Fence painting conflict

Leiming asks:
(updated on Friday, June 26th 2020)

I painted my shared fence from my side with a different color in my backyard and neighbor has alleged that there were some paint dropped over to his side. He wants me to pay the whole cost to get a third party professional painter to repaint his side. I do not think it is reasonable.

This is a 22 year old fence which has had no maintenance ever. The standard fence depreciation rate from IRD is 10%, that means it should be depreciated more than 80% from its original paint cost. May I please have your opinion on this case? 

Our Experts Answer:

There was a range of responses to your plight in our office. The majority agree that you should decline his kind offer to paint his fence professionally at your cost.

Interestingly, one of our team has had exactly the same thing happen: the fence in question was bare timber, he painted his side but, of course, paint dripped through and spotted the neighbours side. The neighbour insisted he paint their side as well. He didn't, he simply water blasted the offending paint off.

Compromise is probably the best option though. Why don't you offer something like a couple of pails of paint but say that applying it is over to them.

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