Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

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

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I’ve asked him a few times when they would start construction, as it’s going to be a major intrusion in our lives. Back in March he told me early April, and more recently, a vague “soon.” I find it hard to believe that they don’t know when such a big project will start. It’s a bit fishy.
We are in the middle of a renovation, and although our GC has always stuck to his schedule like a Swiss watch in the past, even he has had to bend his schedule due to Covid-19.

On a slightly related topic, while our GC’s workers have practiced virus safe distancing (which slowed down the project), I would not put much faith in the contractor that your neighbor has selected.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
CurlyDave
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by CurlyDave »

I think most people are looking at this the wrong way. The contractor obviously wants access through your property for some reason. This gives you the potential to control and mitigate a lot of annoyances during the construction process.

1. Construction workers like to start at very early hours -- don't be unreasonable but you can write a restriction on hours of operation which is much tighter than the city ordinance. Be reasonable -- no weekend work and they don't start until you normally get up during the week.

2. Construction workers like to play "working man's music" at very high volume while they are working. A proper agreement can eliminate this annoyance.

3. Written notice 24 hours in advance for every incursion into your property.

4. A 24 hour phone number with 2 hour response time guaranteed. (There are a myriad of things that can go wrong during a project which need immediate correction. For instance they can leave a noisy air compressor plugged in overnight -- a slight leak in some hose will cause it to cycle on every hour or two and prevent you from sleeping.) Test this at 2 AM before the job starts.

Now comes the interesting part -- insist on both a bond for clean-up/restoration at the end of the project, and a deposit with you of $1500 to $2000 which you will repay at the end of the job. Then specifically say that "A restriction without a penalty for violation is not really a restriction at all" and put in a $150 fine for every violation of restrictions. The penalty must be paid by the contractor within 24 hours of you notifying him of a violation. An unpaid penalty is cause for legal action, the contractor to pay legal fees, forfeiture of the deposit, and termination of the agreement.

If the contractor or the neighbor objects just say: "You promised that these things wouldn't happen, so you shouldn't have to pay any of these penalties. If you keep your part of the agreement it won't cost you anything." Don't back down on this. Explain to the neighbor that you are not wanting to penalize him, and that he should not allow the contractor to pass on any penalties. If the contractor or the neighbor refuses any of this they really did not mean to keep their part of the agreement and you should not allow them access through your property.

The contractor, and his workers, many of whom he only loosely supervises, will completely ignore the restrictions until the first time you penalize him $150. This will get his attention and there will be no more violations.

Have a lawyer write this up so it has legal status and some teeth. The contractor should pay for the document. If the contractor breaches the agreement the deposit is forfeited to you.

In many areas of the country if I want to use some else's land there is a "trespass fee" I pay for the right to temporarily use the land. Think about charging one. The contractor will pay it but can pass it on to the neighbor. The real reason he wants access is that the job is less expensive with the access. Part of this cost reduction is yours for allowing the access.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The real problem you may have is that the employees who actually do the work may not have good communication with the contractor, will just work the way they always work, and will not accept your authority. A proper agreement with significant, enforceable penalties against the contractor can be greatly to your advantage.
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galawdawg
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by galawdawg »

My pleasure. While email and other written correspondence is ideal to memorialize discussions, I still would recommend that you (to the extent possible with the current situation, including wearing a mask) have a face to face meeting with the architect, contractor and neighbor on site. As I said, if there isn't an architect involved, that would be a red flag for me. But sometimes there is no substitute for looking at actual site conditions during the discussions. Certainly everything agreed upon should be documented in a binding agreement that is reviewed by your attorney before it is signed and the agreement should provide that it is the entire and exclusive agreement of the parties.

As far as uncertainty of the start date, I'm not surprised given the current crisis. There are likely issues with subs that may no longer be in business, suppliers that are currently or permanently closed and possible shortages of certain materials.
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snackdog
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by snackdog »

Where we live contractors routinely build and repair three and four story homes with less than three feet clearance to neighbors. There is special scaffolding for this called a pump jack pole. I can’t imagine offering them access.
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Clever_Username
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Clever_Username »

I have a question whose answer I might have missed. Do you know this is a licensed contractor? If so, have you confirmed the license?

