neighbor's fence partially on my property

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This is my home. These old houses are big. What is commonly done here is to rent out the ground level -- the garden apartment -- and live in the upper triplex. Some of the people now moving in are so rich that they want all floors for themselves, like the fellow behind me that converted the house from a 4-family to a 1-family.
I don't want any more investment properties. I don't need to complicate things. Real estate taxes here are quite reasonable. With no mortgage, no car, no family, no second house, no boat, and no country club membership, I can live quite modestly.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Okay, that makes sense.
But, it does seem like you have a workable plan regarding the whole fence issue.
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More power to you!
Now, blimey, mate. Yer a bloody ohm owner? . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
A Harbor Freight opened nearby. I went and bought a 30' tape measure. (25' is my longest now.) As soon as I have a second person I will get a more accurate measurement of the 29' 5 3/4" that is mine behind the house. The price was not only good, I got a free voltmeter included for my $5.00.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

I lived 12 years in Brooklyn. I think it's a Don Wiss thing.

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In

You keep ducking the question of *why* you haven't discussed this with the homeowner. He is the one ultimately responsible for what ever happens on his property *NOT THE CONTRACTOR* So why haven't you talked to the homeowner?
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Actually he has addressed that question. He has said that he would have to walk around the block to knock on his back yard neighbor's door. Maybe you don't do that in Brooklyn these days.
He also says he has seen the wife doing things with the doggy chalet and then going in the house and lowering the black out shades. I guess you don't yell across the backyard to your neighbors in Brooklyn these days.
I know what it costs to do this type of thing in the NYC area - my brother and SIL are gutting a house in Great Neck as we type. Architects, permits, contractors. It's ridiculously expensive. The reason I bring this up is because this issue does not appear to be happening in a neighborhood where you'd be afraid to knock on someone's door for fear of getting stabbed or shot or of having beer cans and bottles lobbed over the offending fence the next time they have a party.
I know when I grew up in a row house in Queens, we knew just about all of our neighbors, especially the ones whose yards back up to each other. Maybe it was due to the fact that we weren't living in million dollar row houses that we actually interacted with those around us.
I guess times have changed.
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Because I can't do anything until he comes home from work!! I don't want to deal with the Japanese wife. As a young investment banker he isn't going to get home early.
There is no phone number listed for this new house. I called the old one in Manhattan. I got a voice mail that listed off a different number than what I dialed. I left a message. I walked over there. They were not home. Actually I'm pretty sure they have not been home for the past week.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 6/25/2013 7:42 PM, Don Wiss wrote:

If it's not in writing, it didn't happen. Send him a letter with delivery confirmation. They don't have to sign for it, but the postman will indicate that it was placed in their mailbox as addressed.
In the letter, lay it out for him and request that he contact you to discuss the matter. Make it matter of fact and non-threatening. You've approached with the olive branch in your mitt, the next move (or non-move) is his.
No matter what happens down the road, you've been the gentleman and made the first overture to get this matter straightened out between the two of you.
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I was quite wrong. When I was making dinner he was out in the backyard checking the work that had been done today. (My kitchen sink looks out the window, like all kitchen sinks should.) While the retaining walls on the perimeter are 3/4" cedar, the retaining wall on the inside, what they can see, is brick. Today it got wood for seating on top.
9:15 was too late to go over. Beside I was fixing my dinner. I thought they had moved into the upper three floors. For the past 10-11 months they have been camping out on the first floor with a hot plate while the upper three floors are being finished. (Maybe they eat out a lot?) I think I'm also wrong about the blackout shades on every window. If they were still only on the first floor the lights would all be out in the upper three floors. What has been different for the past week is they have not used the electric blackout shade that is on the ground floor. I've seen it being lowered. It has not been lowered and the light has been left on. That so the two little yappy dogs can find their way to the dog door that leads to the doggy chalet.
I'll have to figure out how to word a letter.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Just ask here, and choose one of the couple dozen replies.
Version one: "Hey meathead! Can't you get it right? Move your fence, numbskull."
Version two: "Dear neighbor, your fence installers put part of the fence over the property line on my side. This is not a huge deal, but does deserve some discussion."
I'm sure you'll get other sample texts to copy. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
I'll have to figure out how to word a letter.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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the property line on my side. This is not a huge deal, but does deserve some discussion."

