Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

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West of Chicago
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Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by West of Chicago »

Our neighbors are about to begin construction on a two-story addition to the back of their house. Our houses are less than 6 feet apart and my air conditioner is next to the site of the addition.

Their contractor sent the following “Property Access Acknowledgement” for us to sign.
I acknowledge that I am the owner of the neighboring property listed above and am aware of the proposed work being done at the Project Address.

I am giving my permission to the (CONTRACTOR) team and crews to access my property for installation of the proposed work. It will remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area for the workers until the work is complete.

The owners of the Project Address will communicate with me regarding logistics and scheduling of work on my property, unless other arrangements are made.

(CONTRACTOR) will take all reasonable care to protect the construction access areas to a reasonable level.

(CONTRACTOR) will take full responsibility to assure that my property is kept free of construction debris and cleaned up at the end of each work day.
This seems like a blank check for the contractor to do whatever they want whenever they want on our property. I also feel like the line “It will remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area for the workers until the work is complete” opens us up to liability. And there seems to be no way to hold the contractor accountable for any damage to our property.

I’d like to be a good neighbor, but there is no way I am going to sign anything like this.

My neighbor has been vague on the particulars and offered to give me the contact info for the project leader. I worry that a document that would be acceptable to us would require legal review.

Does anyone have experience with a situation like this? Any and all advice is appreciated.
Swivelguy
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Swivelguy »

You should suggest that they come back with a contract that guarantees that should any damage occur, including expected wear and tear, they will repair your property to its initial condition.
HomeStretch
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by HomeStretch »

I would not sign it. Let the contractor figure out how to do the project within the other home owner’s property boundaries. The contractor should also be installing a temporary fence along the property line to prevent encroachment on your property.
Nowizard
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Nowizard »

Yes, we had an experience. Empty lot next door with purchaser building. Clearing the lot, the contractor asked if they could bring a large piece of tree-moving equipment into our yard to knock down trees near the property line. He indicated there would be some turf damage due to the size of the equipment and said he would smooth out any problem, install new turf, etc. No signed statement, just agreement that he would repair damage immediately. This was in latter part of summer but still growing season. He did not make repair after several phone calls, eventually stating I had said he could wait until following spring. Many letters, etc. but no repair until spring which was halfway done.
Don't allow it. If you do, require that he sign agreement of yours and post a bond. I would tell the neighbor that the contractor should contact you directly, not have the home owner do his biding for something that had no benefit to you other than in your relationship with your neighbor.

Tim
Last edited by Nowizard on Sat May 02, 2020 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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anon_investor
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by anon_investor »

Swivelguy wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:58 am You should suggest that they come back with a contract that guarantees that should any damage occur, including expected wear and tear, they will repair your property to its initial condition.
+1
Susan1963
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Susan1963 »

I would not sign it. Not only does this "contract" impose terms of YOU that you never bargained for ("will keep a safe work environment"), it will also be very difficult to keep the contractors from thinking they can use your property as needed. I regularly hear stories of nice neighbours who end up with a large utility bill because the neighbouring contractors use the outside water and power access for their equipment. Since most people work all day (pandemic notwithstanding), this is only discovered when the bill comes at the end of the month.
bob60014
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by bob60014 »

"It will remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area for the workers until the work is complete."

Respond with, my fee is $1000.00/day plus all insurance costs! :)

Needless to say, dont sign anything.
shunkman
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by shunkman »

Sounds like you need a Temporary Right of Access Agreement. All kinds of things can go wrong. I would not sign any document furnished by the contractor. I suggest that you have your own attorney prepare the agreement and then have the contractor reimburse you for the cost of this.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Mr. Rumples »

I would also not agree to this. Part of my property is located in a place where contractors want access to get to several properties since I keep the filed clear and mowed. I let my neighbor use his tree guys to access his property, I won't do it again. In fact, when work is going on in homes along the right of way, I now put up orange tape to mark my boundary.

The contractor and your neighbor are using your property for financial reasons. You should be compensated or at least have an agreement with a "bond" held by you to cover damages.

