Newsflash: First time buyer — fence is broken but seller won’t replace

TLDR: Seller has a broken fence on the side of the backyard, says the neighbor owns it and doesn’t want to fix it. Best options?Home is in a suburb — it is a row of houses each with a square-shaped backyard about 800 sq ft in size. Each house is the same. Each backyard has a brown picket fence for the enclosure. Each fence wall separates the backyard of another home.For my backyard, one side’s fence is in bad shape — lots of cracked, bulging, and flat out broken pickets. The home inspection turned up quite a few things, but I offered that if he just fixed the fence, we can ignore the rest. He has a dog that appear to have done a number on that particular fence.This was a few weeks ago and we are now a week out from closing. My seller came to me today and told me he realized that he doesn’t own the fence — his neighbor does — and that he doesn’t actually own any of the sides of fences. Because his neighbor owns the fence, he doesn’t think it’s fair for him to fix the fence. We didn’t sign an agreement that he would fix it, and I’m not forcing him to fix it either. It’s also just a fence, so it’s not a big deal, but I’m just wondering what my options are. In all of your opinions, what’s the best way to address this?1) Do I ask the neighbor to fix it? The fence faces my backyard (so the cross beams are on the backside that belongs to the neighbor).2) How do I confirm that the neighbor actually owns it and that it isn’t a shared fence? I’m not familiar with this but it seems odd that in a large suburb that my seller doesn’t own any of the 3 fences.3) Again, not familiar here, but would it be appropriate to contact the POA for the neighborhood? Would they have a way to address this? Surely this has happened before where the fence breaks and one neighbor wants it fixed.4) If the neighbor does own it, would I just ask him for permission to fix the fence myself? The whole side needs to be replaced and since it’s the edge of my backyard, it will affect the value of my home whenever I try to sell it. What if the neighbor doesn’t want the fix messed with even though it’s substantially damaged and affects my home value?Appreciate your insight and help.



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