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Need help writing a letter to neighbor about broken fence?

Discuss anything to do with property law - buying, selling property

Need help writing a letter to neighbor about broken fence?

Postby achban » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:02 pm

The neighbor that lives on the opposite side of my property has a seriously dilapidated fence that spans over 400 feet crossing. Not onlly my property, but also my next door neighbors as well there are sections missing and fallen over, missing pickets and nails sticking out.
I have repaired it several times myself, However a recent storm has knocked down 25% of the fence on my next door neighbors side.
It needs repair/replacement, but since it isn't my fence I'm not the one who's going to do it.
Now, legally my neighbor doesn't have to do anything and I completely understand that. I also understand that in this economy many people can't afford to pay for such a costly repair. All I would like to know is if my dear neighbor has any intention of repairing the fence. I wouldn't expect him to if he was disabled or unemployed, and I am not going to hold him accountable because realistically I can't. I'm more or less looking to send him a very friendly letter asking him about it, sort of to show him that it's bothering me a little.
I was hoping that some of you could help me find the right words. I do not wish to be confrontational, and I would like him to know that if he is incapable of fixing it for whatever reason, I completely understand.
I'm not the type to knock on doors because that could be perceived as threatening, plus I have never seen or met him.
Thank you for any help!
achban
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:56 pm

Need help writing a letter to neighbor about broken fence?

Postby sebastiano » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:05 pm

It sounds like this person is pretty reclusive if you haven't seen him. So you're probably right that he wouldn't welcome a visit. But you should at least try to visit. Most people would see it as more threatening to receive a letter.

If he doesn't answer the door, THEN write a note and start by saying that you did visit. If he does answer, try to have a friendly chat. Start by introducing yourself--you're John the neighbor and you're happy to meet him.

Either way--whether you see him in person or end up writing a note because he doesn't answer the door, after the introduction comment that that was quite a storm. You noticed that it affected the fence. If he seems friendly, say that it might be good for the neighborhood for it to be repaired, that you've done some repairs in the past to keep things safe, but that storm created problems that are beyond your abilities to fix.

At that point, it might be a good idea for you to offer some kind of help, to keep the atmosphere friendly. For example, you could say that you've seen some nails, etc, sticking out and you'd be happy to help remove them since they may be dangerous for animals or people. Then sign off.

That's probably about as direct as you can get.

I don't quite understand why the fence is considered your neighbor's even though it crosses your property. What I can tell you is that neighbors sometimes do agree to share fence repair expenses even if the fence belongs to one person. It might be worth you while to do this if you want the value of your property to be increased (for example, if you may sell in future).

Good luck.
sebastiano
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:46 am


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