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No.. Just preping for a neighbor who is building next to us and wants to share the cost of a retaining wall.. My biggest consern is the footing that will come onto our property and interfer with our ability to grow trees. Let me know cost before providing response.

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Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
12/8/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,304
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today.

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. What specific questions did you have? I have an idea about your situation, but I don’t want to make any assumptions.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
New adjacent owner building home is requesting I share cost of retaining wall. He is willing to put on his property but footing will extend on to my property 1 foot. I have concern about ability to plant trees in future.
Do I have any obligation to cooperate? Who has obligation for future maintenance of wall?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No thank you.. I can't afford to go down a rabbit trap of fees.. Not satisfied with service.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Oh, that’s not a problem with the phone call. The system automatically asks if you want one, but there is no problem declining the request. One moment while I review your situation.

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Unfortunately, California has what's called a "good neighbor" fence law at Cal Civil Code Section 841. This means that you and the other party that share a fence are responsible for the costs of maintaining the wall. This means that you have an obligation to cooperate for the maintenance of the wall. One bright side is that with this obligation also comes some rights such as the right to be able to negotiate how this wall is to go up, where it's going to go, what it'll be made of, and how much it's going to cost. You can use your ability to negotiate with them to help figure out what's going to work out best for the both of you.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
My first question was .. Do I have an obligation in establishing the retaining wall? What about the inconvience of the footing being on my property?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

You don't have an obligation to put up a wall, but if a wall is put up by either you or the neighbor, then you have an obligation to help maintain it. As far as the inconvenience of the footing on your property, then that will have to be hammered out between you and your neighbor, unfortunately. The only way that you'd be able to relieve yourself of any liability here is if this person built a fence on his property. As soon as the fence becomes shared property, then it becomes the responsibility of both owners.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He offered to put the wall on his side of the line but the footing will cross over.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

So can I presume that there is no fence there currently?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That is correct.. New home is being built .
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I need to verify something. The fence laws are generally for existing fences, but they don't necessarily include new home builds or new fences that weren't there previously (e.g. rural areas). Bear with me a few moments...

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Ok, so the CA state statutes do not specifically prohibit or allow someone to put up a fence. What's going to control is your county or your city's laws regarding putting up a fence because it is likely going to be a zoning issue. For example, the fence may have to be a certain height, made of a certain material, and set back from the curb a certain amount. This means that it is probably legal for him to build a fence; however, if he is building a fence for his own use and on his own property, but it is encroaching on yours, it is more likely that this is a trespass rather than a shared fence. If the fence was truly going to sit on the property boundaries between you two, then that's a different story. Fences put up for his own benefit are going to be different. So, my recommendation would be to find out if the thing is even up to code. If it is not, then it is going to be property he's building on his own land and if it encroaches, it is going to be a trespass. if it does meet the zoning laws of your county, then it is likely you will have to share the cost of the fence. If the boundary makes it difficult for you to grow vegetation there, then it'll be critical that you figure out where it's supposed to go or you may have to find a new place for the vegetation.

What other questions did you have for me today?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I am not sure how high the retaining wall will go.. Does the advice apply to only a retaining wall that is not above grade or only slightly above grade?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Does it apply also to retaining walls? I assume all to code and permitting because he has just gone through city permitting.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

The gradation isn't a part of the equation. It's for all walls shared by the parties.

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