In the state of Texas, can I demand reimbursement of half the cost of materials used to replace a shared back fence. The "shared" back fence was needed to be replaced so I took it upon myself to install it myself. This was done in May/June 2012. I have already given my neighbor 2 letters for reimbursement and have talked to my neighbor once but was never given a direct answer if he would reimburse me. Please advise as to what can I do to retrieve reimbursement. Your quick reply will be grately appreciated. Eddie
State/Country relating to question: Texas
Gave my neighbor 2 letters for reimbursement and have talked to him once. Other than that, nothing.
Hello,Thank you for using JA..Is the fence exactly on the Property Line, or is it on your property?.Do you have a survey that shows its location on the property?.
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I believe it is on both property lines as the builder of my neighbors house put up the shared back fence when my neighbor's house was built. I basically used the same line to put up the new fence. Keep in mind, I'm only seeking reimbursement for materials used only. Labor is not in question since I put it up myself. Also, initially when I talked with my neighbor he stated he would pitch in and help but never did.
Ok, without a specific requirement in your neighborhood or contained in your deed that you must have a fence, a fence is an optional improvement to the property. If there is no requirement, neither you not your neighbor would have an obligation to repair or replace the fence. Therefore, if he doesn't agree to share the cost you cannot legally force him to do so. As for his offer to help, that would be considered a gratuitous promise that he would be under no legal obligation to follow up on..But if he stated prior to you starting, "Sure I will pay for half of the fence" and you relied on his statement when replacing it, you could possibly have a claim for breach of oral contract and for "detrimental reliance". This is an equitable argument that arises when one person relies on the statements of another and acts based on those statements then suffers a detriment because of it (incurring the entire cost of the fence). It is closely related to "estoppel" which is when A takes a postion that B relies on and then A later changes his mind. B can argue that A is then "estopped" from changing his position since B relied on it when acting..But this would require B to file suit against A and prove that A did promise to pay for half the fence, which may be difficult to do since it was just an oral statement which A can claim they never made..I know this may not be the news you had hoped for..
12 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 23+ years
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