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Old 01-17-2009, 07:48 AM
 
7 posts, read 13,138 times
Reputation: 10

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I live on the northwest side of town 1604/bandera. I have had my house since 1990. A few years ago there was a field behind my house, and as the area grew they began building houses and the lot behind my house was one of them.
My backyard has a small in ground pool, and behind it are railroad ties because there is a drop beyond that. On the railroad ties sits my fence. I hope you can picture that.

A couple of months ago the neighbor behind me decides he wants to tear down the fence and erect a new one. I didn't agree to it but it was fine with me. So the people he had replace the fence tore out my railroad ties supporting my pool and threw them onto the deck. I am very angry. I feel that the ground is not stable now because the nit wit tore out those railroad ties and possible altered the property line. I also have several huge railroad ties sitting on my deck. I want them put back in their place because I do not want to have foundation problems.

I want to take the person to small claims court. I am not sure the procedure or the next step. If any of you have ever gone through small claims please help me out here and give me some pointers. By the way, we do not have a HOA.

Graciously thankful.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:43 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 15,450,574 times
Reputation: 18755
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashley88 View Post
I live on the northwest side of town 1604/bandera. I have had my house since 1990. A few years ago there was a field behind my house, and as the area grew they began building houses and the lot behind my house was one of them.
My backyard has a small in ground pool, and behind it are railroad ties because there is a drop beyond that. On the railroad ties sits my fence. I hope you can picture that.

A couple of months ago the neighbor behind me decides he wants to tear down the fence and erect a new one. I didn't agree to it but it was fine with me. So the people he had replace the fence tore out my railroad ties supporting my pool and threw them onto the deck. I am very angry. I feel that the ground is not stable now because the nit wit tore out those railroad ties and possible altered the property line. I also have several huge railroad ties sitting on my deck. I want them put back in their place because I do not want to have foundation problems.

I want to take the person to small claims court. I am not sure the procedure or the next step. If any of you have ever gone through small claims please help me out here and give me some pointers. By the way, we do not have a HOA.

Graciously thankful.

I think that you need to talk to your neighbor and get the name of the company he had do the work....then call that company and tell him that you have doubts about your property line having been altered by his work. If it is true, that they did infact violate your property line and destabalize your pool because of their actions, their insurance companies (homeowner and contractor hired by him) should cover your expenses to repair. There is the potential for lawsuit if they did something on your property that caused structural damage without your written permission. If you signed something to allow this, could be another story all together. I would try that route before I tried court...it might be effective and would not cost you anything except maybe a survey of that area to ensure that you have a case...and you would need that anyway if you were going to court.

Good luck...sounds like a sticky wicket for sure...
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:43 AM
 
Location: southwest michigan
1,061 posts, read 3,391,106 times
Reputation: 501
Also check with city code enforcement about permits and permissions required to do such work. If the proper permits weren't pulled and inspections weren't done (after all, this seems like a safety issue, right?) you might be able to get the city putting pressure on the neighbor and the fence company as well, which might be cheaper and more effective for you. Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:04 PM
 
7 posts, read 13,138 times
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Thanks. Very good suggestions. I will try these first.
And I never signed anything or authorized the guy to take down the fence.
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,489 posts, read 18,842,113 times
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You need to check the survey first. make sure the fence IS on the property line. Is it in your yard or the neighbors. Is it sitting right on the property line.
Also, I do not hear any discussion with the neighbpor who had the work done. First and foremost is to talk to the neighbor. No court will hear it without that being done first.
Small claims may be too high for this sorta of fix. I think small claims is only $1200 or lower. Check that first.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:10 PM
 
7 posts, read 13,138 times
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Well, the neighbor did come to me and TOLD me I needed to pay for half the fence. The fence was old, and his mother had a garden in the backyard, she placed these huge logs up against the fence to secure some papaya tree she had planted. The fence was already weak, and the weight of the log broke a section of the fence. Her son came to us and TOLD us he was going to fix the fence and he wanted half. We said well first, we had to see how much he was talking and so forth. We wouldn't agree to anything until we could see it. Then he comes over to our home one day and threatens us. He started screaming and yelling at my brother to hit him. We thought the guy was nuts.
So he decided to fix the fence on his own accord. In doing so, the people he had fixed the fence tore out our railroad ties supporting the pool, and threw them onto our deck. We came home and the fence was new and the railroad ties were sitting on our deck. I called the city abatement team to have them come out. They have not yet come out.
I also have concerns now of foundation problems.
I have not spoken to the neighbors because I do not want a confrontation given the guys previous attitude and reaction.
Would it be best to send a letter first. The railroad ties need to be replaced and he needs to pay for it. You cannot come onto someone else's property and alter it to your own specifications. The railroad ties were there before their house was even built, and before I even moved into the house.
From what I have read you cannot tear down someone else's fence, you can only built your fence behind it if you choose to do so.

From what I have said, does anyone have anything they can add from the new information.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:15 PM
 
1,740 posts, read 5,454,768 times
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Are railroad ties sufficient support for an in ground pool? This seems suspect to begin with. I do agree however that you need to check the survey and see exactly who the fense belongs to.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:52 PM
 
7 posts, read 13,138 times
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Well the railroad ties are pretty good size. There were several of them. I have seen them stacked like that in other areas around town to hold up parts of the land that may be uneven. I am not sure. They were there when I moved in. The mere fact that they were removed bothers me greatly.

What is the procedure for checking the survey.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:00 PM
 
656 posts, read 1,813,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashley88 View Post
Well the railroad ties are pretty good size. There were several of them. I have seen them stacked like that in other areas around town to hold up parts of the land that may be uneven. I am not sure. They were there when I moved in. The mere fact that they were removed bothers me greatly.

What is the procedure for checking the survey.
You should have paid for and gotten a survey when you bought the house, it will show the property lines and the fence line, or note that the fence is on the property line. Look in that pile of paperwork you got at closing.

If you no longer have it you might try to see if your title company still has a copy in their file. If not you may have to get a new survey done, it will cost though... Probably around $400 or so.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:19 PM
 
7 posts, read 13,138 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks smitty, I will check on that.
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