My question involves real estate located in the State of: California
8 years ago we bought a house in a tract neighborhood built in the 1960s. Each house has fences on three sides, on the property lines. A portion of the fence on the west side of our house is falling (the rest of the fence is sound). It has been falling for 3 years due to the neighbor's trees. We spoke to the neighbor 3 years ago and she refused to do anything about the trees. Instead she suggested we place metal braces on our side of the fence. We declined, as the portion of fence that is falling is right at the front entrance to our house. The fence has since become worse, as you would expect. We just moved away from CA and rented our house to a very nice couple. The neighbor approached the couple and told them she, her son, and her insurance agent were worried about the fence. She told them we said we would install the metal braces three years ago, but still hadn't. She asked them if they would install the metal braces. I called the neighbor and told her nothing had changed since we spoke about the fence three years ago: once she's ready to deal with the trees we can talk about how to repair/replace the fence. She said she will not do anything about the trees. In the two weeks following that call, two contractors have been out to see the fence. Both told her there is no doubt the trees are causing the problems and they must be removed and the stumps ground before anything is done to fix the fence. I understand that under Civil Code 841 both neighbors are responsible for maintenance of a fence that's on the lot line. My questions are:
1. Since it is her trees that are causing the structural damage to this portion of the fence (negligence?), are we still responsible?
2. Is there any way to "force" her (legally) to deal with the trees?
Any/all advice is appreciated!