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2013-11-04 9:20 PM

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Elite
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20001000500100100100100
Reno
Subject: Fence and neighbor drama

Early this summer I removed and rebuilt a fence around my back yard - in town neighborhood - bungalo type houses with small  yards - a courtyard almost.   my house is about 25 feet from the neighbors's house.   My husband and I paid for a land surveyor, and decided to take on the entire cost of the new fence so it would be "ours", on our side of the property line.   The lady said "we don't want trouble over a fence". There had been some preliminary discussion of sharing the cost and putting it ON the property line, but we backed away first, to their obvious relief.   A quick google search shows that Joint ownership leads to issues.    The renters in the house were really "put out" by the process even though they complained about the rickety fence, they complained about the week it took to happen and their cats couldn't come outside. The landlords seemed to be just business about it.   It was a licensed fence builder who pulled a permit and all.    We paid about $3K altogether, including the sealing we just did on all sides (7.5 hours and a heck of a mess).   They cut down the bushes on "their side" of the old fence that was really on our property, and I paid someone to dig out the roots so they didn't grow back.

The survey showed that the old fence was built about 18 inches on our side - that was a surprise bonus for us, and the land owners behind us said they thought it was like that and just said "it is what it is".   They were glad that they would not have to tear up any patio, and I was happy for them because it is set up very nice over there with a roofed deck and patio.   The roofed deck is now our issue.    With the new fence line,   the deck roof overhangs the fence, and when it rains or snows (and it does in Nevada, and then is scorched with sun), all the water that hits that section of their house roof and porch room will be funneled down onto the section of our fence.   They are recent purshasers of the house - it had been in the same family since 1920 or so, when it was built, until recently.   They have done alot of work on the house - the husband does all the work and very maticulously.    They have a "family trust" and own about 12 properties in the area.  Good for them, really. 

So, back in July I left her a voice mail.   I sent her a letter.   Just recently, leading up to the sealing and needing access to that side of the fence, I left her numerous voicemails about it.   And just this last week, with their sprinkler system leaking and standing water on the fence line, I mentioned it again in voice mails.  I got a response when I texted her a photo of the standing water just my side of the fence (if I ahve water standing 4 inches below the surface 12 feet from my basement, so does she.   I got a  response about the standing water that they turned off the sprinkler system water and it apears to have solved the issue - the water had drained away and not wound up in my basement.  But still no mention of what they will do about the porch overhang.   All I ask is a 12 foot section of gutter put on it and drain the water away from the fence.  With the husband being so handy - what would that cost?   $150 and an afternoon of his time?

If I was really handy, I would weld some really cool structure to catch and harvest the water for my own garden.   But I am not.   I am now wishing that we just removed the old fence and told the neighbors that we didn't have money to put in a new one and left it to them to decide if they wanted one or not.

Does anyone in the CoJ community have any advice about the super effective letter I will send them threatening involving the city.   I am calling the city tomorrow to get more information, but an acquaintance of mine tells me there is a 5' set back for decks and porches.    Probably should have done so before asking CoJ.....  anyway, I really don't want them to have to remove the roof - just be reasonble and neighborly.

Anyway - give me your best wording!   Or explaine nicely to me where I am being unreasonble, 'cause I really can't see it.



2013-11-05 12:09 PM
in reply to: bootygirl

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Master
2334
200010010010025
Ellsworth, WI
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

Hi Mary,

Just to clarify, the first paragraph is about the neighbors on the side of your house, and then the rest of your post is about the neighbors behind you, right? Just making sure it's not the same group of people.

Anyway, to address the questions you asked, no you are absolutely not being unreasonable. It sounds like you've given your neighbors ample opportunity to do the neighborly thing, especially since it sounds like they knew that that roof was hanging over into your yard all along. (Am I understanding that right?) Asking them to add a gutter to the roof is very charitable of you, since you probably could demand to have it removed if you wanted to. In writing the final letter, I'd probably say something like "Please add the gutter by mm/dd/yyyy date, or contact me before that date at xxx-xxx-xxxx to make other arrangements. This is my final attempt to resolve this issue directly with you before bring the matter to <insert proper authority here>."

It likely will prohibit any warm fuzzy neighbor relationship in the future, but it sounds like you don't really have that now anyway. (If you did, I'd think they'd just put up the gutter and be happy that's all they had to do.)

