Good Fences make Good Neighbours?


rufus
#1
I have heard this all my life and I never quite understood the meaning until now.

Attachment 1012

We live in a rural area on a small farm. In behind us is a large plot of land with cattle. The person who owns this land lives down the road from us. We had never met until 10 days ago. About two weeks ago there was a major storm and the tree on his property was knocked down falling over the fence onto our property. Not knowing who owned the property we were trying to find someone willing to come out and cut the tree up and haul it away for the firewood and we would repair the fence ourselves.

While we were out at the back fence cleaning up debris a man pulled up on the opposite side of the fence and beckoned to us. When we went over my boyfriend held out his hand and introduced himself. This person who did not take his hand said "I know who you are and when are you going to pay for your half of replacing our fence. Then he proceeded to tell us what type of fence he wanted to put up. No mention of how the tree was going to be removed or sorry about the damage to the trees on our property.

We decided that we didn't have a need for a new fence and since the fence in question was 10inches on our property that there was nothing that he could do.

Now we still have to figure out how to remove the tree. Any suggestions?
Last edited by rufus; Apr 14th, 2009 at 12:23 PM..
 
L Gilbert
#2
An arborist with a chainsaw.
 
lone wolf
#3
...but only to your line.

I bet he'll fix it fast if he happens to lose a good-sized steer....
 
#juan
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

An arborist with a chainsaw.

I have a thirty inch chainsaw that a logger friend souped up a bit. The only problem I can see is keeping the hell out of the way of the bits you cut off....
 
rufus
#5
While your suggestions are helpful and appreciated we really don't want to pay to have it removed. I know that if we payed we could take him to small claims court to be reimbursed but that would take to long and we could use the money to plant this year.
After all we only have a small place and what we grow we use and give the excess away to the less fortunate in the area.
 
L Gilbert
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

I have a thirty inch chainsaw that a logger friend souped up a bit. The only problem I can see is keeping the hell out of the way of the bits you cut off....

You don't except for the big pieces. You wear protective gear. The big pieces are more intent on heading for the ground anyway so don't stand under them.
 
L Gilbert
#7
Rufus, prune off what you can with whatever tools you have available and then rope off what's left so your neighbors critters don't cross and eat your plants. Cows don't like walking on rocks, so you could get rid of the rocks out of your garden if you have any and spread them around under the fallen tree, too.
 
lone wolf
#8
Oats and molasses....
 
rufus
#9
We already have pruned what we could reach. We do have a chainsaw but not nearly large enough to cut through the size of this tree. We are not concerned that the cattle will wonder across the fence. If they did they would get caught up on the barbed wire that is on the fence and now closer to the ground.

I feel like we are caught up in a bad western: Wealthy cattle Baron vs lowly struggling dirt farmer.
 
lone wolf
#10
If you want the guy to take you seriously, he has to see what's in it for him ... and the thought of losing a couple of grand worth of beef will hit where it hurts. Why worry when you can lure? Does your neighbour know if the fallen tree snapped the barbed wire strand?
 
L Gilbert
#11
Leave it and farm around it then.
 
rufus
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

If you want the guy to take you seriously, he has to see what's in it for him ... and the thought of losing a couple of grand worth of beef will hit where it hurts. Why worry when you can lure? Does your neighbour know if the fallen tree snapped the barbed wire strand?

Yes he has seen the damage that the tree has caused. Which is why he wanted us to split the cost of a new fence. He doesn't want to lose any cattle.

We asked him for his insurance information because of the damage to the trees on our side and the damage to the backstop for the firing range which is back there but apparently he doesn't have any insurance or maybe he has had to many claims and doesn't want to involve his insurance.
 
lone wolf
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by rufus View Post

Yes he has seen the damage that the tree has caused. Which is why he wanted us to split the cost of a new fence. He doesn't want to lose any cattle.

We asked him for his insurance information because of the damage to the trees on our side and the damage to the backstop for the firing range which is back there but apparently he doesn't have any insurance or maybe he has had to many claims and doesn't want to involve his insurance.

Any man who won't take my hand isn't someone I'm going to want to deal with any more than I have to. A property line fence is a 50/50 thing and small claims court really isn't worth the cost. The tree is his responsibility, but for that you're getting into civil court and litigation. If he makes an offer, get it in writing. Again, that's my own gut impression of someone who won't shake my hand. Maybe you should be seeing someone at the municipal office about local ordinances before you get in deep. Meantime, if he loses a cow, charge him a good range fee....
 
bobnoorduyn
#14
rufus; His tree - his problem. If this tree had fallen on your roof or damaged any of your property it would also be his problem. It doesn't matter if the fence is a 50/50 deal, his tree fell on it. Stand your ground, he hsn't a leg to stand on in this situation and looks like he is taking you for a sucker. I've lived in farm country long enough to have seen this a number of times regardless of the province.

