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Thread: Bringing Braces to a Fence Fight

  1. #1
    Lefty Lucy is offline Junior Member
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    Bringing Braces to a Fence Fight

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    Next door to me are very old apartments that would not meet code if they were just built. The latest owner is refurbishing to sell. I have lived here for 32 years with the same chain link fence between us. I believe that I am co-owner of the fence as I maintain some lawn up to it, I have repaired it, I had a bamboo screen attached to it for about two years until last week and it serves to help completely enclose my yard. Code calls for a 6’solid wood or masonry fence between apartments and other land. Owner bought cheep redwood picket fence in 8' panels. A carpenter partly attached the panels to the posts of the chain link fence that are spaced at 10’ instead of posts at 8‘ as they should be. The panels have three horizontal 2x4 rails with 1x6 boards nailed with uncoated nails. A few of the panels were only toe-nailed to the panels beside them. The others joined together with small splice plates nailed and/or screwed at one or two rails. The fence is not attached to some of the posts and at others with a bracket at one or two of the rails using two small screws. I told the maneger, the carpender and a guy that said he was the owners boyfriend that the fence was not sound and the maneger and boyfriend said it would be fixed. I realy believe they will do nothing else if nobody says anything and I think I have said enough. The best looking side of the fence faces to the apartments, rail side to me. We have a world famous wind (Santa Anna Winds) blow here about 25 or more days a year. If they do no not do something soon, I plan on fixing the fence with two 4foot 2x4s at each panel joint on the apartment side nailed through to the top and bottom rails on my side. Then attaching every post with two brackets. When I do this I think the owner may be angry as the apartment side will not look so good but the fence will be very much stronger. What kind of legal trouble may I get into?
  2. #2
    FarmerJ is online now Senior Member
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    Next door to me are very old apartments that would not meet code if they were just built < You wrote, That has no bearing on anything, Ill lay odds your community has many so called non conforming to newer code buildings but still meets older codes structures and that could include your own home too, but like I said it has no bearing. Fence problems what you believe and what a survey shows might be two different things. Get a survey done so you know exactly where the lot line is and if your fortunate and that fence is just over the line enough that its obviously not on your land dont touch it at all , call your city inspections. (that bamboo attachment might have been put on a fence that is not right on the lot line so Id suggest you do nothing till you can establish exactly where your lot lines are via survey) SO what I suggest actually is for you to take more time to learn the details of fence ords in your city / and under what conditions does a city ord require a property to meet a newer code.
  3. #3
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty Lucy View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    Next door to me are very old apartments that would not meet code if they were just built. The latest owner is refurbishing to sell. I have lived here for 32 years with the same chain link fence between us. I believe that I am co-owner of the fence as I maintain some lawn up to it, I have repaired it, I had a bamboo screen attached to it for about two years until last week and it serves to help completely enclose my yard. Code calls for a 6’solid wood or masonry fence between apartments and other land. Owner bought cheep redwood picket fence in 8' panels. A carpenter partly attached the panels to the posts of the chain link fence that are spaced at 10’ instead of posts at 8‘ as they should be. The panels have three horizontal 2x4 rails with 1x6 boards nailed with uncoated nails. A few of the panels were only toe-nailed to the panels beside them. The others joined together with small splice plates nailed and/or screwed at one or two rails. The fence is not attached to some of the posts and at others with a bracket at one or two of the rails using two small screws. I told the maneger, the carpender and a guy that said he was the owners boyfriend that the fence was not sound and the maneger and boyfriend said it would be fixed. I realy believe they will do nothing else if nobody says anything and I think I have said enough. The best looking side of the fence faces to the apartments, rail side to me. We have a world famous wind (Santa Anna Winds) blow here about 25 or more days a year. If they do no not do something soon, I plan on fixing the fence with two 4foot 2x4s at each panel joint on the apartment side nailed through to the top and bottom rails on my side. Then attaching every post with two brackets. When I do this I think the owner may be angry as the apartment side will not look so good but the fence will be very much stronger. What kind of legal trouble may I get into?
    **A: maintenance of some of the lawn up to the fence does not make you an automatic co-owner of the fence. Take FamerJ's advice. If the fence belongs to the apartment owner, you can't nail posts to it..
  4. #4
    csi7 is offline Senior Member
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    Yes. Definitely have a legal property survey done, before doing anything.
    This was a life-saving measure for our neighbor dispute, as the the permanent markers were made visible after accusations were posted with authorities.

