My neighbor had a lawyer sent me a letter to force me to replace a broken fence within 60 days or they will replace it alone, bill me half and if I don't pay go to court. The fence has 10 feet that is gone and another 10 feet that is leaning.
Can they do that and win? Can they force me to replace a fence?
You need to talk to a lawyer. In Cape Coral, the fence belongs to the property owner where the fence is. I believe they must be 6" inside the property line. If a fence fails and the next door neighbor doesn't like that, he must put up his own fence 6" within his property line. Regulations are going to vary by city, state, county, etc. You need a competent attorney to guide you in this situation. Also, you might call the local government offices and see what advice they have to offer.
Are fences mandatory?
Did the neighbor talk to you first, or just lawyer up?
Good question! Is a fence mandatory?
They talked to me before.
Maybe you can just remove it?
That way, if they want a fence they can put up their own. I'd call the city and find out what the codes are
Anytime a neighbor wants to split the cost of a fence 50/50 that is a bonus. If they "lawyer" up in order to do it there is something wrong with that relationship. At the end of the day what is going to matter is if the fence is on or in your property line. In order to prove that it's surveys, city codes, plus one party already "lawyered" up, so it's going to cost money and waste time. Not sure what happened between the both of you, but it may be easier and cheaper just to comply at this point. Next time a neighbor approaches you about a problem try and find some middle ground so they don't lawyer up. Remove the fence if you want, but as @Jean Bolger stated it could be a city code or a homeowners association rule.
They kept asking for 50/50 split but in reality there is a second fence in my property so that I don't see the broken fence and already have the privacy.
The space between the two parallel fences is mine and is only 6 feet wide. So technically broken fence is between the two properties.
Do I really have to change the broken fence?
Can I legally asked for something not 50/50 since the fence is viewed by them and not me.?
I think in this case you already have a fence on your side, the other fence can be rebuilt by your neighbor using his own money because that is his fence to separate his property from yours. If the broken fence is on your property line and you know for sure that the survey will prove this, I'll ask the neighbor to see if they want to remove it themselves or have me do it. As far as putting up a new fence it is not your responsibility because you already have a fence. I think your neighbor trying to pull a fast one and get you to pay for half of the work. That is the reason why they lawyer up because they know they are in the wrong and trying to scare you into agreeing with them. Take a lot of pictures of the fences and prepare all survey and documents. Present this to the judge and hopefully he/she has common sense to know this is not your responsibility. Worse case, if you decide to pay for it and skip all the drama, make sure you only pay for the section separating the two properties instead of the whole fence. Catch my drift? Good luck.
are the surveys public information or I need to pay for them?
By the way, their lawyer is one of their family member...how does it affect their case eventually?
Assuming the fence is exactly between the properties, don't I have to share the cost according to california civil code 841? Does the law say I don't have to do it because I have a second fence on my property? If I have to do it, do I have to share 50/50 even though the benefit is better for them? (I don't see that broken fence)
I think your neighbors are trying to stick it to you. Clean up the clutter between the two fences and follow the advice of @Kevin Tran
How much are suveyors typically just to come and see if a fence is 2 inch on what side?
He didn't even come talk to you first? Geez. You should definitely check with an attorney. There doesn't have to be a fence, so you may have the right to just say you want to remove it and not replace it.
Their lawyer is a family member?
They are trying to scare you most likely. You may have to "lawyer" up.
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