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Old 08-27-2011, 04:17 PM
 
5,546 posts, read 9,149,610 times
Reputation: 2790

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I have a neighbor and we are not on good terms. I have a tree that at some point is going to push the blocks of our common wall out but has not. The limb must be removed, yet I want to save the tree. I am willing to hire the best to get this done. So I sent him an email asking if he would grant someone access in order to avoid damage to his property and I just know he is going to ignore it. I think he'd love to see the wall cave in on his side so he could sue my homeowner's insurance.

So my plan is to have the tree company out next week to see what my options are and I'm thinking I should contact my insurance agent too. I can't think of anything else to do. To complicate matters, my gazebo is falling apart, is caught up in the trees and may have to come down. Lots of money. Anyway, I am not going to send him another email. I fully expect to see the city on my doorstep on Monday morning to investigate his complaint (I am assuming he will make one, so could be Tuesday) regarding my gazebo (I mentioned minor repairs were needed but became major today). I have sent emails and pics to two contractors today for their advice and estimates. Can you think of anything else I should or could be doing to protect myself here? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:27 PM
 
4,166 posts, read 14,187,716 times
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Just on the off-chance the email went into his spam/junk folder, you might want to re-send it - it does sometimes happen. No real opinion on the tree but i hope he's flexible and you get it resolved as it would benefit him too.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:35 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,401 posts, read 69,992,347 times
Reputation: 37504
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistygrl092 View Post
So I sent him an email asking if he would grant someone access in order to avoid damage to his property
Restate the nature of this.
Make it a notice informing him of your intentions (and why)...
and put the onus on him to act to stop you if he has some objection for some strange reason.

"As X needs to be done at the property line I'm taking it upon myself to get the work accomplished. I'm open to your input on the project, and you're welcome to make any contribution toward the costs you're inclined to make."

Send it by regular mail.

Last edited by MrRational; 08-27-2011 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:44 PM
 
5,546 posts, read 9,149,610 times
Reputation: 2790
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Restate the nature of this.

Write a **notice** that as X needs to be done on the property line you're taking it upon yourself to get the work accomplished, that you're open to his his input on the project, and that you would welcome any contribution toward the costs he's inclined to make.

Send it by regular mail.
Thanks, but it's my tree that is causing the problem. Also, I guess I should have called my insurance company BEFORE I posted this question. By law he is NOT required to give me access. By law I would be would be liable for any damages. I'd just better hope that tree company is darn good. He's not going to do me any favors. The only outstanding issue is that *someone* knocked loose the top narrow concrete block and I told him I didn't know if it was due to removal of his shed or my tree but that we'd deal with it later and I took it down (so he couldn't thow it on his side and claim property damage).
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:44 PM
 
553 posts, read 946,807 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistygrl092 View Post
Thanks, but it's my tree that is causing the problem. .. By law he is NOT required to give me access. By law I would be would be liable for any damages. ).
Who told you this? If he does not allow you maintenance then he is liable for damages. Send a certified letter to him asking to provide access. If he denies access in the required time he will be responsible for damages, both yours and his.
It is also likely that insurance will not cover any damages, since it will be an intentional damage.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:49 PM
 
5,546 posts, read 9,149,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dressy View Post
Who told you this? If he does not allow you maintenance then he is liable for damages. Send a certified letter to him asking to provide access. If he denies access in the required time he will be responsible for damages, both yours and his.
It is also likely that insurance will not cover any damages, since it will be an intentional damage.
My insurance company. I like your answer, but who told you that?
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
8,425 posts, read 12,194,532 times
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You might also check the laws of your state. In some, adjacent property owners are required by law to grant access for certain situations like repairing or avoiding imminent structural damage. Not sure if just a retaining wall would fall under this, but if it gets really bad, it might be an option.

I also agree on sending the certified letter.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:22 AM
 
10,757 posts, read 5,521,913 times
Reputation: 4389
New York has a law that allows an owner who wants to repair real property and needs access to adjoining property to seek a court order if the neighbor refuses access.

I don't know what it costs or how long it takes, or if your state has something similar.

As Dressy suggested, there may be case law that relieves you of responsibility if the neighbor refuses access AFTER you've given formal notice of the hazard and asked permission to remove it

I hate to say go thru the expense of contacting a lawyer [I'm not one], but in the long run it might be cheaper than the limb falling or you being charged with trespass. Sometimes a lawyer letter scares the recipient into doing something they don't want to do. Since you're already on bad terms with the neighbor, no relationship to hurt.
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:42 PM
 
553 posts, read 946,807 times
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If you send him a certified letter
saying that you have some work schedule and ____date, and ask him to give you answer by ______ if he has objections to it.
Then, if he does not reply, try to do the work.

If he calls the police for trespassing, then they will hardly arrest you, since like they say this would be a "civil matter"...
but then you will have a police record that he denies you access.
Then he will most likely be solely responsible for all the potential damage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistygrl092 View Post
My insurance company. I like your answer, but who told you that?
I did some research, since I have a similar problem. It just can't be otherwise. Impossible. we live in the cities with tight property lines and public safety depends on proper maintenance of the building. If somebody does not let to do the maintenance he willfully presents a hazard to you and public safety.
He may try to give you some terms of access but he cannot simply say no.

Last edited by Dressy; 08-28-2011 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:44 PM
 
553 posts, read 946,807 times
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Small claim court here in IL for example does not require a lawer


What Types Of Cases Are Handled In Small Claims Court?


Small claims court may be used only for certain types of cases. For example:
  • Lawsuits such as breach of contract, property damage, or personal injury.
  • All evictions, regardless of the amount of rent claimed.
  • Repossessions of property if the property consists of consumer goods which are leased or purchased on credit from a dealer, or if the value of the property does not exceed the amount that is determined by county where filed.
  • Garnishments to enforce judgments from funds owed to debtors.
  • The maximum judgment allowed in small claims court is $10,000.00 plus costs; therefore, your claim may not exceed $10,000.00.
Is an Attorney Required?

In small claims court you can handle your personal or business legal matters without an attorney; however, you can hire an attorney to represent you if you wish. If the other party has an attorney, your chances of winning might be better if you also have an attorney.

Last edited by Dressy; 08-28-2011 at 02:58 PM..
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