As for small claims court, it is relatively cheap. You could file a claim for a couple hundred $$. Lawyers aren't allowed to present cases in small claims court either, (but I would do your homework and still get legal advice beforehand to make sure you can present your case well and that you have all evidence in your favour). He could well just choose to not appear and a default judgement would be filed agaist him, though collecting isn't always easy. Judgements are limited to $10,000 in Ontario last time I checked, (25,000 in most other provinces). It is possible you could have the cost of removal charged to him as well. I say sock it to him and don't let him make you his patsy, but that's just me.
 
rufus
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Any man who won't take my hand isn't someone I'm going to want to deal with any more than I have to. A property line fence is a 50/50 thing and small claims court really isn't worth the cost. The tree is his responsibility, but for that you're getting into civil court and litigation. If he makes an offer, get it in writing. Again, that's my own gut impression of someone who won't shake my hand. Maybe you should be seeing someone at the municipal office about local ordinances before you get in deep. Meantime, if he loses a cow, charge him a good range fee....

That is exactly what my boyfriend said. If he had taken his hand and introduced himself we wouldn't be having this problem. Apparently, after speaking with other neighbours, this man is not well liked and he has a major drinking problem. The person who lives next to him put up a 7 foot privacy fence to avoid having to see him.

Those are very good suggestions that I will pass along to my boyfriend and we will see if we can solve this problem without having to deal with this man.

I appreciate all your input and thank you for all the suggestions. I will let you know, if you are interested, on how and when we solve this problem.
 
shadowshiv
#16
Since the tree fell from his property, wouldn't he be required to cut it down? It shouldn't matter that it fell into your property, it should only matter that it was his tree in the first place. Also, since it was his tree that damaged the fence, shouldn't he be required to pay for it entirely?

Of course, it may not legally be like that, but one can only hope.
 
petros
#17
Burn it.
 
lone wolf
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Burn it.

Southern Ontario envirocops would be all over that and the wrong person would catch the heat....
 
rufus
#19
After reading all your comments, my boyfriend feels like he is being taken for a sucker and is going to go to the local court house on Monday to find out what it will cost to go to small claims court.

He has also checked around to find out the cost of removal. Since it is such a large tree it would require a company with liability insurance and a rather large crane of some sort to lift the larger pieces out of the area. This would cost around $600-$800 to get the work done properly.

I know that we don't have that kind of readily available cash and we shouldn't have to put out that kind of money to begin with. The owner of the land wanted to hook a chain up to the tree and drag it out from his side of the fence. Doing that would not only rip out the existing fence but pull down the two trees that his tree has hooked into and a great deal of the back stop that we have been working to build up.

We got several loads of cement blocks from the people on one side of us that we wanted to build into a wall around the dirt that we have piled up so that nothing would penetrate the back. We have been sitting on this project waiting for some resolution of the tree problem.
 
bobnoorduyn
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

Since the tree fell from his property, wouldn't he be required to cut it down? It shouldn't matter that it fell into your property, it should only matter that it was his tree in the first place. Also, since it was his tree that damaged the fence, shouldn't he be required to pay for it entirely?

Of course, it may not legally be like that, but one can only hope.

shadow; It is exactly legally like that. That is why we carry home insurance, if my tree falls on your house, car, power lines, whatever, I am responsible to make you whole as it were. It is not a matter of fault, but a matter of liability, ask any insurance agent or lawyer. However, main power lines can be a little different because they fall under other laws, rights of way and such, and trees are often trimmed by the power company itself, but I digress.

rufus has two choices if she were I; let it go and tell Mr Treeowner to pound sand, where he might push the issue and try to extort money out of her, or; tell Mr. Treeowner that it was his tree and his mess and I will sue you for the cost of cleanup of my property and you can fix your own bloody fence, whereby he will either leave them alone or have the mess cleaned up by an order of the court. Personally I would go with option two, and follow through with it, the guy's a and I won't back down to s, especially when I have the law on my side.
 
bobnoorduyn
#21
rufus; It sounds like you are building a backstop for a firing range, you should check with the CFO, (anonymously of course) the requirements for such a range. If it is just for personal use on you own property there may not be too much a problem. However, the rules are open to interpretation and that of the new sherriff in our town requires us to spend another $2000 on ranges we have already spent $10,000 on in upgrades to bring it to military specs, but this is a club. But a friend of mine also had the range on his own property inspected, and it also needed upgrades. He is a dealer though and test fires everything up to and including automatic rifles so that may make a difference. But considering Mr. Doofus, this is not a case where it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission if he happens to complain, you could put a lot of effort into something the CFO will not allow you to use. Just a thought, but like I said, ask the questions candidly, the CFO is full of gun grabbers too.
 
Ron in Regina
#22
Maybe it's a Saskatchewan thing, but like Petro's, my first thought
was to add some gasoline and light the thing up....sounds like that's
not an option for you out there though...

Small Claims court costs about $25.00 out here...I have no idea
about Ontario, but it gives you an amount for comparison.

