Why *wouldn't* we want a legal agreement for a shared fence w/neighbor?
October 5, 2010 3:06 PM Subscribe
Please help me figure out if I'm being unreasonable to want more than a "handshake agreement" between my condo association and our neighbor to have that neighbor a) build a fence that b) straddles our two properties and c) wants us to pay 1/2 of the construction costs for, and that d) we'd "co-own and maintain." Condo drama inside.
posted by tristeza to law & government (38 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'll try to keep it short:
- my condo has a long driveway that used to have a fence next to it to separate our property and our neighbor's (ON's).
- fence fell apart and basically crumbled a couple of years ago. We need a fence there because there's a drop off and if someone dumped off our driveway into ON's yard they'd likely get hurt.
- old fence was, apparently, built straddling the two properties somewhere (I think one end was in ours, one end in ON's). There was no documentation of its building, no easement, nothing.
- ON and my HOA talk, decide that ON will build another fence (he's a contractor) in the same place. He asks that we pay "half - it'll cost $2000."
- HOA comes to owners with this, some of us say "where's the legal agreement about the payment and about the fact that it's going to be on both properties?"
- HOA says there doesn't need to be one, let's just shake on it, we need the fence and he's cutting us a great deal, we'll just co-own and co-maintain it and everything will be peachy.
- let me reiterate - NO LEGAL/FORMAL AGREEMENT ON PAPER
- some owners insist on one, we draw one up, seems reasonable to us non-lawyers, present it to ON
- ON won't sign it. Doesn't feel like it's "necessary". He says - Let's just shake on it, it's a simple fence, no big deal. A formal agreement seems like just too much.
I am completely, 100% baffled why we wouldn't want/need a formal agreement in place. HOA says it's just "not a big deal!" They must be high, because I see: co-ownership of structure on two properties, liability insurance issues, shared maintenance issues, cost of building issues ("oh, did I say $2k? I meant $4k"), etc etc etc etc..... this seems so reckless I can't even begin, and the HOA board is literally saying "wow, guys, this is just a simple fence, why go all formal?"
So, who's crazy - me or the HOA?