What to do if my neighbor wants to charge us for fixing a common fence?

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What to do if my neighbor wants to charge us for fixing a common fence?

The fence was blown down by strong wind recently. Originally the neighbor and I agreed on finding a contractor and share the cost. However before we could settle on a contractor, he bought some material and fixed it himself, without getting my agreement. In fact, as soon as I learned that he was going to fix it himself, I informed him in writing that it was not what we have agreed on and I would not pay for it. Now he wants to charge me $250 for it, without showing me any receipt or anything to prove the true cost. Am I liable to pay what he has asked?

Asked on December 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, you are not responsible for paying the neighbor the $250.00 demanded for his alleged costs to fix the common fence. You and the neighbor had an oral agreement to first find an agreed upon contractor before any work was done.

The neighbor unilaterally went ahead without asking your thoughts and did the repairs himself. If you want to be a nice neighbor, you could consider paying for one half of the actual materials for the new fence assuming the actual receipts for the material are given to you. 


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