Can my neighbor make me pay for cleaning out a mutual fence row?

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Can my neighbor make me pay for cleaning out a mutual fence row?

My neighbor came to me today and told me that I would have to pay for my part of a fence row to be cleaned out. It isn’t bothering me whether it gets cleaned out or not; I don’t have the money to have cleaned out but he wants it done.

Asked on July 9, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Issues regarding neighbors and property lines and trees often end with bad feelings when one seems to be violating the right of the other or just not prioritizing the same issues that concern both of them.  What you need to look at here is any agreements that may be in existence regarding the fence and the land.  Is there something written in to a deed or a covenant that runs with the land?  Are you part of a Home Owner's Association?  Or some other agreement between you?  Generally speaking the fence should be maintained by both of you but one has no more rights than the other.  If the reasons for the cleaning is nothing more than aesthetics and not because it is causing  any problems such as drainage, etc., the entry and explain to him that this is not a good time and do not sign anything with anyone about it.  If more happens write back.  Good luck.


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