Are fences in a residential area required by law?

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Are fences in a residential area required by law?

There is an existing wooden back yard fence that we share with
our neighbor in Northridge, CA. Our neighbor wants to upgrade
to a better fence tells us that we have to share the costs
of either upgrading or replacing the fence. We have no
interest in sharing any costs do not believe that there
needs to be a fence in the 1st place. He says that he’ll take
us to small claims court if we don’t contribute to the costs.
Do we have to have a fence? He put up the existing fence
paid for all of it about 16 years ago.

Asked on July 2, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While it is not impossible that your town has some local ordinance requiring fencing (it would be *very* unusual, but not impossible--you can check this easily at the town/city clerk's office), as a general matter, no: there is no state or federal law requiring residential fencing. You are under no obligation to pay for this fence--if he wants the fence upgraded, repaired, replaced, etc. he can pay for it; he has no legal grounds to make you contribute.


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