It's a start. But do I also include in the letter that it is a foot too tall, I should. And do I care about the 3/4" cedar retaining wall that is holding back 18" of soil. (I went out and measured.)
I also figured out the pattern of lighting. She has been away for the past week. He is home. She may have taken the two young kids to Japan to see the grandparents.
They have not moved into the upper three floors yet. That is why those floors are still completely dark at night. At night she always lowered the electric blackout shade on the first floor. It hasn't been lowered for a week. This is because he doesn't care about the extreme privacy that she is into. The extreme privacy is a Japanese thing, so I hear.
It also explains why the workmen have been going through the first floor to work on the bench and other things in the back yard. She NEVER let the workmen go through the first floor. She had them carry all the fence wood, bricks, and concrete pavers through the second floor and down a wooden ladder to the back yard. They bought way too many pavers. And they carried them up the ladder to get them out. To get the soil and plants into the back yard they built a slide and slide them down the slide. When the architect and GC came to visit they also climbed down ladder.
The deed showed that they bought the formerly 4-family house on August 12, 2010. The house was empty when sold. They would have hired the architect before the closing. This makes it a three year project so far. It is like there is no end in sight.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On Tuesday, June 25, 2013 8:42:03 PM UTC-4, Don Wiss wrote:

You have something against the Japanese? I mean how hard is it to go over, tell her you have an issue with the fence. At that point, maybe she will discuss it with you. Or she can tell you how you can contact her husband, when he will be home, etc.
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No. But I understand the relationship between a Japanese wife and her husband.
And as I pointed out elsewhere, she appears to be away, and has been for a week or so.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On Monday, June 24, 2013 12:58:51 PM UTC-4, Don Wiss wrote:

What the hell do you mean by "slice off?"
Are you talking about splitting the posts vertically or something? What about the part underground?
Frankly, you've only made a half-hearted attempt to contact the owner about the issue. You probably emailed or called a whopping one time and left a voicemail...
If this is such a big deal to you put some real effort into making contact, and don't let up until you physically talk to someone.
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On Mon, 8 Jul 2013 08:20:50 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yes. If I left the top alone he wouldn't even know. He can't see my side. I would leave what is underground. Right now I waiting for the city to cite him for it being overheight. And to see what the city says about it being an inadequate retaining wall. Right now the wall is already bulging out onto my property.
It appears that on the side walls there is cement board between the soil and the 3/4" cedar. There is not along the back wall.
I want to put a fence across my backside. It will be mahogany. It will last 50 years. I don't want to have to put it 2" inside the property line.
The fence is at an angle. One post is 1-7/8" inside. The next post is 1-1/2" inside. And the last two posts can't be easily measured, but let's say 1-1/4" inside.

I do not have an e-mail address for the owner. Nor is there a phone number. Walking around the block is the only way I have to contact him. When I did meet with him I gave him my card and he said he would e-mail me. He did not. I gather his tactic is to simply ignore me and hope I give up.
The city can take 40 days to come inspect. Someone else complained about the fence height. It took them 45 days to visit. I don't know where they measured from (not my property), and the inspector claimed it was okay.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

From his side it likely IS legal - above the fill.
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On Mon, 08 Jul 2013 20:20:17 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

The regulations state it is measured from the natural terrain. There is 86-1/2" of wood siting on top of the soil when viewed from my side. Maximum is 72".
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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wrote:

Like I said - from owners side it appears legal
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On Monday, July 8, 2013 7:19:08 PM UTC-4, Don Wiss wrote:

ct, and don't let up until you physically talk to someone.

r.

d

Again, if this is such a big deal to you then you will do what is necessary to make contact.
You cannot just go and slice off the encroaching part of the fence. If not for the fact that it is wanton destruction of private property if you are c aught, but for the fact that if you do, you will likely end up with that di rt pile in your yard sooner rather than later!
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Don Wiss wrote:

Both surveys show the line in the same place, right? And despite that, they encroached on your property, right? Question: why did you not stop them?
I have no idea what the law is relative to this but law is usually rational and follows common sense. Those lead me to two beliefs:
1. You can't just chop away
2. You can force them to move the fence and reimburse you for any expenses you may incur in doing so.
What they *should* have done is set the fence into *their* property to bypass the pole. That or get the utility company to move the pole sufficiently onto their lot so they could put the fence on the line and clear the pole.
If you haven't already done so, sending them a registered letter with return receipt might be in order; just state that their recent construction has encroached on your property and tell them to rectify it within x days/weeks.
After that, lawyer time, good luck.
--

dadiOH
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