I ask because a bulk of what I know about home renovation comes from the excellent television show To Catch a Contractor, which I recognize is not a representative sample.
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Mr. Rumples
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Mr. Rumples »

The license issued by the contractor's licensing authority in the state, the incorporated name issued by the state's corporation commission, the insurance name must match, also the addresses must all be the same. I was warned about this with my state's professional and occupational licensing authority. They also have a record of if someone made an official complaint.


By way of example, since each state is different, in VA, the name and address should be identical with the State Corporation Commission, the Department of Professional and Occupational regulation and what is on the workman's comp and liability policy. If its not, there is something wrong. When dealing with a partnership, all partners must sign documents and be listed.

One other consideration is and it might be unique to VA, but as part of the licensing fee in VA, contractors pay into a recovery fund. If the contract is not fulfilled and the contractor looses in court, the homeowner can make a claim from the recovery fund and the Commonwealth will have the work done right and paid for out of the recovery fund. The recovery fund will not cover damages done to property traveled over to get to the work site.
likegarden
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by likegarden »

Since someone here mentioned using a crane for delivery of materials, probably also for removal of debris during that project, I watched how a tree service use a crane to remove a large maple tree from the small piece of land between my fence and the neighbor's house. The contractor placed many 4x8 ft plywood sheets on neighbor's front lawn and drove the truck with the crane on it. Everything went smooth. This is certainly an option.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by ResearchMed »

likegarden wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 5:03 pm Since someone here mentioned using a crane for delivery of materials, probably also for removal of debris during that project, I watched how a tree service use a crane to remove a large maple tree from the small piece of land between my fence and the neighbor's house. The contractor placed many 4x8 ft plywood sheets on neighbor's front lawn and drove the truck with the crane on it. Everything went smooth. This is certainly an option.
The heavy equipment can also use the large plywood sheets on a driveway, to help avoid damage.
That, plus the neighbor finding another place (either town permission on the street, or perhaps at some co elsewhere) to re-locate other vehicles during the construction, should mean there is no need to access OP's property.
If there still is, what is the reason - aside from "not wanting to pay to move their own vehicles, but preferring to muck up your yard and make noise right next to your house", etc.? :annoyed

RM
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quantAndHold
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by quantAndHold »

galawdawg wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 11:25 am As far as uncertainty of the start date, I'm not surprised given the current crisis. There are likely issues with subs that may no longer be in business, suppliers that are currently or permanently closed and possible shortages of certain materials.
So very true. We are at the tail end of a remodel that started before anyone was thinking of COVID-19. One of the contractor’s main guys had to take 2 weeks off to quarantine, came back to work for two weeks, and then went home sick in the middle of the day last Friday, leaving all his tools in my office. One of the subs has just disappeared off the face of the earth and isn’t returning calls. We actually canceled part of the project because of that. On the other hand, we’re getting incredibly quick turnaround times from other subs, because they don’t have any other work. The project is getting done, but it’s all very day by day.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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F150HD
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by F150HD »

CurlyDave wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 11:18 am I think most people are looking at this the wrong way. The contractor obviously wants access through your property for some reason. This gives you the potential to control and mitigate a lot of annoyances during the construction process.

1. Construction workers like to start at very early hours -- don't be unreasonable but you can write a restriction on hours of operation which is much tighter than the city ordinance. Be reasonable -- no weekend work and they don't start until you normally get up during the week.

2. Construction workers like to play "working man's music" at very high volume while they are working. A proper agreement can eliminate this annoyance.

3. Written notice 24 hours in advance for every incursion into your property.

4. A 24 hour phone number with 2 hour response time guaranteed. (There are a myriad of things that can go wrong during a project which need immediate correction. For instance they can leave a noisy air compressor plugged in overnight -- a slight leak in some hose will cause it to cycle on every hour or two and prevent you from sleeping.) Test this at 2 AM before the job starts.

