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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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Subject: Does California Good Neighbor FENCE law supersede HOA CC&R's?
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02/13/2020 8:51 AM  
My back and side yard fence butts up to HOA common area. The fence is 22 years old and many 4x4 posts need to be replaced. It should be noted that the reason these posts need to be replaced is because of water damage from years of HOA sprinklers hitting the posts with water. My HOA tells me I am solely responsible for the repair costs (because, apparently, it states that in the CCR's). But I know the California Good Neighbor law says that each "owner" is responsible for splitting the cost of the fence. Shouldn't the HOA pay for 1/2 the repair?


02/13/2020 9:45 AM  
You say the CCRs "apparently" say homeowners are responsible for the fence - you shouldn't be assuming that, but reading the CCRs for yourself. Pull out your copy and take a look. If you haven't seen them, look through the documents you got at closing, and if they still aren't there, talk to the property manager about getting a copy.

While you're checking the CCRs - was that fence there when you moved in, and if so, so you know who put it up? If it was you, did you ever complain about the HOA sprinklers? If so, when, and did you document those contacts?

As for the Good Neighbor law, you may have to read that in more detail to see what it says about fences in HOA communities - it may be this only applies to fences put up in non-HOA communities or communities that were established after a certain date. If it doesn't address HOAs at all, you may have a point about splitting the cost of repair (in which case, why not replace it with a vinyl fence or something that won't rot as easily?)


02/13/2020 10:09 AM  
I suspect the whole thing depends on who the owner is. If the fence is on the OP's property, was included in his purchase price (or was installed by him after closing), then it's his fence and should be his responsibility. On the other hand, if the HOA installed the fence and/or they have some kind of easement in that location, then maybe you could make an argument for shared costs.

So yes, read the CC&Rs thoroughly, especially if you run across something that says "unless otherwise specified", and check your plat to see where the property lines are. Without seeing these, we can't answer the question one way or the other (because the Good Neighbor Fence law may or may not apply in this situation).


02/13/2020 12:25 PM  
Actually California does have such a law.

Being that one side of the fence probably resides on association common area, at least one half should be HOA resposnibility. If the fence and posts were damaged by sprinklers maintained by the HOA then HOA would be 100% responsible.
(New Jersey)


02/14/2020 9:23 AM  
Reading what Mark posted yes the HOA CC&R would supersede the Good Neighbor law. The article stated "Adjoining landowners are presumed to share an equal benefit from any fence dividing their properties and, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties in a written agreement, shall be presumed to be equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction, maintenance, or necessary replacement of the fence.” The CC&R are in writing and you agreed to them when you bought the place so you would have to go by CC&R. By the way how long should a wood fence last? Do you paint, stain or waterproof it. I think 22 years for posts going into the ground is good. That is what I got out of my fence posts without any sprinklers hitting them.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Does California Good Neighbor FENCE law supersede HOA CC&R's?

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