Re: Responsibility for Cost of Fence Repairs
In California, adjoining landowners are jointly responsible for the maintenance of boundary markers and boundary enclosures, such as a fence. If your neighbor replaced the fence with materials similar to what the existing fence was made of, you are responsible for 1/2 of the cost. If they had hired a fence contractor, that would include the cost of the contractor's labor. Assuming that your neighbor is not a licensed contractor, they can charge you only for 1/2 the cost of materials that they have legitimate receipts for, and cannot charge you for their personal or hired unlicensed labor that you did not agree to. Perhaps one of the attorneys can chime in, but I believe that would put them in a position of operating as an unlicensed contractor (by charging another for construction effort by them or their unlicensed employee). The State contractor's Board takes a very dim view of that.
If they replaced the fence with different materials than what the existing fence was built with, and if the fence is sub-code, you may want to rethink paying your share until the fence is brought up to code. You don't want to pay for something that the local building department may require to be removed and rebuilt do you? That's a decision you need to make. If the fence is constructed to your satisfaction, poses no risk to the employees, customers/clients, or whoever else might enter that portion of your property, and the risk of the a Building Inspector directing you to remove and replace the fence with one meeting code is slight, and you're willing to accept the risk and just move on with life, you may just want to pay half the cost of materials and put it behind you.
Since your neighbor just went ahead and replaced the fence without consulting you ahead of time, has incomplete receipts, and hired an unlicensed person to do the labor, they've put themselves in a poor negotiating position. Common sense and common courtesy should have directed them to give you the opportunity to have input and participate in the decisionmaking prior to building the fence. Common sense should also inform them that hiring unlicensed labor rather than hiring a fencing contractor is a cost savings decision they made on their own and that they cannot pass on that cost to you without your prior knowledge of the lack of license and consent to allowing the unlicensed person to proceed anyway.
I'm a surveyor, not your surveyor & not an attorney.
Advice is general survey, not legal. Hire a local professional for specific advice.