I use orange flagging tape:

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Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Sat May 02, 2020 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Sandtrap »

West of Chicago wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:56 am Our neighbors are about to begin construction on a two-story addition to the back of their house. Our houses are less than 6 feet apart and my air conditioner is next to the site of the addition.

Their contractor sent the following “Property Access Acknowledgement” for us to sign.
I acknowledge that I am the owner of the neighboring property listed above and am aware of the proposed work being done at the Project Address.

I am giving my permission to the (CONTRACTOR) team and crews to access my property for installation of the proposed work. It will remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area for the workers until the work is complete.

The owners of the Project Address will communicate with me regarding logistics and scheduling of work on my property, unless other arrangements are made.

(CONTRACTOR) will take all reasonable care to protect the construction access areas to a reasonable level.

(CONTRACTOR) will take full responsibility to assure that my property is kept free of construction debris and cleaned up at the end of each work day.
This seems like a blank check for the contractor to do whatever they want whenever they want on our property. I also feel like the line “It will remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area for the workers until the work is complete” opens us up to liability. And there seems to be no way to hold the contractor accountable for any damage to our property.

I’d like to be a good neighbor, but there is no way I am going to sign anything like this.

My neighbor has been vague on the particulars and offered to give me the contact info for the project leader. I worry that a document that would be acceptable to us would require legal review.

Does anyone have experience with a situation like this?

Any and all advice is appreciated.
As a builder/GC and R/E Developer for many decades, I've been on both sides of this issue too many times.
1
It can go smoothly with happy neighbors on both sides who become close friends.
2
Or. . . it can go horribly wrong.
(the following missive is based on #2)

Odds are 50/50 for either.

Notes:
1. The line about "you" responsible to provide a safe work area is dead wrong.
2. There needs to be a line that your property will be restored to original condition after the work is done.
3. There needs to be a line that the "contractor" is responsible for your safety, to protect your home with adequate measures (coverings, plywood sheets, waddles for erosion runoff, damage to your home is scaffolding hits the wall, and what happens if equipment like a mini excavator or man lift is brought through that narrow opening, such as hitting your roof).
4. The contractor and the owner each needs to assume liability. There must be some way of ensuring that you will be "paid" and things will be corrected if things go wrong, so you don't have to go to court to get squared away.
5. Right now, any small "contract" like what you present between you and the contractor and/or owner is inadequate and somewhat unenforceable. IE: if the contractor has no money and time to fix what he damages, ie: your AC unit, then that's that. You'll have to chase it down.

Suggestions and considerations:
1. In Hawaii, and other high density areas, homes are very close together, sometimes 6-8 feet between rooflines, sometimes shared easements. Permission to access and logistics is very very common. Sometimes, contractors will erect fences with solid plywood walls on both sides or at least on the neighbor's side to protect everything. With such narrow ingress/egress, especially on long term jobs like this 2 story addition, the possiblity of damage is very high. It happens. Everyone's working hard and not paying attention.

2. If this was a one shot deal like access to bring in utilities or something like that, then it might be okay, with the proper liablity assumption and physical measures.

3. But, on a 2 story addition behind a home (have done many of these in situations like this), the scope is much larger and for longer term. (I have actually hired a crane to transport the bulk of materials to the back of a home rather than go between a narrow passage between homes, it went smoothly).

4. A lot depends on your relationship dynamics with the owner. Do you have a relationship (friendship, real one) that you can "trust", or is it more courteous and perfunctory? And, would it bother you if things got icy because the neighbor "didn't get what they wanted from you" which is human nature?

5. Maybe. You can allow specific access for only certain things at one specific time. Such as: the week of such and such at these hours or for one specific delivery, for a specific fee plus a contract for assumption of any and all liability and damages such as restoring your lawn, etc. So you mitigate risk with degree and duration of use and purpose. The disadvantage of this is opportunistic. Once you say yes for one thing then you open the door for more and then if you say no you’re still the bad guy.

Thoughts : IMHO:
1. With a 6 foot passageway and a large long term project like a 2 story addition, and your apparent concerns, I would not give permission. And, I would have an attorney draft a notice of such and give it to the owner and the builder if needed.
Why? You have a lot to lose by giving permission as far as risk and liability (someone gets hurt on your property), and no gain, zero.

