What should I do if my landlord can not fix the shared fence?

11 Replies

Currently my landlord is having a dispute with her neighbor over a shared fence. The half portion of the fence has already been removed by the neighbor before the dispute. later both parties had a disagreement on how to fix the fence and for some reason the neighbor won't respond to my landlord anymore. They are stuck in their dispute and nobody touch the fence for two weeks. Right now there is no fence between two backyards and I, as a tenant, can not use the backyard and enjoy the summer time with my family and friends anymore. I feel my right is violated by this situation but I don't know what to do. Is there any legal requirement that can require my landlord fix the fence as soon as possible? What should I do with this situation?

thanks for the input. But I rent this house as a package including the fence. I always pay my rent on time. Right now it seems like I don't get what I have been paying for. It is an eyesore to me seeing the backyard is not what it should be. I talked to my landlord but she said that at current time she could not do anything because the neighbor would not reply any of her text messages and phone calls. She said she would try to solve this issue but there was a possibility that it could take a long time. I just want to know if there is any way to protect my interest.

Unless your lease specifically states that the fence is supposed to be there and in good condition, etc., then I don't think there is much you can do. I highly doubt it says anything about the fence, though. Also, not sure why you wouldn't feel safe without the fence there. Fences are usually pretty easy to climb over or break down if someone wanted to get into your yard.

You might have to bite the bullet and invest in a temporary privacy screen to put up when you need to. I agree- if the fence isn’t specifically stated in the lease then I doubt there is anything to be done. You’re renting the house, not the fence.

Maybe using the yard without the fence will make the neighbor want a fence too. The neighbor may not want to help to pay. In any case yards without fences are usable and you can arrange your lawn furniture for privacy and/or get a freestanding canopy and hang a privacy screen on one side.

I happen to disagree with many here as if you rented the unit with a privacy fence, for whatever reason, be it for your dog, safe place for your kids to play, or just so you don't have to look at someone else's backyard when you're outside enjoying your day, I'd find whatever tenant hotline the local government usually has set up and ask them what your rights are as the landlord has just changed the amenities offered without any notice or rent reduction.  The owner may be arguing with the neighbor because neither wants the expense to replace or maintain.   A family member just had this develop where the neighbor's fence was damaged, and the neighbor told them, if you want a fence there, you pay to fix it, because I'm just removing it.  So they now maintain the fence between the two properties because they didn't want it removed.   I'd ask the tenant hotline how to proceed as, while it doesn't affect basic living like plumbing, heat/ac, etc., it is a substantial change, especially if it was advertised as having a privacy fence.

While not quite as required as heat and plumbing, I think if you rented a house with a fence, you should be reasonably entitled to have the privacy/security a fence provides.

I would keep hounding your landlord about it. I would also stop by and ask your neighbor about it. See if you’re getting the same story.

Most often, only one party wants to pay half for a shared fence. If the other side doesn’t want to pay for it, nothing can really force them to.

Unfortunately, I don’t know that you have much of a legal basis to withhold rent or anything, but I would say you have a moral basis for getting the landlord to provide a fence! Good luck!

I nominate this thread for the most absurd tenant complaint Ive read in a long time.