Out here we have RM's....you might have County officials you could
go to. There might be some bylaw enforcement of some type that
you could complain to that would go and have a chat with your
neightbour??? Perhaps they'll clean it up if you complain and just add
the cost of their time to your neighbours property taxes if he's not
willing to pay for the removal???

Oh yeah (we don't have Counties out here), RM = Rural Municipality.

Once the tree is gone, patch the fence with Barbed Wire as it's cheap,
and then ignore your neighbour as he's not worth bothering about....
 
rufus
#23
My boyfriend was in the military for 8 years and he is aware of whatever the requirements are to build a shooting range for personal use. He wants to teach me gun safety and how to shoot properly. But before I reach the point where I would be shooting we needed to build up the back of the range so that nothing will penetrate it.
I appreciate the fact that you were concerned enough to ask.
 
shadowshiv
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by bobnoorduyn View Post

rufus; It sounds like you are building a backstop for a firing range, you should check with the CFO, (anonymously of course) the requirements for such a range. If it is just for personal use on you own property there may not be too much a problem. However, the rules are open to interpretation and that of the new sherriff in our town requires us to spend another $2000 on ranges we have already spent $10,000 on in upgrades to bring it to military specs, but this is a club. But a friend of mine also had the range on his own property inspected, and it also needed upgrades. He is a dealer though and test fires everything up to and including automatic rifles so that may make a difference. But considering Mr. Doofus, this is not a case where it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission if he happens to complain, you could put a lot of effort into something the CFO will not allow you to use. Just a thought, but like I said, ask the questions candidly, the CFO is full of gun grabbers too.

Thanks for the explanation to my post, Bob. It is nice to see that Rufus at least has some options and that her and her boyfriend are stuck.

As for the post I am quoting, you make a very good point. If he is as much of a doofus as he sounds like, he may try to make trouble for Rufus by complaining to the CFO(Canadian Firearms Office?) and trying to get them some other way since it doesn't appear like he can get them to pay for the fence.

Either way, it sucks when a person is stuck with lousy neighbours like that.
 
shadowshiv
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by rufus View Post

My boyfriend was in the military for 8 years and he is aware of whatever the requirements are to build a shooting range for personal use. He wants to teach me gun safety and how to shoot properly. But before I reach the point where I would be shooting we needed to build up the back of the range so that nothing will penetrate it.
I appreciate the fact that you were concerned enough to ask.

LOL! Well, I guess that makes the second paragraph in my previous post a moot point.
 
Nuggler
#26
.......Warn him by registered mail that you would take a dim view to any damage done to your property by his cattle.

Wait for one of his steers to cross over, shoot it, have it butchered, and send him the bill. Keep the beef.

Document everything.

This worked for a friend of mine in Ont.

Cheap ****ing farmers.
 
bobnoorduyn
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by Nuggler View Post

.......Warn him by registered mail that you would take a dim view to any damage done to your property by his cattle.

Wait for one of his steers to cross over, shoot it, have it butchered, and send him the bill. Keep the beef.

Document everything.

This worked for a friend of mine in Ont.

Cheap ****ing farmers.

Better yet, don't send him a bill, don't even let him know, just keep the beef, that's how we dealt with doofus's like that in Sask.
 
bobnoorduyn
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by rufus View Post

My boyfriend was in the military for 8 years and he is aware of whatever the requirements are to build a shooting range for personal use. He wants to teach me gun safety and how to shoot properly. But before I reach the point where I would be shooting we needed to build up the back of the range so that nothing will penetrate it.
I appreciate the fact that you were concerned enough to ask.

Ummm, yeah, well, our club Prez is former SAS in Her Majesty's Service and has designed and built ranges for police and military in the UK, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the US, the Czech Republic, but they still aren't good enough for Canada, eh? In this climate you just have to make sure your ducks are in a row, that's all.
 
bobnoorduyn
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by shadowshiv View Post

Thanks for the explanation to my post, Bob. It is nice to see that Rufus at least has some options and that her and her boyfriend are stuck.

As for the post I am quoting, you make a very good point. If he is as much of a doofus as he sounds like, he may try to make trouble for Rufus by complaining to the CFO(Canadian Firearms Office?) and trying to get them some other way since it doesn't appear like he can get them to pay for the fence.

Either way, it sucks when a person is stuck with lousy neighbours like that.

Yeah, sometimes even when you're right you can be deemed wrong, but like my daddy used to say, "the best defense is a good offence". Been there done that and keeping him on the defense leaves little time for him to mount an offensive of his own. Sounds like war , or at least a skirmish.
 
rufus
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by bobnoorduyn View Post

Ummm, yeah, well, our club Prez is former SAS in Her Majesty's Service and has designed and built ranges for police and military in the UK, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the US, the Czech Republic, but they still aren't good enough for Canada, eh? In this climate you just have to make sure your ducks are in a row, that's all.

I meant no disrespect Bob. I was only trying to say that having been in the military he made sure to check out all the regulations that were required before we started to construct our backstop.
 

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