2. Your neighbor's 2 story addition is not your project nor your concern. Don't make it so. Many do to "be a nice guy or liked". You don't have to if you don't want to. No obligations here.
You can be made to feel like there is no other way to get the neighbor's project done except through that 6' passageway. There likely are other ways. The other side. The back. Up and over.

3. It doesn't matter what is written on an agreement nor how large the damage amounts or fees are. If something goes wrong and you have to chase down solutions, it just turns really really bad. As in, "RBD".

4. A builder and owner is also liable for your property damage even if they don’t access your property and should take protection measures; IE falling or flying debris, paint spray, concrete dust, waddles for erosion runoff from rain or jobsite washdown, roofing nails that roll off onto your property (big one!!), rubbish, fumes and chemicals, etc.
Also noise and street parking intrusion only during reasonable work hours and days, etc.

Real life examples:
1. Mini excavator caves in garage wall during installation of main power lateral. (no plywood walls and fence put up prior to access).
2. Scaffolding falls against neighbor's fence and takes it down.
3. Worker's garbage, lunch debris, a persistent problem. Worker's hang out for breaks and lunch in the cool shade of passageway.
4. Erosion, mud, buckets of stucco mix splashed on neighbor's walls.
5. Edge of roof of neighbor's house smashed in.
6. etc, etc, etc.
*** I have often turned down these types of construction projects because the logistics and scope of work was just too large a "can of worms". Many contractors won't touch this type of thing for no amount of profit.

I hope this is helpful to you.
PM me as you wish.

j :happy
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sat May 02, 2020 9:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Mr. Rumples
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Mr. Rumples »

The above post is extraordinarily helpful. Thanks! I have saved it as a reference for the next time someone wants to go through my property.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

I agree that Sandtrap's post was both helpful and generous.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by TomatoTomahto »

NotWhoYouThink wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 9:11 am I agree that Sandtrap's post was both helpful and generous.
That’s not unusual for Sandtrap; helpful and understated. 👍👍
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livesoft
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by livesoft »

I would first talk to my neighbor. It is very likely that your neighbor would not sign such a thing themselves. You can get an attorney to help you as noted above, but talk to your neighbor first. One day you will may have something done on your property that might involve the permission of the neighbor.
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cableguy
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cableguy »

Sad to say....protect yourself. On top of all the construction related comments.... If they are on your property you should know the full names of all his employees so if down the road your house gets robbed or something worse happens.....you can provide that info to the police. Sad but true.....”workers” do return to job sites and steal stuff or do even worse things that I won’t type out here....
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Luckywon »

I love to be a good neighbor but what the contractor sent you is borderline offensive, IMO, as it is written to ask for a favor, but makes no effort to address your interests. In fact the sentence obligating you to provide a safe environment goes the opposite way.

I'd tell the neighbor you want to be a good neighbor but this is a matter for which you will need an attorney to draw up an agreement to make sure you are protected. Give him the option to pay for your attorney fees for this, otherwise he will have to get the job done without access to your property.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Sandtrap »

livesoft wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 9:29 am I would first talk to my neighbor. It is very likely that your neighbor would not sign such a thing themselves. You can get an attorney to help you as noted above, but talk to your neighbor first. One day you will may have something done on your property that might involve the permission of the neighbor.
+1
This is a huge consideration.
In "tight" neighborhoods, there can be good understanding between neighbors. Of course, there's always a bad apple. It boils down to human dymanics and neighbor relationshps.
Blurry these things are often.

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F150HD
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by F150HD »

anon_investor wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:07 am
Swivelguy wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:58 am You should suggest that they come back with a contract that guarantees that should any damage occur, including expected wear and tear, they will repair your property to its initial condition.
+1
+1 +1
“It will remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area for the workers until the work is complete” opens us up to liability.
OP I was as uncomfortable as you w/ this statement. Seems peculiar to me.

OTOH, having a neighbor improve their home could add value to your home?? (something to ponder?)


Wondering if there is a way for money to be put into an escrow account to repair your property in the event this eventually does go through and they damage your lawn/AC/trees etc. Then the escrow $$ could be used by you for repairs.

I also balk at them starting construction then not having an end date. Example- if they want to start June 1 and finish by July 31 you should be compensated for any time they access your property beyond a timeframe as such.

Regardless, at the rate things are going, having a set of professional eyes (lawyer) on any paperwork sounds like a great idea to me.

If all homes in your area are equally as close, is there a precedent for this type of scenario where this has happened before? worth a few phone calls.
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

My neighbor just has his hired helpers drive their equipment occasionally onto my property without asking. I haven't noticed a lot of damage but it is annoying. He could damage the sprinklers and the lawn.
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Watty
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Watty »

anon_investor wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:07 am
Swivelguy wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:58 am You should suggest that they come back with a contract that guarantees that should any damage occur, including expected wear and tear, they will repair your property to its initial condition.
+1
And have a lawyer review it.

The part where they said "It will remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area for the workers until the work is complete." is a big red flag to me that the contractor is a "bozo" and you will need to be careful with them.

If you sign something like this then your insurance company may not cover you if a worker is injured on your property.

Normally I would try to be nicer and more accommodating but what they were asking for was way out of line so I would go into full CYA mode.

If you do decide to give them access for a major project like this I would want some sort of bond or third party insurance to pay for any possible damages.

If my house was damaged I would also want to keep the option open to have my own contractor to do the repairs at their expense to make sure that it is fixed right. There is no way I would commit ahead of time to letting them do the repairs. The problem is that something could happen like a piece of heavy equipment could run into your house and cause major damage and you do not want to give up your rights in that sort of situation. If there is a small problem you can decide to let them fix it later if it seems OK then.

I would just tell them "no" if there is not already one there I would put up my own fence and I would also put up video cameras that record what is going on and have signs about the area being under video surveillance. I would even put up no trespassing signs.

Even if you decide to let them have access still put up the video cameras, they are inexpensive. Just having them there will help make sure they are more careful.

You should also know what the local ordinances are about noise and the hours they can work and let them know that you expect them to follow those rules.
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Watty
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Watty »

West of Chicago wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:56 am The owners of the Project Address will communicate with me regarding logistics and scheduling of work on my property, unless other arrangements are made.
I looked at this again and this part is also unreasonable since it does not say anything about you needing to agree with it, they just have to tell you about it and you cannot say "no".
quantAndHold
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by quantAndHold »

This whole contract seems so one sided as to be unenforceable. I can’t imagine why a decent contractor would even stick it under your nose.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cheese_breath »

I agree with all the other posters. This is horse-pucky. All they need is access to the neighbor's back yard. What's all this other crap?

Isn't the work area to be in the neighbor's back yard? Why should you be responsible for it, or even for keeping the access clear since its not your project? Or do they intend to set up the work area in your back yard? The contract doesn't say.

Is there room on the other side of the neighbor's house to provide the needed access? I wonder if they asked the guy on that side first, and he turned them down flat.

It's worrisome too that the neighbor is being vague. If he wants access to your property he needs to be more forthcoming about the particulars. And it's his responsibility set up any meeting with the contractor / project leader if he wants this to happen.
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FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

I'm normally nice and accommodating, but the tone of the contractor's letter is so incredibly arrogant and self entitled that I would put up as much resistance as I legally can. The letter you received justifies a note to your city council person, state rep, zoning people and the lot. Talk to your neighbor. Tell them about the red flags raised in the letter. If you're willing, explain that you can cooperate with a contractor who is more communicative and less demanding.

I think it's reasonable to expect a direct contact with the contractor for the duration of this project who you can call if job site conditions become an annoyance. You should know at what hour machines will start making noise and when you can expect them to be shut down. I know it's your neighbor's job and they need to select the contractor, but this directly impacts your life. Maybe they will consider more bids if they realize their project can run smoothly and not contentiously.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by ResearchMed »

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 10:30 am I'm normally nice and accommodating, but the tone of the contractor's letter is so incredibly arrogant and self entitled that I would put up as much resistance as I legally can. The letter you received justifies a note to your city council person, state rep, zoning people and the lot. Talk to your neighbor. Tell them about the red flags raised in the letter. If you're willing, explain that you can cooperate with a contractor who is more communicative and less demanding.

I think it's reasonable to expect a direct contact with the contractor for the duration of this project who you can call if job site conditions become an annoyance. You should know at what hour machines will start making noise and when you can expect them to be shut down. I know it's your neighbor's job and they need to select the contractor, but this directly impacts your life. Maybe they will consider more bids if they realize their project can run smoothly and not contentiously.
This also worries me... potentially (*probably*!) needing to deal with a contractor who has this attitude. Doesn't seem to be someone who would be at all considerate in responding to problems, and perhaps unlikely even to return calls.

I've never seen terms like those. Outrageous, for the reasons given above.

If OP (still?) has a good relationship with neighbor, he/she might have a friendly discussion about the red flags, including why they might generate concern for the neighbor's relationship with the contractor. Perhaps that will help ... with neighbor getting a different contractor.
It might be too late, but I can't imagine that work contract being set in stone yet, when there's no guarantee yet about how to gain access for the construction. That could affect pricing, especially if it's Sandtrap's additional suggestion of "up and over" - yikes!

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ironman
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by ironman »

There is a possibility this arrangement could work. When I read the contract posted, the balance of benefit to you (good neighborly relations) compared to the risk (years long legal battle to return your property to "whole" after damage) appears skewed in the contractor's favor.
I would involve an attorney of your choosing at their expense to review the contract. A bond made payable to you in an amount to cover the worst possible scenario may also be appropriate.
MarkerFM
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by MarkerFM »

Yes, this is crazy. One other suggestion I either didn't see or missed is to have the contractor add you as an additional insured on the contractor's liability and worker's comp policies (general liability and any underlying equipment policies, like auto). Just getting a certificate of insurance is not adequate. You need to be a named insured.
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

ironman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 11:08 am There is a possibility this arrangement could work. When I read the contract posted, the balance of benefit to you (good neighborly relations) compared to the risk (years long legal battle to return your property to "whole" after damage) appears skewed in the contractor's favor.
I would involve an attorney of your choosing at their expense to review the contract. A bond made payable to you in an amount to cover the worst possible scenario may also be appropriate.
Great advice! I like your proposed solution.
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randles
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by randles »

In addition to the good advice already offered: The contractor undoubtedly has liability insurance. Ask for a Certificate of Insurance, to be mailed directly from the insurance carrier, naming you (and your property) as additional insured. Don't accept proof of insurance from the contractor - get it from the insurance carrier (some contractors have been known to give photocopies of expired/canceled policies - I speak from experience).

Good luck!
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I would return it with a big red "NO" written across the whole front.
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8foot7
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by 8foot7 »

quantAndHold wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 10:16 am This whole contract seems so one sided as to be unenforceable. I can’t imagine why a decent contractor would even stick it under your nose.
This is actually such a bad contract that I would worry about the possibility of your signature being forged. I would return the contract with a NO written on it and also draw up a letter that clearly states you do not agree that the contractor has permission to do anything on your lot and you accept no responsibility for anything the contractor does, and I would have that notarized or at least signed in the presence of a witness and delivered to the contractor via certified mail return receipt requested.

I would also have a friendly chat with your neighbor explaining why you simply can't agree to the terms presented to you and you're sorry about that and that you'd be happy to see if you could work out a way to make it happen without accepting complete liability for anything that happens to their contractors while they access your property for no tangible benefit to you.
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2pedals
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by 2pedals »

It might be a ploy to get the neighbor to pay more for the job if property access is not allowed. No way would I sign that.
Teague
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Teague »

Besides everything else above, how can an agreement written by the contractor that you sign bind your neighbor to "communicate regarding logistics...," etc?
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Big Dog »

Swivelguy wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 7:58 am You should suggest that they come back with a contract that guarantees that should any damage occur, including expected wear and tear, they will repair your property to its initial condition.
Also, one that has days and timing mentioned. Do you want them dropping off stuff at 5 am? Working till 11 pm?

And a clause that they clean up your yard every day.
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CoinCounter
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by CoinCounter »

You should absolutely not sign that! Why on earth would you guarantee the working conditions for your neighbor's contractor??? You're essentially being asked to provide free insurance to strangers. I would not allow them onto my property without an iron-clad indemnity and hold harmless clause to your benefit vis-a-vis not only the contractor, but also the neighbor and any third-party.
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gwe67
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by gwe67 »

I always try to be a good neighbor and accommodate. But there should be a statement that allows you to terminate this permission at any time, with or without cause. There should be a written time frame for repairs.
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by WillRetire »

There may be easements that allow one neighbor to enter another's property in order to access or maintain his property. For example, to paint the other side of a fence, the fence owner needs to enter the neighbor's yard, and often permission to do just that is not needed. But that is very different from major construction.

The homeowner who is having the major construction work done should have informed his neighbors in advance, explaining who the contractor is and that the contractor says they are licensed, bonded, insured, etc. This would have paved the way for the contractor to address neighbors' concerns with the project.

The contractor should limit access to neighboring properties to only the bare minimum needed for safety, and should be prepared to give the neighbors his card with company information assuring all the right credentials, all safety measures, all precautions to protect property & promise to pay for & arrange repairs if something unexpected occurs.

I wouldn't sign the contract they gave you. I'm not sure there is any contract I would be willing to sign under the circumstances with this contractor. Tell them you require more information from them on how & when they will use your property, before you will give them verbal permission to even enter your property. But don't sign anything. This contractor got off on the wrong foot, and would make me leary of giving them even verbal permission.

If they don't have adequate insurance, you don't want to give them any permission at all. The burden is on the contractor to give you assurances & proof that they are reliable, trustworthy, and safe.
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celia
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by celia »

OP, isn’t that space where you planned to put in a vegetable garden tomorrow? I’d start with a row of radishes just inside your boundary line and a tomato plant or two in the corners. Maybe even add a scarecrow.

And what about the noise the construction would bring? I’d find out what the city code says by calling your council person.
Last edited by celia on Sat May 02, 2020 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Murgatroyd
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Murgatroyd »

Might it make sense to call the appropriate zoning committee or building inspector for advice? Given all the good advice above you could be looking at hundreds of expense with a lawyer.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cheese_breath »

celia wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 12:36 pm OP, isn’t that space where you planned to put in a vegetable garden tomorrow? I’d start with a row of radishes just inside your boundary line and a tomato plant or two in the corners. Maybe even add a scarecrow...
If you can stall long enough you might be able to have a row of corn stocks growing along the property line.
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celia
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by celia »

Big Dog wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 11:38 am Also, one that has days and timing mentioned. Do you want them dropping off stuff at 5 am? Working till 11 pm?
The city building code usually defines this (and the noise level) which is often stricter on weekends so neighbors can sleep in. But there’s nothing from keeping you from asking for even shorter hours. (This is extremely important if someone in your house works nights and needs to sleep during the day.)
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ResearchMed
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by ResearchMed »

gwe67 wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 12:11 pm I always try to be a good neighbor and accommodate. But there should be a statement that allows you to terminate this permission at any time, with or without cause. There should be a written time frame for repairs.
As much as I object to the "agreement" as currently written, I don't think this is a reasonable request, at least not without cause.
Otherwise, one could really hold the project hostage mid-way, when it would be very expensive to drop it (and need to remove what was done?).
"For cause"? Sure! Good idea.
(Although what would suffice as "cause" could be problematic.)

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2pedals
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by 2pedals »

What's stopping them placing a portable restroom in your yard, deck or patio? :shock:
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celia
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by celia »

What if you want to have a party in your yard this summer or even sell your house? It seems like they are taking away the enjoyment of your own house in exchange for their pleasure.
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cheese_breath »

2pedals wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 1:28 pm What's stopping them placing a portable restroom in your yard, deck or patio? :shock:
I suppose OP could let them use his restroom.. :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by BionicBillWalsh »

I think your neighbor needs a different contractor.