Good luck! I hope it works out.

Kelly

P.S. There was a rather lengthy topic in COJ about a fence dispute maybe six or nine months ago. You might search for it if you want to find someone here who can relate. 

2013-11-05 1:32 PM
in reply to: kelpeng

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Expert
3061
200010002525
Boise, ID
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

So their roof hangs over onto your property? You are doing them a favor by only asking for a gutter, you have every right to make them remove the roof section that overhangs the property and the city would likely make them move it back further than that. 

2013-11-05 5:01 PM
in reply to: #4892399

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Elite
3905
20001000500100100100100
Reno
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama
The neighbor to the back is the only one I meant to post about. The side neighbors were totally cool. Anyway - I called the city today and they were ready to send an inspector out right away. I'll send my letter giving them 2 weeks to contact us and make arrangements.

The lady at the city said I was being very nice about it

2013-11-05 10:06 PM
in reply to: bootygirl

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Elite
3905
20001000500100100100100
Reno
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

ok - sending tomorrow.  

 

"

It seems that the turning off of your leaking sprinkler system has worked and the pooled water has drained from my yard, and not into my basement.   Thank you. I hope it is not such a costly repair in the Spring for you.

We have repeatedly tried to communicate with you about your porch roof funneling water onto a portion of the new fence we put in, but to this date you have ignored us.   We have been disappointed in your lack of response regarding the porch gutter, and find it rather disrespectful

We still believe that asking you to install a gutter on your overhanging roofline was a very reasonable request. As your husband said, “it is what it is” with regards to the property line, that we had surveyed by a registered surveyor.   That was the same day that you stated that you didn’t want to be at odds with us as your neighbor over a fence, but here we are.   While sealing the fence, we examined each and every board, and I can tell you that the only split board is under the porch.    All we want is to avoid water damage to our property, to have the fence last a long time, and to not have you forced to remove your nice little deck.   One would think you would agree with us.

We have been advised by an acquaintance, who is a land use attorney at YYY and XXX, to contact the City regarding the situation.   We have called the city already and discussed the situation in general with them, and I still believe that a neighborly solution would be best. Improper set back violation fines are covered in the Reno Municipal code under Land Development Chapter 18.22.201 and .202.

We will request a review from the City of Reno code enforcement on November 21st, 2013 if we do not hear from you with your plan for water damage mitigation.   As evidenced by the nice work you did on that property, I am certain this is not outside of your skill sets.

I would prefer to solve this situation as neighbors, so I will remain optimistic and look forward to hearing from you.   It is not my intent to start or maintain a feud.

2013-11-05 11:31 PM
in reply to: bootygirl

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Master
2360
20001001001002525
Beijing
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

Originally posted by bootygirl

ok - sending tomorrow.  

 

"

It seems that the turning off of your leaking sprinkler system has worked and the pooled water has drained from my yard, and not into my basement.   Thank you. I hope it is not such a costly repair in the Spring for you.

We have repeatedly tried to communicate with you about your porch roof funneling water onto a portion of the new fence we put in, but to this date you have ignored us.   We have been disappointed in your lack of response regarding the porch gutter, and find it rather disrespectful

We still believe that asking you to install a gutter on your overhanging roofline was a very reasonable request. As your husband said, “it is what it is” with regards to the property line, that we had surveyed by a registered surveyor.   That was the same day that you stated that you didn’t want to be at odds with us as your neighbor over a fence, but here we are.   While sealing the fence, we examined each and every board, and I can tell you that the only split board is under the porch.    All we want is to avoid water damage to our property, to have the fence last a long time, and to not have you forced to remove your nice little deck.   One would think you would agree with us.

We have been advised by an acquaintance, who is a land use attorney at YYY and XXX, to contact the City regarding the situation.   We have called the city already and discussed the situation in general with them, and I still believe that a neighborly solution would be best. Improper set back violation fines are covered in the Reno Municipal code under Land Development Chapter 18.22.201 and .202.

We will request a review from the City of Reno code enforcement on November 21st, 2013 if we do not hear from you with your plan for water damage mitigation.   As evidenced by the nice work you did on that property, I am certain this is not outside of your skill sets.

