ISSUE:

Two neighbors share a common property line. On the common property line is a wooden fence in good condition. One neighbor has just purchased a large dog and wants to take down the wooden fence and construct a new block fence. The other neighbor is satisfied with the wooden fence. Does the other neighbor have to pay one-half of the cost to remove the wooden fence and construct a new block fence on the common property line?

ANSWER:

Probably not. The general rule is that the cost to repair and maintain a common wall is shared by the two neighboring property owners. If the existing wooden fence is in good condition, no new block fence should be necessary. Therefore, the cost to remove the existing wooden fence and build a new block fence should be paid by the neighbor who wants the new block fence. Note: Any applicable CC&Rs should be reviewed, inasmuch as most CC&Rs have rules relating to common walls.
Arizona REALTOR® Digest September 2007


About the Author

Michelle Lind

K. Michelle Lind, CEO of Arizona REALTORS®, is also an attorney, State Bar of Arizona board certified real estate specialist, and the author of "Arizona Real Estate: A Professional’s Guide to Law and Practice". AAR is the largest professional trade association in the state comprised of more than 45,000 REALTORS® and thousands more affiliate members. Please note that this article is of a general nature and may not be updated or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Further, this article reflects only the opinion of the author, is not intended as definitive legal advice and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.