Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

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acljump
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Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by acljump »

I live in a row house with a flat roof and so my house is attached to my neighbor's house. I discovered a crack on my roof causing leaking in the interior of my house. I looked at my adjoining neighbor's roof and it also has cracks. It should be a fairly minor and basic repair job of patching the cracks with roof cement.

Just being a good neighbor, I informed my neighbor about the cracks on his roof. I told him that I was thinking about patching the cracks on my roof myself and that he should do the same on his roof. He then asked me if I would be willing to patch his roof as well.

I don't have a problem helping him but I'm not a professional roofer or contractor. Is there anything I need to do to cover myself legally in case something happens?

I'm not going to charge him money for the repair aside from maybe chipping in to buy the materials (should be under a hundred bucks). My neighbor is elderly and I get along with my neighbor but aside from saying hello in passing and some small talk I don't really know him otherwise.

Is there an email with some particular wording on it that I can send him that would secure myself legally?
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by FrugalInvestor »

I'd either just help him or be honest and tell him that you wouldn't want to do the work and then have it fail....so you'd recommend that he find a professional. Even if you choose not to do the work you've done him a favor and likely prevented expensive damage to his home by informing him of the developing problem.
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Shallowpockets
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Shallowpockets »

Sounds like it would be you going up on the roof. What do you fear may happen?
The way I see it your neighbor is elderly. Maybe not as well off as a BH. Physically and financially he maybe cannot repair the roof himself.

You would be a big help.

It is too bad that things like this have come to such a point that you are worried about some sort of legal liability. This is America today. Sad.

It is a flat roof with cracks and you say $100. A simple and easy solution. If it works all fine, if it does not, so what. No worse off then now, and then you and he can look at other options.
oldfort
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by oldfort »

What legal risks are you worried about? It seems to me he’s the one with the bigger legal risk. If you fall off his roof, you could sue him for your bodily injuries. I wouldn’t create a contract. If you’re so worried about getting sued for what I’m not sure, tell him no.
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acljump
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by acljump »

You know the adage "no good deed goes unpunished"? Like I said, I get along with my neighbor and do want to help him out but I don't know my neighbor personally at all.

I don't think anything is going to happen but again its good to cover all my bases.

Maybe I can ask him to send me an email just saying that he gives me permission to work on his roof and that he takes full responsibility?
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acljump
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by acljump »

oldfort wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:41 am What legal risks are you worried about? It seems to me he’s the one with the bigger legal risk. If you fall off his roof, you could sue him for your bodily injuries. I wouldn’t create a contract. If you’re so worried about getting sued for what I’m not sure, tell him no.
I'm just going to do a basic patch job. Won't be aesthetically pleasing. Maybe he takes fault with it. Or maybe there is a leak on his roof and he blames my patch work for not fixing it.

I don't need a full legal contract. If I did, I would just tell my neighbor no.
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acljump
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by acljump »

FrugalInvestor wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:26 am I'd either just help him or be honest and tell him that you wouldn't want to do the work and then have it fail....so you'd recommend that he find a professional. Even if you choose not to do the work you've done him a favor and likely prevented expensive damage to his home by informing him of the developing problem.
When I spoke to my neighbor, he told me that if he called a professional to take a look at his roof that the contractor would try to make a big job out of it to get more money. That's why he said he preferred that I patch his roof.
Outer Marker
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Outer Marker »

That sounds like a nice thing to do. I would suggest a simple 1-page release form, which you should be able to pull off google. You can customize it a bit for your roof repair to: (1) recognize that you are not a professional, (2) the only consideration you are receiving is good will, and (3) neighbor agrees to hold you harmless for any defects in the repair and/or damage done to his property as a consequence. I don't practice in this area of law, and am probably not barred in your state, so don't take this as legal advice, just informative general discussion. But, I think it would likely hold up with Judge Judy.
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Sandtrap »

What can happen that's nice:

You tell the neighbor when you're going to patch his roof when you are patching your roof.
You tell your neighbor when you are starting and when you're finished, so he knows you're walking on his roof and making noise.
You buy an extra can of roof patch or roof caulking. Spend and extra hour doing your neighbor's roof, what cracks you can see.
You follow the product instructions to the letter, clean cracks, scrape loose materials, brush clean, then patch smoothly to good adherance.
You take some cell phone pictures of the cracks over the roof and detailed pictures of the cracks before you patched it.
*Maybe you show your neighbor the pictures of his cracks on his roof and your roof and what you did to patch yours """"but have not patched his yet and ask if it is okay and you have permission and he says great great great. Go fer it. He's appreciative.*

You take some cell phone close up pictures of the cracks after you patched them.
You clean up really good and the patch job looks professional.
You show your neighbor the before and after pics and say, "I tried my best, but no guarantees".
Your neighbor is nice and offers you a cold drink after you're done and you sit on the porch in some chairs and talk about, "The good old days" and laugh and become informal friends for the moment.
Your neighbor offers you money but you don't take it.
Your neighbor comes by with an apple pie later in the week and you take it and things are good
It rains at a later date and there are no leaks in your neighbors and your roof and all is great.

What can happen that is not nice:

You tell your neighbor when you are going to patch his roof and go up there to do yours as well so he knows you're walking on the roofs. Your neighbor tells you not to walk heavily and be sure not to damage his roof.
While you are on the roof, your neighbor comes outside and watches everything while you are up there. Does not yell up to "be careful" but yells up to "not damage his roof" and also says, "Do you know what you're doing?"

You take pictures of everything like as in above and when you show your patched roof results and his unpatched roof cracks, he tells you how to do it and how to do it better because he used to be a PHD expert in roof patching and you're doing it all wrong.

**at this point you really need to go no further with your neighbor's roof because of these warning signs of impending doom for being a "helpful harry".

If you do move forward, will there be your neighbor's friend, son, relative, etc, that will then tell you that you did a lousy job and should not have messed with the roof so clean up your mess and put it back the way it was?

Lesson. . . . . .
Don't care about something that is someone elses concern and you care about it more than they do nor care about.

IMHO: if it is not informal and zero pressure and you have to get signed releases and documention and legalities and all that, then you open a can of worms (plant the seeds of litigation, grumbling, complaining, in your neighbor) . So, don't open a can of worms if you're going to do that. Don't mess with your neighbor's roof.

HowEver: Your neighbor did ask you if you could patch is roof as well. That's nice and on a good foot forward. Then you have to figure out on your own gut feeling (can't be explained nor shared here) how best to proceed and if there will be gobs of appreciation from your neighbor or not.

Retired licensed GC, journeyman union tradesman. Sometimes i've done nice things like this and it's turned out great, sometimes not so great, and a few times regretable. So, human nature being unpredictable, tread carefully.
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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AAA
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by AAA »

If you want and he's agreeable, maybe just type up a simple disclaimer and have him sign and date it. Something to the effect that he gives you permission to repair his roof as a favor to him without compensation except for materials, that you are not a roofer so cannot guarantee that what you do will conform to all roofing standards, that the repair may not last as long as a more substantial repair done by a roofer and that he relieves you of all liability associated with the repair. That should just about cover it I think.

P.S. You're not a roofer and I'm not a lawyer. :wink:

Edit: I think I agree with the last post by Sandtrap. What's the old saying about no good deed going unpunished?
Last edited by AAA on Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
oldfort
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by oldfort »

acljump wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:50 am
oldfort wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:41 am What legal risks are you worried about? It seems to me he’s the one with the bigger legal risk. If you fall off his roof, you could sue him for your bodily injuries. I wouldn’t create a contract. If you’re so worried about getting sued for what I’m not sure, tell him no.
I'm just going to do a basic patch job. Won't be aesthetically pleasing. Maybe he takes fault with it. Or maybe there is a leak on his roof and he blames my patch work for not fixing it.

I don't need a full legal contract. If I did, I would just tell my neighbor no.
If you want a document, which would actually hold up in court, you need a lawyer to draft it. If you don't care if the document would hold up in court, then why bother creating something in the first place. Legal issues are not DIY.
Last edited by oldfort on Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
Willmunny
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Willmunny »

acljump wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:56 am
FrugalInvestor wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:26 am I'd either just help him or be honest and tell him that you wouldn't want to do the work and then have it fail....so you'd recommend that he find a professional. Even if you choose not to do the work you've done him a favor and likely prevented expensive damage to his home by informing him of the developing problem.
When I spoke to my neighbor, he told me that if he called a professional to take a look at his roof that the contractor would try to make a big job out of it to get more money. That's why he said he preferred that I patch his roof.
This is not legal advice. If you want legal advice, retain a lawyer. But this appears to be a reasonable next step to me:

Why don't you offer (with your neighbor's approval) to help your neighbor locate an insured contractor to come look at it, verify that such contractor will give an estimate and not charge money unless told to move forward, and then you and your neighbor make a more informed decision from there? That may relieve some of your concerns with respect to the scope of the work to be performed and it may put his theory that a contractor would charge a huge amount to the test. Maybe the contractor comes back with a reasonable number and, to get it done and alleviate your liability concerns, you agree to give your neighbor a roughly equal amount of money to help defray his costs. That last sentence may be key. I would conjecture that if arranged that way, if something goes wrong, you would have a better argument that it was not you hiring the contractor, but you making a gift to your neighbor in an effort to help him with the expense of a home repair he needs to have done. Maybe the number the contractor comes back with is high, but I think that then informs you better with respect to whether it is something you should take on and you and your neighbor can always seek a second bid/opinion.

If you want absolute legal assurance this is the way to go to give you zero exposure, you would need to retain a lawyer and clear it with the lawyer.
protagonist
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by protagonist »

My take....not legal, but human....

1, Volunteering to help a neighbor is a great thing to do.

2. Asking a neighbor to do something like that is uncalled for. If he was doing it himself and asked for your help because he needed an extra hand, that would be different. But asking you to do it yourself, rather than paying to have it done if he doesn't want to tackle it himself, is putting you on the spot (resentment if you say yes, guilt if you say no).

Unless you have a close relationship with him or a history of him helping you when you need it, I would politely decline and use legal liability as an excuse (to prevent being put in a similar position repeatedly in the future). Maybe offer your advice and help if he wants to do it himself.
Being a good neighbor is one thing. But you don't want to be considered the patsy that he turns to whenever the alternative is spending money.

An exception might be if he was too sick or physically incapable of doing the job, and if it was an easy thing for you to do , you might consider it.
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Outer Marker »

Sandtrap wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:33 am IMHO: if it is not informal and zero pressure and you have to get signed releases and documention and legalities and all that, then you open a can of worms (plant the seeds of litigation, grumbling, complaining, in your neighbor) . So, don't open a can of worms if you're going to do that. Don't mess with your neighbor's roof.
I tend to agree with Sandtrap on most things, but respectfully differ here. You can go in thinking everything is hunky dory and end the project all smiles and exchanging cupcakes, but then run into trouble when the roof starts leaking in the winter and ruins family heirlooms and artwork. A one-page release goes a long way toward warding off that possibility.
Vtsax100
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Vtsax100 »

If I have to worry about legal issues to help someone with something, Im just not going to do it.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by ResearchMed »

Outer Marker wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:13 am
Sandtrap wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:33 am IMHO: if it is not informal and zero pressure and you have to get signed releases and documention and legalities and all that, then you open a can of worms (plant the seeds of litigation, grumbling, complaining, in your neighbor) . So, don't open a can of worms if you're going to do that. Don't mess with your neighbor's roof.
I tend to agree with Sandtrap on most things, but respectfully differ here. You can go in thinking everything is hunky dory and end the project all smiles and exchanging cupcakes, but then run into trouble when the roof starts leaking in the winter and ruins family heirlooms and artwork. A one-page release goes a long way toward warding off that possibility.
About that possible one-page release? And IF something happens, like said leak and damage/destruction to heirlooms/etc., of value (or not of value)?

Here's the thing in this country. No matter what type of "release" you have him sign, if things go wrong (even if only in his mind!), he could still sue you. Anyone can sue anyone else in the USA. Whether he would prevail would depend upon the merits, but you'd still need to defend yourself, and who knows how those costs could spiral.
Do you have umbrella insurance that would actually cover something like this? (doing work that might require actual training and perhaps state licensing?)

None of us can see what it is that needs repair, and most of us wouldn't understand what would be needed for the repair anyway... and what's "under the surface" could matter as well.

Also, what if there is a leak in that area *later*? At what point are you "in the clear"?