Now comes the interesting part -- insist on both a bond for clean-up/restoration at the end of the project, and a deposit with you of $1500 to $2000 which you will repay at the end of the job. Then specifically say that "A restriction without a penalty for violation is not really a restriction at all" and put in a $150 fine for every violation of restrictions. The penalty must be paid by the contractor within 24 hours of you notifying him of a violation. An unpaid penalty is cause for legal action, the contractor to pay legal fees, forfeiture of the deposit, and termination of the agreement.

If the contractor or the neighbor objects just say: "You promised that these things wouldn't happen, so you shouldn't have to pay any of these penalties. If you keep your part of the agreement it won't cost you anything." Don't back down on this. Explain to the neighbor that you are not wanting to penalize him, and that he should not allow the contractor to pass on any penalties. If the contractor or the neighbor refuses any of this they really did not mean to keep their part of the agreement and you should not allow them access through your property.

The contractor, and his workers, many of whom he only loosely supervises, will completely ignore the restrictions until the first time you penalize him $150. This will get his attention and there will be no more violations.

Have a lawyer write this up so it has legal status and some teeth. The contractor should pay for the document. If the contractor breaches the agreement the deposit is forfeited to you.

In many areas of the country if I want to use some else's land there is a "trespass fee" I pay for the right to temporarily use the land. Think about charging one. The contractor will pay it but can pass it on to the neighbor. The real reason he wants access is that the job is less expensive with the access. Part of this cost reduction is yours for allowing the access.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The real problem you may have is that the employees who actually do the work may not have good communication with the contractor, will just work the way they always work, and will not accept your authority. A proper agreement with significant, enforceable penalties against the contractor can be greatly to your advantage.
^^ good post.

---

OP a picture of the space between your homes they are looking to access might give this more perspective if you can swing it.
hudson
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Face to Face Meeting

Post by hudson »

galawdawg wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 11:25 am My pleasure. While email and other written correspondence is ideal to memorialize discussions, I still would recommend that you (to the extent possible with the current situation, including wearing a mask) have a face to face meeting with the architect, contractor and neighbor on site. As I said, if there isn't an architect involved, that would be a red flag for me. But sometimes there is no substitute for looking at actual site conditions during the discussions. Certainly everything agreed upon should be documented in a binding agreement that is reviewed by your attorney before it is signed and the agreement should provide that it is the entire and exclusive agreement of the parties.

As far as uncertainty of the start date, I'm not surprised given the current crisis. There are likely issues with subs that may no longer be in business, suppliers that are currently or permanently closed and possible shortages of certain materials.
I agree with galawdawg...
I think that an in-person meeting is important so that you can get a feel for the people you are working with. Emails and written documents work very well for people who read them. Some folks just get everything signed and go to work without paying attention to what they agreed to. You shouldn't have to wait for an answer to a question asked in person. For emails or letters, you have to wait. Some people don't even do email. I would come to the meeting with a list of questions and concerns and would make sure that I got through the list. One of those items would be a way to instantly contact the neighbor, contractor, or job boss.
Phone conferences and video conferences aren't nearly as effective as face to face.
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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 »

Sorry for not responding yesterday, my wife has been taking some online courses and I didn’t have access to the laptop.

I’m not worried about licensing. Contractors must be licensed with our city before a permit is issued. We went through the process a few years ago when we got a new driveway.

A few people pointed out that unexpected delays are common, and even more so now. I hadn’t really considered the role of subcontractors, delays from other jobs, etc., so my ‘fishy’ comment about the start date was probably unwarranted.

As much as I don’t want to meet with their contractor/architect after receiving that agreement, I now see why it is probably necessary.

I have still not received anything from the neighbor. I’d like to at least get an emailed outline of what they are asking for before any in-person meeting so I can organize my thoughts.

A giant dumpster just showed up this morning, thankfully in their driveway, so I guess things are starting soon. I need to get those webcams ASAP. Ugh.

