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Question DetailsAsked on 7/29/2014

Had shared fence damaged by wind and insurance companies were contacted. What do I do if my neighbor won't pay?

Both my neighbor and I had insurance people come out to inspect the damage. I received my check to pay for half of the repair costs since the fence is shared, which I'm assuming they received one from their insurance as well. I told them I would find someone to do the fence and did that and paid the guy and for all the fencing supplies. The fence is back up, but my neighbors haven't paid their part. What do I do if they refuse?

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1 Answer


Guess you know now that having the fence repaired without his payment in hand also to give to the contractor was a mistake.

If the fence is TRULY shared (shown on recorded property surveys as a shared fence built actually "on" the property line), then you can sue to recover his share of cost to rebuild it. You would be to sue for recovery of the cost (possibly in smalll claims court), and abtain a judgement that would allow you to put a lien on his property if he does not actually pay up. And yes, that is what it sounds like - you might get a judgement in court but the court does not actually enforce payment - you then have to go after his assets or property yourself, at your cost, to get the $. Isn't our court system wonderful !

Bad news - if the fence is actually a touch on his side (which is common - most fences there days are built by one owner on the edge of his property, so not legally "shared" property) then you gave him a gift basically and have little chance of recovery - and if on your side you would be liable for the entire amount, though you could then go back to your insurance company for them to pay the full amount (minus deductible).

Personally, before considering court action - assuming he does not come through with his half after your present the bill - I would contact his insurance company and ask them where the payment for their half is - this will cause them to go after him if he got a check and did not use it for the repair, which would be insurance fraud in most states.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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