Do we have to pay for half on a fence that our neighbor’s dogs destroyed, especially if they will not give us any information regarding the cost?

UPDATED: Mar 7, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Mar 7, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do we have to pay for half on a fence that our neighbor’s dogs destroyed, especially if they will not give us any information regarding the cost?

Our neighbor’s 2 St. Bernard dogs broke through out fence twice and the second time ran through our house. We complained and now they are replacing the fence. They gave us a letter at 6 pm saying the fence will be replaced the next day and they will send us half the bill later. I tried asking for the estimate, quote or bid but they said don’t worry we got the lowest bid. They weren’t very cooperative when I told them we needed to be included on the cost situation. Do we still need to pay half even though they weren’t cooperative on both occasion when we tried to talk reasonably with them?

Asked on March 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally, when one party is responsible for the destruction of property, through either negligence (or unreasonable carelessness) or an intentional bad act, that party is liable for all the costs to repair  or replace. If your neighbor's dogs broke the fence, then it would seem that your neighbor would be wholly liable, especially since this was the second occasion--that is, the neighbor had warning or notice that the dogs did this, and so would be negligent in not taking steps to deter or restrain the dogs. (E.g. an "invisible fence" inside the actual fence; keeping them tied up, inside the house, or in a dog run; etc.)

Of course, if your neighbor disagrees, you'd have to sue to resolve the issue, which could cost more--in terms of time, money, effort and damaged relationships--than its worth.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption