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  • FIRST POST
    • gazfocus
    • By gazfocus 31st Aug 18, 10:10 PM
    • 1,933Posts
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    gazfocus
    Being pressured to contribute towards fence
    • #1
    • 31st Aug 18, 10:10 PM
    Being pressured to contribute towards fence 31st Aug 18 at 10:10 PM
    Ok, so some time ago, the owner of the house behind ours knocked on our door and told us that the following day, the fence in between our gardens was being replaced so to keep our dogs inside and asked if we would be wanting to contribute. I said I would be willing to when I can afford it, and he went on his way.

    About a week later he came round and told me that my contribution would be £368 (for my share of 6 panels, concrete base boards and concrete posts inc labour). He has asked a few times since for the money and Iíve been honest about my financial situation in that I cannot currently afford it.

    My question is, where do I stand legally? He did not consult me before ordering the fence to see if I could afford to contribute, and has not discussed with me the type of fence or anything. It seems he wanted new fence and then expects me to just have the money.

    I appreciate itís between both our gardens and Iíve never said I donít want to contribute, but he is obviously disappointed that I canít afford it and has now taken to messaging my works Facebook page asking about what we do when people donít pay money they owe.

    Technically, I donít feel I Ďoweí them anything as any contribution would be wholly voluntary, but if they are going to cause problems for me at work, Iím going to be less inclined to give them anything and itís going to cause issues down the line I feel.
Page 1
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 31st Aug 18, 10:11 PM
    • 11,958 Posts
    • 6,768 Thanks
    DUTR
    • #2
    • 31st Aug 18, 10:11 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Aug 18, 10:11 PM
    So what is your question?
    • gazfocus
    • By gazfocus 31st Aug 18, 10:13 PM
    • 1,933 Posts
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    gazfocus
    • #3
    • 31st Aug 18, 10:13 PM
    • #3
    • 31st Aug 18, 10:13 PM
    So what is your question?
    Originally posted by DUTR
    Copied from my post:

    My question is, where do I stand legally?
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 31st Aug 18, 11:02 PM
    • 4,324 Posts
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    Tom99
    • #4
    • 31st Aug 18, 11:02 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Aug 18, 11:02 PM
    Legally unless you can claim what he has done is threatening or harassment I doubt there is much you can do.
    Tell him you will pay when you can but if there are any more Facebook or twitter tricks (or whatever it is people use these days), zero money will be coming his way.
    Last edited by Tom99; 01-09-2018 at 5:09 AM.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 1st Sep 18, 1:07 AM
    • 2,392 Posts
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    sevenhills
    • #5
    • 1st Sep 18, 1:07 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Sep 18, 1:07 AM
    I said I would be willing to when I can afford it, and he went on his way.
    Originally posted by gazfocus

    You have said that you want to contribute; but you have not agreed to any contract to pay towards the fence.
    You are being harrased for money, its up to you what you do about that. You could contribute £200/£300 towards the fence, or tell your neighbour to get lost.

    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 1st Sep 18, 3:43 AM
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    getmore4less
    • #6
    • 1st Sep 18, 3:43 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Sep 18, 3:43 AM
    the fence in between our gardens was being replaced so to keep our dogs inside
    do you mean your dogs and they were getting out of your property?
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 1st Sep 18, 6:04 AM
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    GwylimT
    • #7
    • 1st Sep 18, 6:04 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Sep 18, 6:04 AM
    do you mean your dogs and they were getting out of your property?
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Oddly enough when youíre putting up a new fence dogs would get our, hence neighbour giving prior warning of works to prevent this happening.
    • frugalmacdugal
    • By frugalmacdugal 1st Sep 18, 6:15 AM
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    frugalmacdugal
    • #8
    • 1st Sep 18, 6:15 AM
    • #8
    • 1st Sep 18, 6:15 AM
    Hi,


    if he wants to put up a new fence it's his choice and at his cost.


    Tell him you will 'contribute' by painting your side of the fence every couple of years in a colour of your choice.


