I awoke this morning to find my neighbor had begun re-roofing, my
driveway covered with debris, and my car blocked in. No warning or
discussion about this. Based on some prior problems, had actually
specifically told the neighbor to stay off my property.
Roughly speaking, what are the legal ramifications? Must I give them
"reasonable" access, or can I say no more? I've had it.
Most likely it ain't worth the lawyer unless you have substantial
damage. Reroofing usually only takes a day or two, so it'll be over
quickly. If you decide to push back, these things can escalate. I
have no idea of the situation and what parts the two of you have played
in creating the antagonism, but nobody benefits when neighbors fight.
It's hard to prove damages in such a case. It is difficult to put a
monetary damage value on being inconvenienced because you couldn't take
your car out. If the debris is just a mess and didn't damage your
property it'll be gone soon. Take some digital photos of the debris,
call the police about the trespass, have them come out and talk to the
neighbor, don't let the roofers on your property and hire a cleanup
crew to pick up the debris. Then take it to small claims court. Be
advised this will be a huge hassle and annoyance for everybody and you
won't really solve anything.
I can't understand why the neighbor would piss on your shoes like that,
particularly after you told them to stay off your property. I've
reroofed houses that are 3' from the property line and made the
necessary arrangements to keep the debris contained on the owners
property. It's possible that the owner left the reroofing in the hands
of the roofer and didn't make any mention of your property being
totally off limits. Too many contractors assume that a little debris
on someone else's property comes with the territory and they're happy
to clean it up. If the owner didn't say anything to the roofer, the
roofer should have still rang your bell and told you what to expect.
Also call the village building department. Most towns have ordinaces
against leaving debris out, AND against leaving debris on someone else's
property. If you're having trouble with a neighbor its good to have an
objective legal record of his/her intrusive actions.
Unless they are causing damage, I recommend you just suck it up. It will
only be for a couple of days. You might approach the foreman and ask him to
have his crew do an extra-thorough job of cleaning up your property when he
is done. He will probably oblige.
If he speaks English. I had my house re-roofed last fall. Had 8
workers, have to give them credit, they worked but not a damn one
of them spoke English. I didn't like it but there wasn't much I
could do that late in the game.
news:WIcXg.10168> why do you care as long as the job is right ?
One . They were not legal and they were taking jobs from my own
country men who could have used the job. Here I want to see every
employer sent to jail who hires illegal's and I (unknowing) did
the same If they are going to work in my country, learn the
language, And before you give me a cute answer, yes it is
Second. The SOB's screwed up a few things that I had to have the
roofing owner out to re-do. The company knew my background as a
long time contractor before they started and if they would screw
up my job what would they do to a little old widow?
Since the immigrant issue is a sore point with you I'm a little
surprised that you didn't ask the contractor who exactly comprised his
crew before you hired him. Of course he could have lied to you... The
other issue is how do you know they were illegal? You're making
assumptions, maybe correct, maybe not.
The main issue I have with the keep-em-out-at-all-costs crowd, same as
the outsourcing-is-killing-our-businesses camp, is that we're not in a
race to the bottom. No one that I know of, born in this country,
has/had ambitions of being a laborer. It seems to me that all too many
people born and bred American feel that they're entitled to a cushy
accounting job or maybe one as a stockbroker.
"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a
humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because
philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor
good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."
--John W. Gardner
As another long time contractor I've gotten over the expectation of
perfect work from others on my house - particularly as a contractor
that "knows" what things should cost. It's tough being cheap and a
My "Anglo" contractor has been nothing but trouble. My grandparents didn't
speak English when they came here. Times have changed and we all just
better get used to it or move to Canada.
This summer I drove from Niagara Falls through Canada to Michigan. Along
the way we stopped at a Wendy's for a bite. Still fairly close to Everyone
behind the counter, from the manager to the guy cleaning the toilets was an
Anglo. I was shocked, I have seen a fast food place staffed this way in a
very, very long time.
You have every right to demand that he not make a mess on your property. Go
over and inform him that his trash is all over your driveway and "ask" him
to remove it. If he is a good neighbor he will stop his work and immediately
clean up your property (as any good neighbor would.) If he refuses, you now
have reason to call the police. Tell the cop that you attempted to discuss
this with him and what he said. Next have the cop threaten arrest and see if
that gets his attemtion (it should.)
If he was a good neighbor to begin with, he would have taken measures to
make certain that he did not throw his trash on your property, even if that
meant it was more trouble. As the old saying goes, "if you were really
sorry, you wouldn't have done it in the first place".
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