If you are even thinking along these lines, I'd suggest checking with your attorney first and see what they say at least for starters.

RM
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Boglegirl81 »

Outer Marker wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:16 am That sounds like a nice thing to do. I would suggest a simple 1-page release form, which you should be able to pull off google. You can customize it a bit for your roof repair to: (1) recognize that you are not a professional, (2) the only consideration you are receiving is good will, and (3) neighbor agrees to hold you harmless for any defects in the repair and/or damage done to his property as a consequence. I don't practice in this area of law, and am probably not barred in your state, so don't take this as legal advice, just informative general discussion. But, I think it would likely hold up with Judge Judy.
I think this is probably the best solution - I’d maybe just add that you are not a professional and that you recommended he hire one. It’s very sad that we live in such a litigious society where we can’t help our neighbors without putting our assets at risk every time we do it.

I needed a roof repair a couple of years ago and since I lived in a market where construction was hot, many roofing companies I contacted weren’t wasting their time with roof repairs. The ones that were willing to do repairs wouldn’t even come look at it for MONTHS! This sounds more like a handyman job to me anyway, especially since he doesn’t have a leak yet (at least that he’s aware of).
tibbitts
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by tibbitts »

I'm assuming that you get onto the flat roof of these houses through a hatch and not via a ladder from the ground...?

I think the neighbor was extremely rude to ask you to do this unless it was a task he was asking you to help him do (something too large to carry, etc.)
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Voltaire2.0
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Voltaire2.0 »

Helping a neighbor is generally a good thing, but roofs (and gutters and a few other things) get tricky. Water infiltration can be expensive and cause secondary problems.

If your best-efforts repair creates a problem, real or perceived, he could blame you. I would vote for a mutual release form- he holds you harmless for any/all damages to his house and you hold him harmless from personal injury while working on his house.
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acljump
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by acljump »

Thanks everyone for their comments. A lot to digest.

Access to the roof can only be accomplished through climbing a ladder on the ground. My neighbor is elderly and retired so he won't be physically able to do it himself. I don't know his financial situation but my cursory impression is that he is not wealthy.

I think I'm going to ask him if he can first try finding a professional to fix his home.

However, if he is not able to do so, I would reconsider helping him.

Are there some release forms or disclaimers online that someone can point to me using in that event?
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Vtsax100 wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:14 am If I have to worry about legal issues to help someone with something, Im just not going to do it.
+1

I might make an exception for a close relative, but that's about it.
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acljump
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by acljump »

Sandtrap wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:33 am What can happen that's nice:

You tell the neighbor when you're going to patch his roof when you are patching your roof.
You tell your neighbor when you are starting and when you're finished, so he knows you're walking on his roof and making noise.
You buy an extra can of roof patch or roof caulking. Spend and extra hour doing your neighbor's roof, what cracks you can see.
You follow the product instructions to the letter, clean cracks, scrape loose materials, brush clean, then patch smoothly to good adherance.
You take some cell phone pictures of the cracks over the roof and detailed pictures of the cracks before you patched it.
*Maybe you show your neighbor the pictures of his cracks on his roof and your roof and what you did to patch yours """"but have not patched his yet and ask if it is okay and you have permission and he says great great great. Go fer it. He's appreciative.*

You take some cell phone close up pictures of the cracks after you patched them.
You clean up really good and the patch job looks professional.
You show your neighbor the before and after pics and say, "I tried my best, but no guarantees".
Your neighbor is nice and offers you a cold drink after you're done and you sit on the porch in some chairs and talk about, "The good old days" and laugh and become informal friends for the moment.
Your neighbor offers you money but you don't take it.
Your neighbor comes by with an apple pie later in the week and you take it and things are good
It rains at a later date and there are no leaks in your neighbors and your roof and all is great.

What can happen that is not nice:

You tell your neighbor when you are going to patch his roof and go up there to do yours as well so he knows you're walking on the roofs. Your neighbor tells you not to walk heavily and be sure not to damage his roof.
While you are on the roof, your neighbor comes outside and watches everything while you are up there. Does not yell up to "be careful" but yells up to "not damage his roof" and also says, "Do you know what you're doing?"

You take pictures of everything like as in above and when you show your patched roof results and his unpatched roof cracks, he tells you how to do it and how to do it better because he used to be a PHD expert in roof patching and you're doing it all wrong.

