I live in Maryland. I have a garage in my backyard that I want to run
a gutter system. One side of the garage is right adjacent to my
neighbor to the side of me.
I really do not want to ask her if it is ok if me and my worker to
come onto her property to work on my property because I will have to
put up with her bitching and complaining over my band rehearsing every
once and awhile-- it is in no way breaking noise ordinances nor
disturbing the peace.. Being that the police told her that they aren't
going to do nothing, she now cuts out the middleman and just bitches
at me, when all the other neighbors find no problem at all.. She even
complained when I had a plaster guy over sanding the walls and the
sander making too much noise.
So.. I was wondering if anyone knows if Maryland is one of the states
that allows limited access to an adjacent property if it is for the
purpose of working on one's own property..
Most folks would just wait until she is out of the house or sleeping or
whatever and do what has to be done as quickly as possible.
The worse that will happen is that she will call the cops and/or charge you
with tresspass. You can likely talk yourself out of a conviction.
IOW: It's easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.
Another factor to consider. Are you even absolutely sure where the
property line is? For example, if it's not marked clearly with a
fence or similar, then you may have some window of perhaps a few feet
uncertainty. That might be enough to squeeze a ladder through to get
the job done. I'd make sure the workers know they are not to put
materials, tools, etc on her property. If you can squeak by in that
fashion, then I'd try to do it when the neighbor isn't going to be
around, if that's possible. If you actually have 0 side clearance
and you have to go clearly onto her property, then I'd probably go
with the gift certificate for dinner and ask her for permission.
Irrelevant. The gutters are merely the mechanism to extract retaliation,
vengeance, and retribution. Justice is blind.
People go to jail for what can be proved, not for what they did. Often, what
they did cannot be proved and what is proved is not what they did. That's
why there are so many "innocent" people in prison.
How did retribution get into this?
Chris asked how to deal with the need to gain temporary access to a small part
of the property of a neighbor with an uncooperative history with him. Period.
He didn't ask how to get back at her, practical and sane guy he seems to be. He
wants gutters. That's all.
What nonsense. A neighbor is only responsible for half the cost of a
1 - It's placed right on the property line
2 - They agree to split the cost.
Otherwise, if you put up a fence on your own property, you pay for
it. And it has nothing to do with unjust enrichment, which
typically applies to someone making an obvious math mistake on a bill
or similar. And it surely doesn't apply to gutters on someone elses
house either. Following that specious logic, I could do $50K worth
of landscaping and then send part of the bill to a couple of
neighbors, on the theory that it raised the value of their homes.
Nope. This is well settled in contract law.
"The doctrine of quasi-contract, also known as a contract implied in law, is
based primarily on the principle of unjust enrichment. Unlike a contract
implied in fact, a contract implied in law is imposed, or created, without
regard to the promise of the party to be bound. The duty which engenders a
quasi-contractual obligation is most often based upon the principle of
unjust enrichment. Unjust enrichment occurs where a benefit is conferred
upon a person in circumstances in which retention by him of that benefit
without paying its reasonable value would be unjust. Thus, quantum meruit
[reasonable value] is a remedy for the enforcement of a quasi-contractual
"Courts generally recognize that the essential elements of quasi-contract or
contract implied in law are: (1) a benefit conferred upon the defendant by
the plaintiff; (2) appreciation by the defendant of the fact of such
benefit; and (3) acceptance and retention by the defendant of that benefit
under circumstances in which retention without payment would be inequitable.
The most significant requirement is that the enrichment to the defendant be
unjust, and that retention of the benefit be inequitable."
There are, of course, exceptions. "Assent by silence" governs. The party NOT
building the fence is obliged to voice an objection at the first notice of
fence building, else he is assumed to agree to the fence and its cost. The
construction must be reasonable. If the builder uses hand-hewn stone
imported from Belgium and topped with brass spires and gargoyles, the
non-builder may be responsible for only half of a barbed-wire fence, if
barbed-wire is the usual fencing material in the neighborhood. And so on.
There're a bunch of caveats when you get down in the weeds, but the
essential element remains the same.
How odd that I've never gotten a bill from two neighbors who built fences
along our property lines. I'm quite certain that no matter what you've
posted above, our town justice would've kicked the neighbors' out of the
courtroom if they tried to get me to share the cost of their fences.
In a "normal" town and not some flea bitten place, the code will have the
person erecting the fence to place the fence a few inches inside the
property line, so the entire fence is owned by the fence builder.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.