DOES THE GOOD NEIGHBOR FENCE LAW AFFECT YOUR PLAN TO INSTALL A FENCE?
When a homeowner wants to install a wood fence in Pleasanton, the Good Neighbor Fence Law must be considered. The Good Neighbor Fence Law refers to the California law which states that neighbors who install a fence between their properties must share both the cost of installation and the maintenance of that fence.
It is important to note, the Good Neighbor Fence Law only applies when both neighbors have fenced yards, or if that bit of fence is the only fence for either yard. If one yard is fenced and the other is not, then the unfenced neighbor is not required to split costs; however, as soon as that neighbor installs a fence of their own, attaching to the current fence, the law goes into effect. This also includes owing the first neighbor half the cost of the installation of the original piece of fencing.
The best way to handle the situation when you want to install a fence between properties is to discuss the fence with your neighbor. Talk about the style and location of the fence you intend to install. Listen to your neighbor’s comments or objections, and do what you can reasonably to calm any objections or doubts about the fence installation. If the neighbor will not be using that portion of the fence (he does not have fencing on the other sides of the yard), then he probably will not have many objections, but it is better to maintain a good relationship with your neighbors when possible.
If your neighbor already has a fence in place, and you are installing one to meet up with it, then you will need to consider how the law will affect you. The law states that attaching a new fence to his fence means that you are using it, therefore you are responsible for half the upkeep, and should give him half the price of the installation of that part of the fence. This is actually to your advantage, as that entire section of fence will cost you only half what it would cost if you installed that portion of fence yourself.
In all cases of a shared fence, communication is the key to maintaining a good neighborly relationship. Talk to your neighbor, don’t assume anything. Be sure you are in agreement about how the maintenance will be divided and make sure that you keep up your half in the same manner in which you want your neighbor to keep up his half. As long as you work together, there is no need for the Good Neighbor Fence Law to have a negative impact on your desire to install a wood fence around your Pleasanton property.