**at this point you really need to go no further with your neighbor's roof because of these warning signs of impending doom for being a "helpful harry".

If you do move forward, will there be your neighbor's friend, son, relative, etc, that will then tell you that you did a lousy job and should not have messed with the roof so clean up your mess and put it back the way it was?

Lesson. . . . . .
Don't care about something that is someone elses concern and you care about it more than they do nor care about.

IMHO: if it is not informal and zero pressure and you have to get signed releases and documention and legalities and all that, then you open a can of worms (plant the seeds of litigation, grumbling, complaining, in your neighbor) . So, don't open a can of worms if you're going to do that. Don't mess with your neighbor's roof.

HowEver: Your neighbor did ask you if you could patch is roof as well. That's nice and on a good foot forward. Then you have to figure out on your own gut feeling (can't be explained nor shared here) how best to proceed and if there will be gobs of appreciation from your neighbor or not.

Retired licensed GC, journeyman union tradesman. Sometimes i've done nice things like this and it's turned out great, sometimes not so great, and a few times regretable. So, human nature being unpredictable, tread carefully.
j :D
Thanks @Sandtrap

My gut is that my neighbor isn't the litigious type but you never can tell. If it was a member of my family or a close friend, I would have no hesitation helping them because I know their character.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Sandtrap »

Outer Marker wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:13 am
Sandtrap wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:33 am IMHO: if it is not informal and zero pressure and you have to get signed releases and documention and legalities and all that, then you open a can of worms (plant the seeds of litigation, grumbling, complaining, in your neighbor) . So, don't open a can of worms if you're going to do that. Don't mess with your neighbor's roof.
I tend to agree with Sandtrap on most things, but respectfully differ here. You can go in thinking everything is hunky dory and end the project all smiles and exchanging cupcakes, but then run into trouble when the roof starts leaking in the winter and ruins family heirlooms and artwork. A one-page release goes a long way toward warding off that possibility.
+1
Super agree.
In my broad overview. . . . of possibilities, this is what I was getting at though unclear.
That one page release is a great idea!

Thanks!
Super Mahalo.
j :happy
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Watty
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Watty »

A couple of thoughts;

1) The neighbor is likely taking a lot more risk than you are since if you trip and fall off the edge of his roof then he could be liable. It probably is not a good idea for him to let you work on his roof.

2) If you have an umbrella insurance policy then I would think it would cover most legal problems you could have with him. I would be more concerned about things being awkward with your neighbor if something happens like your foot goes through the roof and a professional has to fix it.

3) From what you described it sounds like it would not cost that much to have a roofer do both of your roofs. You could take care of getting estimates for your roof and also have them give one for doing your neighbors roof at the same time. If several of them say that it really requires a more expensive repair then there is a good chance that it really does require more than just slapping some sealer on it. You can also get an independent roof inspection. It is more with cars but I have always found that fixing things right the first time is usually cheaper in the long run. Being able to fix things when it is not an emergency or bad weather can also save you money.
acljump wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:21 pm Access to the roof can only be accomplished through climbing a ladder on the ground.
If this is more than a one story building then it may not really be a good DIY job. Hauling heavy cans of sealer up a ladder will not be easy.

When I was a teenager I worked a couple of summers in a nursing home and all of the residents were elderly except for one guy who was probably in his 30s. He had tried putting on his own roof to save money and he had fallen off and was now a quadriplegic. Seeing that as a teenager really stuck with me and I have no problem hiring people to do risky work since they have the training, experience, and equipment to do it right.
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Outer Marker »

acljump wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:21 pm Thanks everyone for their comments. A lot to digest.

Access to the roof can only be accomplished through climbing a ladder on the ground. My neighbor is elderly and retired so he won't be physically able to do it himself. I don't know his financial situation but my cursory impression is that he is not wealthy.

I think I'm going to ask him if he can first try finding a professional to fix his home.

However, if he is not able to do so, I would reconsider helping him.

Are there some release forms or disclaimers online that someone can point to me using in that event?
You sound like a nice guy and want to be a good neighbor. I personally would not let this stand in my way. If you think your neighbor is an ass, I wouldn't volunteer to help anyway, but that does not sound like the case. You'll probably wind up better and closer neighbors if you do this small kindness. Sounds like not a lot of work if you're up there anyway, and telling to him to hire a professional is cumbersome and costly.

