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Real-life MMD: Should I pay for my neighbour's plants?

Former_MSE_Debs Posts: 890 Forumite
edited 26 February 2013 at 5:29PM in MoneySaving polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay for my neighbour's plants?

I recently paid for a replacement garden fence. Even though it's a shared fence, I didn't ask my neighbour for any contribution towards the cost. The work was completed to a high standard and I was pleased. Later my neighbour said the workmen had pulled up and thrown her plants away. I imagine some plants might have been flattened in the process, but she insists I pay for replacements. I've spoken to the company and they've assured me it didn't happen, but I feel as though I should just pay for her plants to keep the peace. Should I?

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  • ironlady2022
    Difficult one. How long did she wait to bring this to your attention? What types of plants are missing and what are the inidividual costs involved? She can't prove it was you, and the sub contractors say it was them.

    You can offer her something as a goodwill but only if you must.
  • Petlamb
    Petlamb Posts: 922 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I think the other thing here is the question of how your relationship is with your neighbour - if things have always been really good, it'd be a lot to lose over a few plants. If they're a perennial (da-dum-tish) whinger who's always griping about something, maybe less so?

    I'd also be inclined personally to ask for a list of plants that need replacing and get her them were I to replace them - otherwise I have a nagging doubt a few extra quid might get added on?
    On the up :D
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  • Zed42
    Zed42 Posts: 930 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    It's a shared fence, but you took it on yourself to replace it, without asking for a contribution ... or even her agreement ?

    It sounds to me like if you had done that, you would have been able to have a discussion about any plants which may be involved in the changing of the fence.

    Then, you took it on yourself and with that come consequences ...

    I would say for the sake of keeping a peaceful neighbourhood, then, you two need to come to some arrangement whereby you are both happy, and yes, that probably means you buying some new plants.

    However, it doesn't mean being taken for a ride either.
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  • cjw
    cjw Posts: 88 Forumite
    Sorry but she watched you having a new fence put up which she'll benefit from, not offering you anything towards it. Now she's asking you to replace her plants. Say to her, "Ok, I'll replace them, but here's the bill for your half of the cost". I'm she will go away quietly.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    cjw wrote: »
    Sorry but she watched you having a new fence put up which she'll benefit from

    How do you know she watched?

    She might have gone out one day and come home to find the new fence in place and lots of her plants flattened and/or pulled up.
  • pennypinchUK
    Your neighbour has started the battle, so they're clearly not interested in maintaining the peace. (If they wanted to maintain the peace they'd simply not say anything.)

    So if neither you or the contractor believe any plants were destroyed (and your neighbour can't prove any are missing) I suggest you hold your ground, and don't pay for any plants. If your neighbour approaches you again, just smile and ask them if they like the new fence, and of course remind them they didn't contribute to it's cost.
  • kerri_gt
    kerri_gt Posts: 11,202 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Xmas Saver!
    I'd tell her that you've asked the contractors and they say they didn't throw away any plants. You didn't ask her for a contribution to the new fence - although was it in such a state of repair that it did need replacing?

    Ask her what plants she thinks they've thrown away - and perhaps give her a garden centre voucher as a peace offering, but I would also point out to her that she has part use of a lovely new fence that cost a lot of money and she had not been asked to contribute towards.
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  • telsco
    telsco Posts: 116 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Act all concerned and say you were not made aware of any problems at the time, but should she want compensation then she needs to contact the fence company direct as you personally did not go anywhere near her plants and so cannot be held responsible.
    I assume the fence company is insured for such a thing and so your neighbour should make any claim against them.
  • OverlandLandy
    Buy her a packet of seeds...tell her to grow her own ... as you are working on a new for old basis:D
    it is probably all you can afford as you just had to shell out for a new fence.:beer:
    I am NOT a Woman! - its Overland Landy (as in A Landrover that travels Overland):rolleyes:

    Better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.
  • oldtrout
    oldtrout Posts: 129 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Your neighbour obviously isn't bothered about keeping the peace with you by 'insisting' that you pay for replacements, but it is worth sorting amicably.

    I would ask the neighbour for a list of the plants which need replacing and their estimation of cost. Then I would do my own estimation of cost. What you do next is probably dependent on how much it is. If minimal, you may want to pay. (I wouldn't pay at this stage because I think this is a matter of principle).

    I would then ask a member of the fencing team to accompany me to the neighbours, without giving the neighbour too much notice (quick phone call?), and ask to survey the scene!

    Check off the list of plants. Half of them won't even be out at this time of year anyway, so they may just be dormant. Take it from there!
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