    Or,,,,, you could knock down the new fence and put one up yourself and ask him for cash.
    Y'all take care now.
    • _shel
    • By _shel 1st Sep 18, 6:17 AM
    • 2,012 Posts
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    _shel
    • #9
    • 1st Sep 18, 6:17 AM
    • #9
    • 1st Sep 18, 6:17 AM
    Tell him it was his choice to replace the fence with no discussion or agreement from you to contribute. So you won't be paying.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 1st Sep 18, 6:23 AM
    • 36,298 Posts
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    getmore4less
    Oddly enough when youíre putting up a new fence dogs would get our, hence neighbour giving prior warning of works to prevent this happening.
    Originally posted by GwylimT
    thanks a misread
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 1st Sep 18, 6:54 AM
    • 17,560 Posts
    • 49,209 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Where you went wrong, by the sound of it, was saying that you would be willing to contribute. He's taken you exactly at your word and thought "He's said he's willing to pay towards it".

    He won't have paid much heed to the addition to the sentence of "....when I can afford it".

    It sounds like you phrased your response to him incorrectly and should have said "I'd be willing to IN PRINCIPLE - but I don't know when I will be able to afford it. So if you're waiting on a contribution from me towards it - then I'll have to let you know when I do have the money". If you'd phrased it that way then it would have meant = you'll let him know when you do have the money.

    From the sound of the way you actually phrased it - then it does sound like you'd better pay. It's only around £300 and it is your dogs that are being kept in (which is your responsibility to do).

    With the amount of money in question (ie around £300) I would think most people would interpret the phrase "When I have the money" as meaning = that will be at the end of the month, when my salary goes into the bank. I know I would interpret it that way and only reckon "when I have the money" as being some months away/a year or two away if it was around £3,000 (as that's a noticeable amount of money to have to find for many people).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 01-09-2018 at 7:02 AM.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 1st Sep 18, 7:02 AM
    • 28,500 Posts
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    Davesnave
    Tell him it was his choice to replace the fence with no discussion or agreement from you to contribute. So you won't be paying.
    Originally posted by _shel
    Not really correct. The OP offered to contribute, but didn't specify how much or when. They then received a request for £368, which the neighbour deemed to be their share of the cost.

    None of us knows what % of the total cost that was, but clearly if the neighbour didn't consult on type of fence etc etc they can't reasonably expect a 50:50 deal.

    If it were me, and in view of developments since, I'd maybe offer to give the other party a 20- 25% contribution, provided they desisted from posting stuff on my employer's Facebook page. Unfortunately, they'd now have to wait 6 months to prove good intent in that regard, as their attempts at harrassment have destroyed trust.

    That would give the OP time to save the money and show some acceptance of their folly in entering an agreement without limitations, other than "when I have the money." We all know that we never have the money!
    'I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn.' Neil Innes, introducing 'Protest Song.'
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 1st Sep 18, 8:05 AM
    • 16,452 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    I would write him a letter saying that you stated that you might be willing to contribute when you could afford it.

    Say that unfortunately, as he failed to discuss costs and fence types with you, and has selected something you would not have chosen, then you are not willing to contribute to this particular fence, but should he wish to change the style and get some quotes, then you might be interested in contributing.

    Is it an ugly fence???
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 1st Sep 18, 8:26 AM
    • 26,974 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    I would write him a letter saying that you stated that you might be willing to contribute when you could afford it.

    Say that unfortunately, as he failed to discuss costs and fence types with you, and has selected something you would not have chosen, then you are not willing to contribute to this particular fence, but should he wish to change the style and get some quotes, then you might be interested in contributing.

    Is it an ugly fence???
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    That's a lie and it's deliberately antagonistic. There's nothing wrong with the truth.

    I think davesnave is reasonable. I'd set out how much I was willing to pay and when, whether it be small installments or a lump.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 1st Sep 18, 8:36 AM
    • 8,213 Posts
    • 7,062 Thanks
    Norman Castle

    My question is, where do I stand legally?


    I appreciate itís between both our gardens and Iíve never said I donít want to contribute, but he is obviously disappointed that I canít afford it and has now taken to messaging my works Facebook page asking about what we do when people donít pay money they owe.

    Technically, I donít feel I Ďoweí them anything as any contribution would be wholly voluntary, but if they are going to cause problems for me at work, Iím going to be less inclined to give them anything and itís going to cause issues down the line I feel.
    Originally posted by gazfocus
    If the facebook nonsense continues and is specific about you I would consider that harassment. Explain the situation to your employer and co workers and ignore it.


    Legally, he could pursue you for costs but as you offered an unspecified amount "when you can afford it" as a voluntary contribution he's unlikely to get anything.


