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Neighbour and fence WWYD

(56 Posts)
Vickymumof4 Tue 09-Feb-16 12:27:00

Bit of background. We have a very tense relationship with the lady next door going back a long way. She is an absolute nightmare .. A real neighbour from hell but we try to keep things civil to avoid escalation of any situation as has happened previously, ie things like not allowing her to attach her extension to our wall as it would mean that her extension would be in our garden and not agreeing to move the fence so that she could gain 2 feet of our garden, resulted in night after night of music blaring till 3am, police being called etc and many many other rediculous situations over the years. The fence in between our properties blew down last week with the high winds. It is a double fence meaning she has hers and we erected a new fence alongside as she stated she owned the original fence and wouldn't allow us to paint 'our' side to match the others. So her fence blew down bringing our fence down with it. she refused to erect another fence unless we paid half so we agreed to keep the peace, however we did state very very clearly that we could not pay half this month and it would have to wait till March as we have just had a huge bill for our car and have no spare this month. All agreed but I have come home to find new fence has been put up and an letter from the fencer through the door saying he will call this evening for payment. We don't have the money and I'm furious that she went ahead anyway. I have no idea what to do as I cannot produce £300 by tonight. I'm actually quite scared of confronting her and am waiting for my husband to come home but he won't be in till 7 and I don't want to just fob the poor man off who thinks he's getting paid tonight. WWYD.

ForgivenNotForgotten Tue 09-Feb-16 12:33:43

I remember your thread about the two feet of garden.

I think you'll have to explain the situation to the man who did the fence. It's a bit rough on him, poor chap, but his contract is with your neighbour, not with you, so he'll have to chase her for the money.

What a difficult situation!

VulcanWoman Tue 09-Feb-16 12:37:00

What a nightmare, she instructed the workman so she should be liable IMO, would she have the means to pay him, then you pay her in March.

Collaborate Tue 09-Feb-16 12:38:29

I agree with forgiven. Don't bend to her unreasonableness. IMO you should never have agreed to go joint on a fence in the first place. You should take photos to make sure she doesn't encroach. Make her pay for her fence, then you pay for yours if you still want it.

Twitterqueen Tue 09-Feb-16 12:43:01

It is not your fence - it is hers. Which means it's her responsibility. I don't think you should have agreed to pay half tbh. As PPs say, the contract is between your neighbour and the contractor, so you are not under any obligation to pay him.

You could offer to pay her a small contribution at a time that is convenient to you, but I would not engage in any discussions with the contractor.

Bambinho Tue 09-Feb-16 12:46:14

I have sympathy for the fencing contractor not getting paid yet but it's his own fault for doing the work without checking with you first. For an easy life don't contact the neighbour if she's so awful but I think you should phone the fencer and explain nicely that the neighbour went ahead without consulting you and that you will be paying him next month, especially if you are happy with his work. After all, it's not unreasonable to be given 28 days to pay a bill.

Vickymumof4 Tue 09-Feb-16 12:47:02

I don't think that she would agree to pay it all now even if she had the money and we pay her back later as she isn't that reasonable to be honest ! I really feel for the workman and am furious and upset that she has put us in this position. I do have texts that clearly show that we had said we could not pay till March but if she was happy to organise the new fence it would be ok to go ahead in March. I will show them to him when he calls for payment, but they also clearly state that we agreed to be responsible for half each. Bloody woman 😡

Bambinho Tue 09-Feb-16 12:48:34

Hmm, what I mean by 'especially if you are happy with his work' is that you are happy with the standard of work and think it's a reasonable amount to pay.

PovertyPain Tue 09-Feb-16 12:49:54

He's a very silly man for doing the work, before talking to you. It really not your problem and I would tell him that the neighbour was the one who hired him so he needs to take it up with her. The same thing happened to the neighbour behind me and the poor woman handed over the money. When she told me how much, I asked if she saw the bill or receipt for work. Of caiques she didn't, I knew from doing my own fencing that the fuckers had charged her for the whole lot! angry

Bambinho Tue 09-Feb-16 12:50:46

I hope the new fence is fixed strongly enough so you don't have to deal with this woman again. Grateful for my nice neighbour and even nicer high wall between us!

PovertyPain Tue 09-Feb-16 12:51:56

Bty the way OP, I'd be straight out there with a paintbrush as soon as you hand the money over. After all, you paid for half of it. wink

leelu66 Tue 09-Feb-16 12:52:12


Do you know who is responsible for that boundary? Are you obliged to pay for half?

(I'm not knowledgeable about boundaries but worth looking at, I think).

