I share a back fence with another residence and the fence needs to be replaced falling down in parts, rotting wood in general elsewhere.

I am aware of the California Good Neighbor Fence Law and the steps necessary to ensure compliance with the law so that that the cost for building the common fence should be equally shared. The rub is, the present occupants are renters and even though I have the name and address of the property management company, I’m not sure of who the landowner is at this time.

My question is To comply with the legal requirements of Section 841, can I give the 30 days written notice and other required details about the fence to the property management company in lieu of the actual landowner? Would they be as stated in Section 841 ‘an ‘entity that lawfully holds any possessory interest in real property’ and are considered the landowner for this purpose?

Asked on March 20, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If there is a property manager for the property and they are under contract with the owner then they are considered the agent of the owner for all purposes under the law.  So yes, you can serve them with the notice and I would serve the occupants as well.  But I have to tell you: it may be very easy for you to find out who the owner is of the property with a simple trip to City Hall or even an internet search.  The records of the building department and local Departments of Finance (for tax purposes) often list the owners and who is in charge to serve important documents upon. I would do some due diligence in this regard and that way if they ever dispute service you will have a prooof that you served everyone on record.  If the owner is a corporation then check the Division of Corporations for your state as to a designated agent for service.  Good luck.


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