The form given to you smacks of completely unrealistic and unprofessional expectation.

This person and their crew have no business conducting operations near your home.

I'd print this thread and show it to your neighbor as a good opening for agreement (or lack thereof) between the two of you.
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West of Chicago
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by West of Chicago »

A big thank-you to all who have responded, especially Sandtrap for sharing his knowledge in such a detailed post!

They have been planning this addition for almost a year and had to get a lot coverage variance for it that took more than eight months and caused a lot of drama (we remained neutral throughout the process). At no time did they discuss the need to access our property. They have a driveway on the other side of their house, so I assumed materials, debris, etc. could easily come and go that way.

The neighbor never actually asked if we were OK with their contractors working on our property, he just told me they would be removing a couple of sections of their fence and we would get a letter to sign from their contractor. It took more than a month for him to send the agreement, which was not the detailed description and timeline I expected.

I spoke with our local building & zoning department before the access agreement arrived to see what my options were. The city official told me I did not have to allow access, but advised me to be a good neighbor, get the specifics of what they need access for, and (if what they wanted was acceptable) have a written agreement that included restoring our property by a contractor of our choice at their expense after the project was complete.

But as others have mentioned, what was sent was so ridiculous, that I now don't want to deal with their contractor at all.

Our city would not require fencing for a job like this, but another neighbor who is moving gave me a large roll of black plastic fencing that I could put up.

I was actually planning to plant a hedge along the fence and a lilac bush up near the house, but I've held off because of this project.

Things are stressful enough these days without something like this to deal with, but all your replies have really helped. :sharebeer
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ResearchMed
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by ResearchMed »

West of Chicago wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 1:57 pm A big thank-you to all who have responded, especially Sandtrap for sharing his knowledge in such a detailed post!

They have been planning this addition for almost a year and had to get a lot coverage variance for it that took more than eight months and caused a lot of drama (we remained neutral throughout the process). At no time did they discuss the need to access our property. They have a driveway on the other side of their house, so I assumed materials, debris, etc. could easily come and go that way.

The neighbor never actually asked if we were OK with their contractors working on our property, he just told me they would be removing a couple of sections of their fence and we would get a letter to sign from their contractor. It took more than a month for him to send the agreement, which was not the detailed description and timeline I expected.

I spoke with our local building & zoning department before the access agreement arrived to see what my options were. The city official told me I did not have to allow access, but advised me to be a good neighbor, get the specifics of what they need access for, and (if what they wanted was acceptable) have a written agreement that included restoring our property by a contractor of our choice at their expense after the project was complete.

But as others have mentioned, what was sent was so ridiculous, that I now don't want to deal with their contractor at all.

Our city would not require fencing for a job like this, but another neighbor who is moving gave me a large roll of black plastic fencing that I could put up.

I was actually planning to plant a hedge along the fence and a lilac bush up near the house, but I've held off because of this project.

Things are stressful enough these days without something like this to deal with, but all your replies have really helped. :sharebeer
[emphasis added]

THEY HAVE A DRIVEWAY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOUSE!? :shock: :shock: :shock:
Okay, I assume it won't work, because there is a solid brick addition to the house that *totally* blocks any access from that driveway to the backyard, right?

I sure hope it isn't because they didn't want to damage their driveway with heavy equipment...
:annoyed

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Last edited by ResearchMed on Sat May 02, 2020 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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West of Chicago
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by West of Chicago »

celia wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 1:33 pm What if you want to have a party in your yard this summer or even sell your house? It seems like they are taking away the enjoyment of your own house in exchange for their pleasure.
Very true. We have a large back porch that I use daily during good weather -- especially now that I can't go anywhere else!
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cheese_breath »

ResearchMed wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 2:03 pm THEY HAVE A DRIVEWAY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOUSE!? :shock: :shock: :shock:
Okay, I assume it won't work, because there is a solid brick addition to the house that *totally* blocks any access from that driveway to the backyard, right?

I sure hope it isn't because they didn't want to damage their driveway with heavy equipment...
:annoyed

RM
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