Neighbors Share Cost of Replacing Fence

  Question: Recently, a severe storm badly damaged a wooden fence we share with four other neighbors in our Glendale subdivision. This wooden fence needs to be replaced. The problem is that all of the neighbors except one want to replace the wooden fence with a block fence. The one neighbor has no objection to a block fence but simply does not want to pay for the additional cost of a block fence. The rest of us have decided we will build a block fence, but we are upset that the one neighbor will have the benefit of a block fence without paying the additional cost. Is there some way to get the one neighbor to pay for the additional cost of a block fence?

  Answer: Probably not. The one neighbor’s only legal obligation is to pay the pro rata cost of the replacement of the original wooden fence. There is no additional obligation to pay for the additional cost of a better fence such as a block fence. Note: I am assuming that there are no covenants, conditions and restrictions recorded against the property in the subdivision that address repair and replacement of a common fence.

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