I would prefer to solve this situation as neighbors, so I will remain optimistic and look forward to hearing from you.   It is not my intent to start or maintain a feud.

Just the facts, ma'am.   Try this:

Turning off of your leaking sprinkler system has worked and the pooled water has drained from my yard, and not into my basement.   Thank you. I hope it is not such a costly repair in the Spring for you.

We've had our land surveyed by a registered surveyor on DATE.  Their survey indicates that your porch roof is hanging over the property line.    While sealing our fence, we examined it, and discovered water damage on a board under your porch.  We believe a gutter and downspout on your porch roof would prevent this problem.  All we want is to avoid water damage to our property, to have the fence last a long time, and to not have you forced to remove your deck.

We have called the city already and discussed the situation in general with them, and I still believe that a neighborly solution would be best.  However, we will request a review from the City of Reno code enforcement on November 21st, 2013 if we do not hear from you with your plan for water damage mitigation.  

I would sincerely prefer to solve this situation as neighbors, so I look forward to hearing from you.   It is not my intent to start or maintain a feud.

 

 

Your original came across as really, really snippy.  If I had gotten that letter, I would not have been inclined to reply.  



2013-11-06 8:42 AM
in reply to: moondawg14

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Champion
10462
500050001001001001002525
Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama
Originally posted by moondawg14

Originally posted by bootygirl

ok - sending tomorrow.  

 

"

It seems that the turning off of your leaking sprinkler system has worked and the pooled water has drained from my yard, and not into my basement.   Thank you. I hope it is not such a costly repair in the Spring for you.

We have repeatedly tried to communicate with you about your porch roof funneling water onto a portion of the new fence we put in, but to this date you have ignored us.   We have been disappointed in your lack of response regarding the porch gutter, and find it rather disrespectful

We still believe that asking you to install a gutter on your overhanging roofline was a very reasonable request. As your husband said, “it is what it is” with regards to the property line, that we had surveyed by a registered surveyor.   That was the same day that you stated that you didn’t want to be at odds with us as your neighbor over a fence, but here we are.   While sealing the fence, we examined each and every board, and I can tell you that the only split board is under the porch.    All we want is to avoid water damage to our property, to have the fence last a long time, and to not have you forced to remove your nice little deck.   One would think you would agree with us.

We have been advised by an acquaintance, who is a land use attorney at YYY and XXX, to contact the City regarding the situation.   We have called the city already and discussed the situation in general with them, and I still believe that a neighborly solution would be best. Improper set back violation fines are covered in the Reno Municipal code under Land Development Chapter 18.22.201 and .202.

We will request a review from the City of Reno code enforcement on November 21st, 2013 if we do not hear from you with your plan for water damage mitigation.   As evidenced by the nice work you did on that property, I am certain this is not outside of your skill sets.

I would prefer to solve this situation as neighbors, so I will remain optimistic and look forward to hearing from you.   It is not my intent to start or maintain a feud.

Just the facts, ma'am.   Try this:

Turning off of your leaking sprinkler system has worked and the pooled water has drained from my yard, and not into my basement.   Thank you. I hope it is not such a costly repair in the Spring for you.

We've had our land surveyed by a registered surveyor on DATE.  Their survey indicates that your porch roof is hanging over the property line.    While sealing our fence, we examined it, and discovered water damage on a board under your porch.  We believe a gutter and downspout on your porch roof would prevent this problem.  All we want is to avoid water damage to our property, to have the fence last a long time, and to not have you forced to remove your deck.

We have called the city already and discussed the situation in general with them, and I still believe that a neighborly solution would be best.  However, we will request a review from the City of Reno code enforcement on November 21st, 2013 if we do not hear from you with your plan for water damage mitigation.  

I would sincerely prefer to solve this situation as neighbors, so I look forward to hearing from you.   It is not my intent to start or maintain a feud.

 

 

Your original came across as really, really snippy.  If I had gotten that letter, I would not have been inclined to reply.  




I have to say the rewrite is a lot more "friendly" sounding.

2013-11-06 10:02 AM
in reply to: KSH

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Champion
10217
50005000100100
Austin, Texas
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

Originally posted by KSH
Originally posted by moondawg14

Originally posted by bootygirl

ok - sending tomorrow.  