Thanks again, everyone!
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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 »

And thanks CurlyDave for your suggestions. I like the way you think!
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F150HD
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by F150HD »

I have still not received anything from the neighbor.
peculiar, like they assume you will or already have signed that document you referenced.

If I were doing a renovation I'd want everything in order before work starts so there's no snags/delays once its in motion
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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 »

F150HD wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 11:40 am
I have still not received anything from the neighbor.
peculiar, like they assume you will or already have signed that document you referenced.

If I were doing a renovation I'd want everything in order before work starts so there's no snags/delays once its in motion
Yes, same here. I like my ducks in a row.

It was clear they didn't expect the dumpster -- the dumpster drop-off guy idled out front for a good 20 minutes before they came out and got their cars out of the driveway.

I explicitly told him we will not sign it for all the reasons mentioned in this thread, and I don't think it's my obligation to pursue it. I'm home all the time, so the answer is simply "stay off my property."

Based on what people who know construction have posted here about cranes, pump jacks, and other options, I don't see any reason they really need access anyhow.
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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: Tue May 05, 2020 12:28 pm
F150HD wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 11:40 am
I have still not received anything from the neighbor.
peculiar, like they assume you will or already have signed that document you referenced.

If I were doing a renovation I'd want everything in order before work starts so there's no snags/delays once its in motion
Yes, same here. I like my ducks in a row.

It was clear they didn't expect the dumpster -- the dumpster drop-off guy idled out front for a good 20 minutes before they came out and got their cars out of the driveway.

I explicitly told him we will not sign it for all the reasons mentioned in this thread, and I don't think it's my obligation to pursue it. I'm home all the time, so the answer is simply "stay off my property."

Based on what people who know construction have posted here about cranes, pump jacks, and other options, I don't see any reason they really need access anyhow.
Give the neighbor (by certified, return receipt) mail that states this.
Soon, given the new developments.
And state that you had already told them on (who/dates/etc.).
Otherwise, this could easily become a "they said/we said" problem.

RM
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ponyboy
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by ponyboy »

Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
Kagord
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Kagord »

ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
Maybe, it depends if the OP discovers a locked floor safe encased in concrete in their closet that becomes exposed during the construction compaction.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cheese_breath »

Kagord wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:32 pm
ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
Maybe, it depends if the OP discovers a locked floor safe encased in concrete in their closet that becomes exposed during the construction compaction.
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FoolMeOnce
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by FoolMeOnce »

Kagord wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:32 pm
ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
Maybe, it depends if the OP discovers a locked floor safe encased in concrete in their closet that becomes exposed during the construction compaction.
Ha! Did that OP ever have the thread unlocked for an update? That was great reading.
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rob
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by rob »

FoolMeOnce wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 5:38 pm
Kagord wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:32 pm
ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
Maybe, it depends if the OP discovers a locked floor safe encased in concrete in their closet that becomes exposed during the construction compaction.
Ha! Did that OP ever have the thread unlocked for an update? That was great reading.
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hudson
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by hudson »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 8:57 am The “chain of command” is neighbor to neighbor.
OP hasn’t said if the neighbor is even aware of the contractor’s document.
Though OP did say that the neighbor has not yet approached the matter which is odd, as if assumptions are being made.
That said, the onus is on the neighbor, regardless of anything else or anyone else.
Interesting.
j🌺
West of Chicago,
Has the neighbor ever talked to you? I wonder if the neighbor is shy or something.
I agree with Sandtrap that it's on the neighbor. Communication with the contractor isn't worth much without the neighbor.
It sounds like you are going to have a lot going on just a few feet away. I'm not the greatest people person myself, but I might force myself to go knock on his door and start a conversation. It's a lot cheaper to talk to someone and work things out than to lawyer up and put up cameras. It's possible that you could build some kind of neighbor type relationship?
When I walk out my door, I like neighbors that speak to me. I like neighbors where there is good communication. It's very useful to be able to contact all your neighbors by phone, text, or email. I would walk the extra mile or even spend that extra dollar to make all of that happen....although, I'm far from perfect. I'm not one of those inviter-people that can really make a neighborhood nice. I guess I dream about those 1950-1960s neighborhoods where everybody in the neighborhood was in your house or on you porch.
BogleMelon
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by BogleMelon »

shunkman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:15 am 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.
But then the contractor can refuse to reimburse him anything!
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ResearchMed
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by ResearchMed »

BogleMelon wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 6:54 pm
shunkman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:15 am 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.
But then the contractor can refuse to reimburse him anything!
Then there is no access.
Simple!

If the contractor and the neighbor *really* want/NEED that access, then there will be some accommodation about costs.
Without OP's own attorney, it's looking increasingly like there will be NO consideration for OP, financial or otherwise.
The neighbor is increasingly seeming to make this worse, by ignoring everything. Not good.
But the solution is a legal letter (or something more formal) stating... NO access.

RM
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Summit111
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Summit111 »

Years ago I owned a vacant lot between two houses. When one of the houses was getting built, The contractor used my vacant lot without any permission or temporary use of easement and severely damaged it. When I finally discovered what it happened, I had to threaten lawsuits, getting the local police department and district attorney involved.

The couple who paid the contractor to build their new house was extremely apologetic, and helped force the contractor to remediate all the damage he had done.

I was living in the area, but did not pass my vacant lot that often. One of my friends who lived in that area notified me after the damage, that’s when I got involved.

Summit
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BogleMelon
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by BogleMelon »

ResearchMed wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 8:09 pm
BogleMelon wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 6:54 pm
shunkman wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:15 am 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.
But then the contractor can refuse to reimburse him anything!
Then there is no access.
Simple!

If the contractor and the neighbor *really* want/NEED that access, then there will be some accommodation about costs.
Without OP's own attorney, it's looking increasingly like there will be NO consideration for OP, financial or otherwise.
The neighbor is increasingly seeming to make this worse, by ignoring everything. Not good.
But the solution is a legal letter (or something more formal) stating... NO access.

RM
Just curious, how much would it cost (roughly) for a lawyer to prepare a "No access" notice? I am not a homeowner but that post made me think: "One more issue homeowners could be dealing with, maybe I should stay a renter!"
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Mr.BB
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Mr.BB »

If you do choose to allow the contractor access to your property you should make sure they sign an agreement that you are not responsible for any injuries if they are on your property as well as any "sub- contractors" the contractor may use.
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Sandtrap »

West of Chicago wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 10:49 am Sorry for not responding yesterday, my wife has been taking some online courses and I didn’t have access to the laptop.

I’m not worried about licensing. Contractors must be licensed with our city before a permit is issued. We went through the process a few years ago when we got a new driveway.

A few people pointed out that unexpected delays are common, and even more so now. I hadn’t really considered the role of subcontractors, delays from other jobs, etc., so my ‘fishy’ comment about the start date was probably unwarranted.

As much as I don’t want to meet with their contractor/architect after receiving that agreement, I now see why it is probably necessary.

I have still not received anything from the neighbor. I’d like to at least get an emailed outline of what they are asking for before any in-person meeting so I can organize my thoughts.

A giant dumpster just showed up this morning, thankfully in their driveway, so I guess things are starting soon. I need to get those webcams ASAP. Ugh.

Thanks again, everyone!
Thanks for the updates.
Appreciate it.

Take lots of pictures. If even just for fun. From the backyard. From the street. Various vantage points.
Once in awhile.
Shows vigilance.
And, fun anyway.

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

Post by F150HD »

ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
God I hope so. :D

someone should aggregate a list of 'best threads'
smackboy1
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by smackboy1 »

I agree with the prior posts that mention executing a contract laying out all the terms and conditions and protecting your interests.

Make sure insurance is addressed. I would recommend that the contract stipulate that the contractor and any subs have workers compensation insurance and not less than $1 million general liability insurance (more if your property is worth over $1 million). You want to be added as an "additional insured" and provided a certificate of insurance of such coverage. Also that the contractor and neighbor will indemnify you and hold you harmless in case there is an accident or incident during the job. You also might want to check with your own homeowners insurance and see if they need to be notified that there will be construction occurring on your property.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
London
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by London »

Many of the potential requests for the contractor listed in this thread will certainly not be done.