    He must have arranged for the fence to be fitted before speaking to you for it to be put in place the following day then decided as its between both gardens you should pay half. If its his fence on his garden you owe him nothing.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 1st Sep 18, 8:45 AM
    • 17,560 Posts
    • 49,209 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I would write him a letter saying that you stated that you might be willing to contribute when you could afford it.

    Say that unfortunately, as he failed to discuss costs and fence types with you, and has selected something you would not have chosen, then you are not willing to contribute to this particular fence, but should he wish to change the style and get some quotes, then you might be interested in contributing.

    Is it an ugly fence???
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    The OP actually said he "WOULD be willing to contribute" and not "MIGHT be willing to contribute".

    The time for OP to discuss what style the fence would be in was during that conversation - and therefore he has "missed the boat" on discussing that and left the style in the neighbours hands to choose.

    The one point where the neighbour was at fault was that "the fence was put up the following day" point - ie the neighbour had made the style decisions already and not given OP the chance for their 50% of the input on that decision. Not something I would have done myself - and, in similar circumstances here, I told the neighbours in advance/requested the access I would need from them for it and I made all the style decisions - but paid all the cost (so they got fortunate in not being asked for any of the money by me). I didn't request any payment towards it - because I had made all the style decisions on my own. But - don't forget - the reason/one of the reasons for this fence is to keep OP's dogs in....and, in my own case, it was being done basically for my benefit and not someone else's (as is the case here).

    There is the possibility that, if OP had turned round during the conversation and said "Okay. 50% - subject to the style I want being x" that the tradespeople hadnt got it "set in stone" at that point as to what the style would be and could have amended the style if OP had said they wanted a different style.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 01-09-2018 at 8:56 AM.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 1st Sep 18, 9:49 AM
    • 1,462 Posts
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    rach_k
    I think 50% is reasonable for a shared fence if you had been allowed to have a say in choosing the fence and deciding when it was done. As you weren't, I would get a price for a fence you could afford 50% of now or within a reasonable time frame (say, 3 months if the old fence was falling down, or a year if it was just a bit rickety or ugly) and offer him half of the cost within that reasonable timeframe. If he doesn't accept it, tell him you're sorry but he can have the fence for himself.

    When we wanted new fences, one neighbour didn't want to contribute but was happy for us to replace the old one and fully own the new. Neighbours on the other side were happy to pay 50% of the quote and share the fence, but couldn't pay straight away. As we wanted it done right away, we said to pay when they could. It was around a year when they paid but we had a full year of a nice fence so we were happy. To expect payment for a fence they weren't happy with the cost of, or for them to pay on a timescale we decided, would just have been wrong.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 1st Sep 18, 10:17 AM
    • 2,392 Posts
    • 869 Thanks
    sevenhills
    Not really correct. The OP offered to contribute, but didn't specify how much or when. They then received a request for £368, which the neighbour deemed to be their share of the cost.
    Originally posted by Davesnave

    The OPs offer is so vauge that there is no contract.

    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 1st Sep 18, 10:22 AM
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    Davesnave
    The OPs offer is so vauge that there is no contract.
    Originally posted by sevenhills
    I was replying to _shel, who said:


    Tell him it was his choice to replace the fence with no discussion or agreement from you to contribute. So you won't be paying.
    Originally posted by _shel

    I didn't mention the word contract, because there is none that could be enforced, but there was some kind of discussion and agreement, which was very vague.


    I think most people feel the OP could walk away from this, but the question is whether they should accept some level of responsibility and acknowlege they have gained something from the fence being replaced . However, none of us knows exactly where the fence was placed relative to the boundary and what the condition of the previous fence was like.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 01-09-2018 at 10:28 AM.
    'I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn.' Neil Innes, introducing 'Protest Song.'
    • fezster
    • By fezster 1st Sep 18, 10:36 AM
    • 322 Posts
    • 192 Thanks
    fezster
    OP - there is no contract here, so the only dilemma is a moral one. Only you know how the conversation played out with the neighbour.

    From what you have told us, I read it as the neighbour being a little cheeky to ask for 50% on a fence he was probably already putting up a week later and despite you having said "when you could afford it", which to my mind is basically a "not at the moment" statement. However, others have interpreted what you wrote differently.

    It is up to you to decide now if you think you owe the neighbour anything. The facebook posts etc only seem to confirm my suspicion that the neighbour is being a bully in this instance. But that's just my opinion.
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