 

"

It seems that the turning off of your leaking sprinkler system has worked and the pooled water has drained from my yard, and not into my basement.   Thank you. I hope it is not such a costly repair in the Spring for you.

We have repeatedly tried to communicate with you about your porch roof funneling water onto a portion of the new fence we put in, but to this date you have ignored us.   We have been disappointed in your lack of response regarding the porch gutter, and find it rather disrespectful

We still believe that asking you to install a gutter on your overhanging roofline was a very reasonable request. As your husband said, “it is what it is” with regards to the property line, that we had surveyed by a registered surveyor.   That was the same day that you stated that you didn’t want to be at odds with us as your neighbor over a fence, but here we are.   While sealing the fence, we examined each and every board, and I can tell you that the only split board is under the porch.    All we want is to avoid water damage to our property, to have the fence last a long time, and to not have you forced to remove your nice little deck.   One would think you would agree with us.

We have been advised by an acquaintance, who is a land use attorney at YYY and XXX, to contact the City regarding the situation.   We have called the city already and discussed the situation in general with them, and I still believe that a neighborly solution would be best. Improper set back violation fines are covered in the Reno Municipal code under Land Development Chapter 18.22.201 and .202.

We will request a review from the City of Reno code enforcement on November 21st, 2013 if we do not hear from you with your plan for water damage mitigation.   As evidenced by the nice work you did on that property, I am certain this is not outside of your skill sets.

I would prefer to solve this situation as neighbors, so I will remain optimistic and look forward to hearing from you.   It is not my intent to start or maintain a feud.

Just the facts, ma'am.   Try this:

Turning off of your leaking sprinkler system has worked and the pooled water has drained from my yard, and not into my basement.   Thank you. I hope it is not such a costly repair in the Spring for you.

We've had our land surveyed by a registered surveyor on DATE.  Their survey indicates that your porch roof is hanging over the property line.    While sealing our fence, we examined it, and discovered water damage on a board under your porch.  We believe a gutter and downspout on your porch roof would prevent this problem.  All we want is to avoid water damage to our property, to have the fence last a long time, and to not have you forced to remove your deck.

We have called the city already and discussed the situation in general with them, and I still believe that a neighborly solution would be best.  However, we will request a review from the City of Reno code enforcement on November 21st, 2013 if we do not hear from you with your plan for water damage mitigation.  

I would sincerely prefer to solve this situation as neighbors, so I look forward to hearing from you.   It is not my intent to start or maintain a feud.

 

 

Your original came across as really, really snippy.  If I had gotten that letter, I would not have been inclined to reply.  

I have to say the rewrite is a lot more "friendly" sounding.

I think the original letter had some good points in it, but in this case I agree with Moondawg & Karen that the re-write sounds better when I read it as someone who might receive such a letter.  

Best of luck, and I hope you can resolve it between you without having to get the City involved.  

2013-11-06 10:30 AM
in reply to: blueyedbikergirl

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Expert
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200010002525
Boise, ID
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

 

Good rewrite moondawg. I agree.

When dealing with matters like this it is best to leave the little jabs and such out of it. Just state the facts, be assertive without emotion. The first letter reads like the first salvo in a neighbor fued, the second letter sounds like a reasoned request for a mutually beneficial compromise. 

 

2013-11-06 1:11 PM
in reply to: Aarondb4

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Pro
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500020002000100100100
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

The second letter looks better......here's my neighbor story.....I hope yours ends better.

30 years ago I had just moved into my first house.  About a month after I moved in I planted a row of evergreen bushes about a foot onto my property line....they were about a foot tall and would have grown to 6 feet or so.  My neighbor wqatched me plant them and then came over to tell me that when they grew to full heigfht they woul dhang over his property line.  He had about 3 acres and his house was about 200 feet from the property line.  I told hijm that I would keep them cut back and he didn't have anything to worry about.  Two hours later I'm standing at the sink doing dishes and I watch as my neighbor runs over all 12 of the little plants with his riding lawn mower.  I run out there and to make a long story short, he tells me that he didn't want them there and that they would one day be on his property...and then he just drove off.  Like I said, it was 30 years ago and I was just a kid....he was probably 50 years old and obviously didn't care what I thought.