Why waste time? Just say no and make them figure out a way to complete the project that doesn’t rely on using your land. Doesn’t sound like the OP has that close of a relationship with the neighbor anyway.
quantAndHold
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by quantAndHold »

F150HD wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 8:49 pm
ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
God I hope so. :D

someone should aggregate a list of 'best threads'
I still want to know what’s in the safe.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
mlcolorado
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by mlcolorado »

We had a problem with a neighbor taking advantage of our "being a good neighbor" policy. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. The second time my neighbor wanted to work on his project along the property line, I went down to Home Depot, and spent a couple of hundred dollars on metal posts (like for a barb wire fence) and bright orange snow fencing, and the tool to drive in the posts. The property line was recently surveyed and well marked, so I put up a "construction fence" along our property line with a metal post every 10 feet and zip tied the orange plastic snow fence to the posts. When my neighbor was running his bobcat along the property line, this keep him on his side of the line, and kept my side from any damage. This was all done with the homeowners association approval via a design submission/approval process. Sure do wish I had put up the metal posts and snow fence the FIRST TIME!!! That would have saved me many nights of worry and my wife would have been much happier during the first round. She was very, very happy during the second round.

Sounds like you can put up a similar fence right along your side of the existing fence that is going to be taken down. It will be worth every penny you spend, and will assure that the contractor does not cross into your yard. Easy to do, and not all that expensive. Once the contractor has finished and cleaned up your neighbor's project, you can remove the fence. My neighbor has not yet informed the Homeowners Association that he is done using the bobcat, so my fence is till up, and will stay up until I receive formal notice of completion and the bobcat can not return without a new application and approval process.

Stay safe, and hope it all works out.
ponyboy
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by ponyboy »

Kagord wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:32 pm
ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
Maybe, it depends if the OP discovers a locked floor safe encased in concrete in their closet that becomes exposed during the construction compaction.
ugh...I remember that thread. I believe one of my comments ultimately led to that being locked by an admin...rightfully so.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cheese_breath »

ponyboy wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 11:11 am
Kagord wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:32 pm
ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
Maybe, it depends if the OP discovers a locked floor safe encased in concrete in their closet that becomes exposed during the construction compaction.
ugh...I remember that thread. I believe one of my comments ultimately led to that being locked by an admin...rightfully so.
Let's not get so far off topic as to have this one locked too.
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Helo80
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Helo80 »

I still laugh at this statement, " 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. "

Basically, if one of their workers is injured on your side of the property line, they can certainly try to hold OP liable from the way that's worded.

IANAL, but that statement is damning in my book.

I can only imagine the reaction of the knucklehead contractor behind this if he/she were asked to sign this for their own property.
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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 »

Helo80 wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 11:21 am I still laugh at this statement, " 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. "

Basically, if one of their workers is injured on your side of the property line, they can certainly try to hold OP liable from the way that's worded.

IANAL, but that statement is damning in my book.

I can only imagine the reaction of the knucklehead contractor behind this if he/she were asked to sign this for their own property.
And this is the main reason we will probably say no to access. We don't want to deal with legal review, insurance certificates, etc. for something that provides zero benefit for us.

I did touch base with our insurance agent when I received the document. He basically replied with the amounts of our coverage and a recommendation to consult a lawyer before signing anything.

We read the whole agreement to friends on a Zoom happy hour yesterday because everyone needed a good laugh.

Update to keep the thread on track:

Porta potty showed up sometime early this morning. Thankfully in front of their house and not on our patio! It also looks like they can fit both cars in their driveway behind the dumpster, which is also good.

My new security camera arrives tomorrow. I have a roll of fencing, some posts and a post driver in the garage.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cheese_breath »

West of Chicago wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 11:53 am
Helo80 wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 11:21 am I still laugh at this statement, " 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. "

Basically, if one of their workers is injured on your side of the property line, they can certainly try to hold OP liable from the way that's worded.

