A TikTok video of a woman expressing her dilemma over her neighbor’s fence has sparked a debate on the platform about who should pay for the shared boundary.
Katie Harris (@katherinevharris) posted a video on Oct. 12, in which she shows her neighbor’s backyard from her office window. She says that they are cutting down their old fence to build a new one and expresses that she’s ambivalent about whether she should be chipping in.
@katherinevharris Either im getting a new fence or a pool! #home #homeowner #fence #pool #backyard #tulsa ♬ original sound – katie harris
“I feel like an asshole because I know you’re supposed to like offer to pay for half of your neighbor’s fence if it gets put down but I’m poor and I don’t have the money,” she remarks.
The video has since gone viral, garnering more than 1.7 million views and a plethora of comments discussing who should pay for the fence.
“You are absolutely not responsible for half unless you agree ahead of time. I have replaced two sides of mine and never asked neighbors to split it,” one commenter wrote.
A second commenter echoed the same point, writing, “We replaced our fence and did not expect our neighbors to pay for half. It was our choice not theirs.”
“In my experience we have either replaced the fence at our expense or we discussed with neighbors BEFOREHAND about splitting the cost,” a third commenter added.
Another commenter complained about their situation with their neighbors. They wrote: “Our neighbours asked us to pay for half, we told them we can’t afford it right now to please hold off. They built anyway and harass us weekly for half.”
“The thought of asking someone to pay for a fence that I want is a bizarre concept to me,” another commenter offered.
According to a FindLaw article, partition fence laws vary based on state and local laws. However, the article states, “In most jurisdictions, both property owners must equally pay for and maintain a fence that runs on or close to a property line.”
The article goes on to say, “This is typically true even if one neighbor made a unilateral decision to erect the fence. The reason both neighbors are on the hook for the cost and maintenance of a partition fence is because it’s assumed that both neighbors benefit from the fence.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Katie Harris via her email for comment.