I had a few beers that night and the more I thought about it the more pizzed off I got.  About midnight I got my bow saw and went over to his driveway that was lined with 20-30 foot maple trees.  It took me about 30 minutes because I had to be quiet and cars came by every now and then, but I cut one of those trees down and felled it right over his driveway.

The next morning I'm having coffee and watching some TV when the doorbell rings.....the Police.  I greet the officer and we talk for a minute or two and then he tells me that someone cut one of my neighbors trees down and the neighbor thought it was probably me.  I asked the Officer why the neighbor thought that and he said that he had been told that we had "words" yesterday.  I said, 'No, we really didn't have words over anything and I didn't cut his tree down, but I'm glad you are here....follow me."  I walked him over to where the nubs of the freashly planted bushes were and said, "I'll do whatever I can to help you on this, because as you can see there is someone working this area cutting trees down, they got me too." 

That Officer smiled and told me to have a nice day.    

My neighbor and I didn't say 10 words to each other in the next 15 years before he died.....but we didn't have any more porperty line disputes either.

 

2013-11-06 2:03 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Master
2893
2000500100100100252525
Sunny Southern Cal
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

Originally posted by Left Brain

The second letter looks better......here's my neighbor story.....I hope yours ends better.

30 years ago I had just moved into my first house.  About a month after I moved in I planted a row of evergreen bushes about a foot onto my property line....they were about a foot tall and would have grown to 6 feet or so.  My neighbor wqatched me plant them and then came over to tell me that when they grew to full heigfht they woul dhang over his property line.  He had about 3 acres and his house was about 200 feet from the property line.  I told hijm that I would keep them cut back and he didn't have anything to worry about.  Two hours later I'm standing at the sink doing dishes and I watch as my neighbor runs over all 12 of the little plants with his riding lawn mower.  I run out there and to make a long story short, he tells me that he didn't want them there and that they would one day be on his property...and then he just drove off.  Like I said, it was 30 years ago and I was just a kid....he was probably 50 years old and obviously didn't care what I thought.

I had a few beers that night and the more I thought about it the more pizzed off I got.  About midnight I got my bow saw and went over to his driveway that was lined with 20-30 foot maple trees.  It took me about 30 minutes because I had to be quiet and cars came by every now and then, but I cut one of those trees down and felled it right over his driveway.

The next morning I'm having coffee and watching some TV when the doorbell rings.....the Police.  I greet the officer and we talk for a minute or two and then he tells me that someone cut one of my neighbors trees down and the neighbor thought it was probably me.  I asked the Officer why the neighbor thought that and he said that he had been told that we had "words" yesterday.  I said, 'No, we really didn't have words over anything and I didn't cut his tree down, but I'm glad you are here....follow me."  I walked him over to where the nubs of the freashly planted bushes were and said, "I'll do whatever I can to help you on this, because as you can see there is someone working this area cutting trees down, they got me too." 

That Officer smiled and told me to have a nice day.    

My neighbor and I didn't say 10 words to each other in the next 15 years before he died.....but we didn't have any more porperty line disputes either.

 

I wonder how many neighbors have been killed over trees, shrubs, and fences.  I bet it's quite a few.

Oh, and to stay on topic, I agree w/ the others that letter #2 is more "neighborly."  You never know how someone will respond, though.  Good luck!  Out of curiosity, what part of town are you in?  I grew up in Reno, but I've been gone from there for many decades now.  When I go back and visit, I'm always amazed at the growth.



2013-11-06 8:58 PM
in reply to: SevenZulu

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Elite
3905
20001000500100100100100
Reno
Subject: RE: Fence and neighbor drama

I have contacted them several times in a very friendly way.      My original write was downright vitriolic.  But I agree - make it just business.   I run a client services department of a company that is contracted by mining companies - I deal with conflict all day long and I am pretty darn good at it.    Just don't like to come home to it.

My husband would come up with something similar to Left Brain's solution.   But it is crazy that it is even an issue - they got a fence for free - wouldn't they want it to last long by a simple and rather cheap repair?    I wonder what they are posting about me on their social sites? hehe. But 7Zulu is right - so many people have these kinds of conflicts over boundaries - its so primal, I suppose.

It was nice to come home today to a dozen fresh eggs from my other neighbor (who has chickens) waiting for me on the porch.   I'm going to bring her some home made jam to keep my good neighbor karma going.

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