IANAL, but that statement is damning in my book.

I can only imagine the reaction of the knucklehead contractor behind this if he/she were asked to sign this for their own property.
And this is the main reason we will probably say no to access. We don't want to deal with legal review, insurance certificates, etc. for something that provides zero benefit for us.

I did touch base with our insurance agent when I received the document. He basically replied with the amounts of our coverage and a recommendation to consult a lawyer before signing anything.

We read the whole agreement to friends on a Zoom happy hour yesterday because everyone needed a good laugh.

Update to keep the thread on track:

Porta potty showed up sometime early this morning. Thankfully in front of their house and not on our patio! It also looks like they can fit both cars in their driveway behind the dumpster, which is also good.

My new security camera arrives tomorrow. I have a roll of fencing, some posts and a post driver in the garage.
Happy to see you're making progress.
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bryanm
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by bryanm »

For what it's worth (and I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer, etc.), I'm not convinced the language in the initial proposal is a valid contract in any case. There is no benefit to OP (no "consideration"). Instead, it would seem to just be written permission--a defense against a trespassing charge. The language of "remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area..." seems to imply tort law, where property owners have certain innate responsibilities to anyone on their land, which responsibilities vary by status of the person, purpose of use, and state.

All of this to say that yes, you probably should be consulting a lawyer. There is more going on here than a simple contract.
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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: Wed May 06, 2020 11:53 am
Helo80 wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 11:21 am I still laugh at this statement, " 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. "

Basically, if one of their workers is injured on your side of the property line, they can certainly try to hold OP liable from the way that's worded.

IANAL, but that statement is damning in my book.

I can only imagine the reaction of the knucklehead contractor behind this if he/she were asked to sign this for their own property.
And this is the main reason we will probably say no to access. We don't want to deal with legal review, insurance certificates, etc. for something that provides zero benefit for us.

I did touch base with our insurance agent when I received the document. He basically replied with the amounts of our coverage and a recommendation to consult a lawyer before signing anything.

We read the whole agreement to friends on a Zoom happy hour yesterday because everyone needed a good laugh.

Update to keep the thread on track:

Porta potty showed up sometime early this morning. Thankfully in front of their house and not on our patio! It also looks like they can fit both cars in their driveway behind the dumpster, which is also good.

My new security camera arrives tomorrow. I have a roll of fencing, some posts and a post driver in the garage.
WoC: *PLEASE* discuss this with your attorney (or *some* attorney).

It may come to pass that it would have been important to have given the neighbors and contractor/subcontractors a formal notification that they do NOT have any access permission. An ounce of prevention, etc.
It would be dreadful if after all of this thinking and also your fencing/etc., something "happened", and then they made a claim that you never denied them permission, or even that you actually DID "tell them" (they said/you said).
That could be a nightmare to litigate, if only to protect yourselves against "their" claim(s).
One doesn't need to have done anything "wrong" to get sued, but if one IS sued, then one could have quite an onerous burden to defend against any claim.
Be a bit pro-active, to avoid that. It would be a modest amount very well spent.
You still can't stop a lawsuit, but you will have considerably more protection; they would be much less likely to sue (annoyance suit or very serious) if you have signed confirmation (signature required/return receipt, etc.) via mail.

Your attorney can advise how to make sure that all subcontractors are notified, since you may not have a way to know in advance who they are.

A basic issue here (but not a necessary issue for above advice) is that "they" (contractor and maybe neighbor) clearly aren't "easy to deal with"... quite the opposite.

You'll sleep better at night during the construction, and for a while thereafter, too.

RM
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

bryanm wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 12:08 pm For what it's worth (and I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer, etc.), I'm not convinced the language in the initial proposal is a valid contract in any case. There is no benefit to OP (no "consideration"). Instead, it would seem to just be written permission--a defense against a trespassing charge. The language of "remain my responsibility to provide a safe work area..." seems to imply tort law, where property owners have certain innate responsibilities to anyone on their land, which responsibilities vary by status of the person, purpose of use, and state.