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Tue 09-Feb-16 12:53:27

Tell her as she's broken your agreement to wait until March you're no longer paying half and will arrange for your own fence to be erected (oooh err). Any issues call the police, record her, note down what she says, anything you feel comfortable doing. Continuously ignore and document and keep everything for the relevant people. I'm not sure if that's the police or council or someone else but I'm sure someone will know. flowers

Vickymumof4 Tue 09-Feb-16 12:58:08

She is responsible for that boundary fence and us for the other side. I am very happy with the work, it's a really good job and the price is a fair one. I said we would pay half to maintain good relations with her and am still happy to do so but when we agreed the work could go ahead ! Thanks for the replies, I will just have to wait and see what this man says.

DoreenLethal Tue 09-Feb-16 13:02:49

Just refer him back to her. You did not engage his services so not a penny should be paid to him.

PippaHotamus Tue 09-Feb-16 13:06:20

Could you call him? Is there a number on the card?

He may be willing to wait - and it's good that you have the messages on your phone. I was going to say, don't make any agreements with this weird person unless they are in writing, in future.

She has a blooming cheek asking for half the cost anyway but it is a bit late if you have agreed to pay - and at least you can now paint your side smile though I suspect you could have done so before - I don't know much about fence law though.

PippaHotamus Tue 09-Feb-16 13:10:08

btw it sounds like nothing you do will maintain good relations with her. She sounds scared, paranoid and deeply mistrustful. Which is a shame for her, but worse for you as you have no chance of building any sort of relationship with her.

She will screw you over every time because she thinks you're going to screw her over, so she gets in there first (and of course you wouldn't but that's her mindset by the sound of it)

So is it worth it? In fact given the huge fuss over painting last time, can you guarantee she will let you paint this fence?

If you do pay him then make sure you get a full invoice and receipt to prove that you paid half.

I'm really not sure where this would get you in court though, say you painted it and she objected. It's still her boundary isn't it.

And if she ever moves it will be her next door neighbour's, and they might take it down. Nothing you will be able to do.

You could refuse to pay and get your own fence again.

What2 Tue 09-Feb-16 13:20:02

Wow, the fencer isn't going to be in business very long if is daft enough to do work for people on someone else's say so.
I'd not worry about it as I may well not be a problem for the builder and you can show him the texts. He really was very stupid to do the work without speaking to you.

FairiesAreReal Tue 09-Feb-16 13:23:58

Cheeky Cow!
I'd refuse to pay him, say you know nothing about it and tell him to take it up with the bitch woman next door.

Polgara25 Tue 09-Feb-16 13:31:19

This fencer does not have any right to ask for money from you. The contract for the work was between him and your neighbour.

Tell him to collect his payment from her.

You pay the neighbour next month.

Have you checked which fences you are actually responsible for? If this is her fence, you don't really to pay anything.

limitedperiodonly Tue 09-Feb-16 13:31:40

It's not your responsibility. I don't feel sorry for the fencer at all. They are both trying it on. Time to stop trying to keep the peace.

OnlyLovers Tue 09-Feb-16 13:31:55

I'd arrange to be out this evening and not have to face the guy at all. I'm a bit of a coward though.

But genuinely, it's the neighbour's responsibility not yours; if he comes to your house, gets no response and then stomps over to hers it's no more than she deserves.

And he's being a bit U expecting payment so soon. I freelance, and for big companies, not domestic customers, and never get paid until at least a month after I finish the work.

Collaborate Tue 09-Feb-16 13:33:37

Just to clarify the law here:

Neither of you are obliged to fence your land. Even if the deeds impose an obligation on one side to keep a fence in good repair, that does not survive the sale of that property, and the new owner is not bound by what is known as a positive covenant (a promise to do something, as opposed to a restrictive covenant, which is a promise not to do something).

Whether you owe your neighbour in March depends on whether you had a perfected agreement for you to pay half the cost. Was it subject to you agreeing a quote for works, or the type of fence? Look very carefully at what was said.

diddl Tue 09-Feb-16 13:42:49

When you agreed half, was it with the intention of not putting up your own fence again?

Sad for the fencer, but I wonder if he did the work before he was told that you would be paying half?

Anyway, not your problem.

Tell him to get it all from neighbour, she made the arrangement with him.

shovetheholly Tue 09-Feb-16 13:43:41

When he calls, explain the problem to him and show him the text message conversation where you clearly state that you couldn't pay until March.

Offer to pay him in March and see what he says. He may be fine with this once he understands the situation. As a PP said, he really should have checked with you first.

I wonder if she has played a dirty trick on him too, refusing to pay once the work was done and only telling him at the very last minute that he had to claim half the cost from you. If this is the case, then he will be as cross as you are.

You have my utmost sympathies - she sounds vicious and irrational, and dealing with people like that is a true misery. flowers

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