I would think the 1-pager is sufficient to cover your bases. Google is your friend. There are probably 20 sample forms out there for free that would do the job, or you could write one yourself on a napkin. Its not like this is a complicated prenup or Japanese leveraged lease aircraft financing transaction. Sure, we are too litigious as a nation, but suing someone is not that easy. A good plaintiff's attorney is going to run $300-$400 an hour. And no one is likely to touch this on a contingency basis if there's any kind of release in place. I don't live my life in fear of the remote possibility I might be struck by space junk while out walking my dog.

I'd politely explain the concern, as if he's okay doing a release, and proceed as you please.
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acljump
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by acljump »

After discussing with my neighbor, he said he understood my concerns and would try reaching out to a professional.

Anyone know of a reputable roofing company in the NYC area that I can suggest to him?
epictetus
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by epictetus »

i think you made the right decision pointing him to someone who does roofing professionally.

his roof is not leaking at this point. if you get up there, put on sealer, etc. and it starts leaking in his place he is worse off than he is now.

i was going to suggest if you did do it for him to not take any money at all from him, even for the materials. that way it would be totally clear you were being nice and there would be no way a question could come up in the future what you charged him for the materials, etc.

but i think having him hire a professional is the way to go
Focus on what you can control
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by NxNW »

Seems if I wanna help my neighbor I should just help my neighbor. If I don’t wanna help my neighbor I should come to Bogleheads for more excuses.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by adamthesmythe »

My default would be to say "I am reluctant to repair your roof because I'm not certain I can do it right."

It might be different if we had been in the habit of helping each other out.

I am not certain that even a lawyer could write a disclaimer that would hold up in absolutely all circumstances.
atikovi
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by atikovi »

acljump wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:10 amJust being a good neighbor, I informed my neighbor about the cracks on his roof. I told him that I was thinking about patching the cracks on my roof myself and that he should do the same on his roof.
You should have informed him AFTER finishing your roof when you have put all your tools and materials away. Say, Mr. Rodgers, I was up on my roof checking the shingles and noticed some of yours are cracked. You should ask a roofer to check it out. Never mention that YOU fixed it already. Great you want to be neighborly, but 5 years later when the roof starts leaking, and not at same spot as the patch, who is the first person you think he will call?
Outer Marker
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Outer Marker »

This thread makes me sad. I was once a top flite Fortune 500 corporate attorney. But I would not think twice about helping my elderly neighbor with his roof. My CEO, who was also a very good attorney, disavowed it. He was adamant about “not over-lawyering the deal.”
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Sandtrap
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Sandtrap »

acljump wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:12 pm After discussing with my neighbor, he said he understood my concerns and would try reaching out to a professional.

Anyone know of a reputable roofing company in the NYC area that I can suggest to him?
Good move that gives you peace of mind.

In emergencies and tsunamis and hurricanes, I have patched and tarped neighbors roofs and helped others. But thats a bit different.
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illumination
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by illumination »

It is sad how litigious society has become that we're scared to even do a good deed. But it's honestly not paranoia, this stuff does happen.

But where I would be paranoid is some sort of bad injury, and that's not really in the cards here. What would concern me is a leak that does water damage and they blame you for not patching it properly. So much of this would be how well you know the neighbor, if you barely know him, I'd pass on doing it. If you do it, I would like email some disclaimer that you can't guarantee anything.

Just as a similar example, in a HOA condo community we had some problems with theft in the common area parking. This was years ago before surveillance cameras were so affordable, so the thought was to put some fake cameras up to scare potential thieves. The HOA attorneys said we couldn't do that because a resident might sue if they got something stolen because the community "tricked them" into a false sense of security.
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wander
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by wander »

Op, I'd like to have a neighbor like you. I can fix the roof myself, but it's nice to know that there 's a good neighbor looking out for you.
J295
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by J295 »

Revealing replies here and in the post a few weeks ago about a woman inquiring about giving a friend money.
Flyer24
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Re: Legal issues on helping neighbor with home repair?

Post by Flyer24 »

Topic is not a personal consumer issue. Thread is locked.
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