    As stated by the senior members, if the fence is not on your property, leave it alone, and contact authorities. Take pictures date-stamped.

    Keep all documents, pictures, information of when you talked to whom where about what in a place all together.
  5. #5
    Lefty Lucy is offline Junior Member
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    Different Question, if I may

    Thank you for the answers to the above question. I have researched further and would like to ask another question but have been told I must ask it here as it is similar to the question I asked in this thread.

    Next door to me are very old apartments, some made from buildings that originally had other uses. The Zoning is Single Family Residential at that property as well as mine. The latest owner is refurbishing to sell. I have lived here for 32 years with the same chain link fence between us. The apartments have been used as such since I have been here.
    Code states:
    Nonresidential or multi-family. Where a nonresidential land use district abuts property in any residential land use zoning district or a Multiple Residential Land Use Zoning District abuts property in a Single Residential Land Use District, a solid masonry wall shall be constructed on the land use zoning district boundary line consistent with the height limitations contained in Table 83-6.
    Owner bought cheep redwood picket fence in 8' panels. A carpenter partly attached the panels to the posts of the chain link fence that are spaced at 10’ instead of posts at 8‘ as they should be.

    Dose the apartment owner have to install a masonry wall if I complain?
  6. #6
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty Lucy View Post
    Thank you for the answers to the above question. I have researched further and would like to ask another question but have been told I must ask it here as it is similar to the question I asked in this thread.

    Next door to me are very old apartments, some made from buildings that originally had other uses. The Zoning is Single Family Residential at that property as well as mine. The latest owner is refurbishing to sell. I have lived here for 32 years with the same chain link fence between us. The apartments have been used as such since I have been here.
    Code states:
    Nonresidential or multi-family. Where a nonresidential land use district abuts property in any residential land use zoning district or a Multiple Residential Land Use Zoning District abuts property in a Single Residential Land Use District, a solid masonry wall shall be constructed on the land use zoning district boundary line consistent with the height limitations contained in Table 83-6.
    Owner bought cheep redwood picket fence in 8' panels. A carpenter partly attached the panels to the posts of the chain link fence that are spaced at 10’ instead of posts at 8‘ as they should be.

    Dose the apartment owner have to install a masonry wall if I complain?
    If he dose(sic) are you willing to pay for half?
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  7. #7
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone* View Post
    If he dose(sic) are you willing to pay for half?
    You didn't see any language compelling payment or obligation on one side or the other, did you? Neither did I.
    Antigone* likes this.
  8. #8
    FarmerJ is online now Senior Member
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    Lucy I used to live in a property that was multi unit and non conforming as well, every lot on my street was zoned for single family use. Yet on my block ( 2 blocks long) there was 5 duplexes my 4 plex and a 5 plex (I lived in one unit rented the other 3) so where im going with this is Even though we were non conforming use we were able to legally use our properties as we were because our properties were used as rental at the time a city zoning ordinance was applied to that block. SO if there was say fire or tornado and 50% or more of the structure was destroyed then our only options for rebuilding would have been single family homes since newer zoning rules would have applied. Get a property survey done and if the fence is not on your lot line too bad for the new owner of that property, the city can make the new owner comply with its ordinances. With out a current survey you have no idea whose it is , WHAT if it is completely with in your lot lines? did you think of that ? If its inside of your lot line then sounds like the headache is all yours.
  9. #9
    Lefty Lucy is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone* View Post
    If he dose(sic) ...
    Yea,third-person singular simple present indicative form of do, spellted wrong.
  10. #10
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Spelled it wrong is more like it.
  11. #11
    Lefty Lucy is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    Spelled it wrong is more like it.
    Nice catch! No wonder that you have so many posts to your name.

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