he'd fix it shortly. That $200, one day, brick patch and pointing job with bricks he possessed was never done. Now, ten years later, we have this 60ft span, $4000+ mess.
I tried politely talking to them recently about it but they politely told me they will get to it "sometime" this year which really means not really.
I live in NY. Any advice?