All of this to say that yes, you probably should be consulting a lawyer. There is more going on here than a simple contract.
I am not a lawyer, but have a simple understanding that party A gets something for party B getting something.

I'd return the document with a small change. At the beginning, add: "For the consideration of One Hundred Million Dollars".....

Add Dr. Evil for effect.
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alfaspider
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by alfaspider »

Something I didn't see mentioned in this thread: I think it's already clear you will not accept the terms of this agreement. However, I'd make sure you reply with a formal denial of their request (via certified mail). Don't just ignore the letter or verbally disagree. You can use that reply to request further discussions.

And of course an attorney is a good idea. You might want to request compensation for legal fees on your end.
Murgatroyd
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Murgatroyd »

OP, I live near you and have a lifelong friend who is a real estate lawyer for 40 years. He is not expensive and could respond quickly. PM me if you want his contact information.
birnhamwood
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by birnhamwood »

Just say "No, thank you. The subject is closed." No discussion.
denovo
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by denovo »

Kagord wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:32 pm
ponyboy wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:21 pm Is this going to be one of those threads that lives on until the project is complete...so for the entire summer?
Maybe, it depends if the OP discovers a locked floor safe encased in concrete in their closet that becomes exposed during the construction compaction.
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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 »

Today’s development:

I’m having my coffee at the kitchen table and hear voices out back. The neighbor’s wife is talking to a guy in a yellow vest and a hard hat, so I step out and say (as politely as possible): I want you to know that we are not allowing your contractors access to our property. We had significant concerns about the document you sent and I never heard back from your husband after discussing it with him last week.

I then sent an email to the husband stating that since we never got the promised follow-up after our conversation about timing, liability, protection to our property, and remediation mechanisms, we are not allowing access. I also wrote that I told his wife the same thing in person this morning, thanked them for respecting our decision, wished them luck with the project.

About 15 minutes later the neighbor and the contractor show up at our front door. Due to the current pandemic, I was uncomfortable answering the door (we have a small stoop and they were right up against the door) and tried to indicate through the sidelight that they should go around back where we could talk at a distance. They apparently did not understand this since I did not see them in the back yard.

The group eventually reappeared out back, but I didn’t feel like I could have a rational conversation at this point. Thankfully, DW is better at such things, so she went out.

The neighbors tried to play the “I thought we were friends” card and said that others they new didn’t even bother with agreements.

Here’s THE BEST PART: The contractor said “we do projects like this all the time in the city where there is less space than this, so we can do it within the property lines.”
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cheese_breath
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by cheese_breath »

West of Chicago wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:28 am Here’s THE BEST PART: The contractor said “we do projects like this all the time in the city where there is less space than this, so we can do it within the property lines.”
I'm sorry, but that is amusing. But don't let your guard down. We already know we can't trust them.
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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 »

cheese_breath wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:43 am
West of Chicago wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:28 am Here’s THE BEST PART: The contractor said “we do projects like this all the time in the city where there is less space than this, so we can do it within the property lines.”
I'm sorry, but that is amusing. But don't let your guard down. We already know we can't trust them.
Nothing to be sorry about. It IS amusing!

I've got photos and will set up the security camera to monitor things. Plus, I'm almost always home these days.

My neighbor just sent a nicely worded reply to my recent email saying they would respect our property and want to be good neighbors. So maybe this won't be the next safe-in-the-floor thread after all. (But I still want to know what was in that safe...)

Thanks again to everyone for sharing their input and advice.
Trapper
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by Trapper »

OP, I thought your emailing closing of “ thanked them for respecting our decision, wished them luck with the project.” was graceful & well placed.
I’m going to try that tone in the future.
eagleeyes
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Re: Neighbor’s contractor wants to access our property

Post by eagleeyes »

Wow, that worked out well.

Nice of the neighbor to respond back politely. And that they want to respect your property. Glad to hear society hasn’t gone to hell in a handbasket.

In the meantime, take your precautions. Cameras, pictures, fencing tapes, etc
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