Dispute over removed trees

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jonc, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. jonc

    jonc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    new york
    A friend of mine had a verbal agreement (she realizes this was a mistake) with her neighbor regarding the removal of 4 trees that were shading her garden, and on the neighbor's property. After the trees were removed, the neighbor informed her that she had permission to only remove two of the four.

    To sum it up, the neighbor now wants her to pay a very large sum to remove the stumps. My friend has offered to remove them for her, but all the neighbor wants is a check.

    Has anyone had experience with this? What are the rights of either side? What is an appx fair price in a rural area for the removal of large stumps. I tried to keep this brief and simple...just trying to get an idea from what you all have personally gone through with this topic. It is understood also that both sides might be at fault, but we wanted to see what the options/legal ramifications might be.
     
  2. YoungOne

    YoungOne Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Northern AZ, Wind swept High Desert
    If it comes down to it ($$) Tell your friend to get a quote from a company herself. If the neighbor still wants $$ that amount should be it (asuming they don't want compensation for the two disputed trees). Disputing the responsibility to remove the stumps or that she should be alowed to do it herself (no matter how right/wrong)might only make for bad neighbors. Good neighbor relations should be a first priority (for now).
     

  3. urbanfarmer

    urbanfarmer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    84
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Sounds like the landowner is trying exhortion. Why do I say that? Because it's very hard to believe that a misunderstanding like this could happen. If the landowner never said to her that only two trees could be cut, how else was she to know? And if the landowner made it clear that only two trees were to be cut, how could she misunderstand that?
    Fishy? Well, I think so.
     
  4. jonc

    jonc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    new york
    My friend feels badly and wants to preserve the relationship with the neighbor. It is, afterall, her neighbor. The person is also saying the cost is in the mid thousands of dollars. Kinda high, right? I also feel it is fishy. However, what is the price of a nasty neighbor...Like one who might let a barn burn down w/o calling the fire dept, etc. Hard to say.
     
  5. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    799
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    Pay nothing. An oral agreement is still an agreement.

    Forget about this neighbor, who is showing greedy tendencies. Let the greedy neighbor take you to court if they believe they have a valid case (they don't). Any judge in the country will see this for what it is.....a money grab.

    "Mid-thousands" for removing 4 stumps? You gotta be kidding. Unless these trees are 12 feet in diameter, that kind of money is outrageous.

    If you pay even a dime towards this foolishness of removing the stumps, that neighbor will be taking advantage of you forever.
     
  6. LvDemWings

    LvDemWings Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,485
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    I would suggest that your friend call around and see about getting some estimates. If need be have the contractor stay on the friends side of the property line. Then have your friend be as nice as nice can be, walk over to the neighbors place and let them know that the friend, wanting to spare the neighbor any inconvenience, can hire xyz company to come and remove those stumps, what the clean up policy is and that arrangements have already been made for the financing. Make it look like the friend is trying to spare the neighbor any further inconvenience when in reality your friend is making sure that his/her own rear is covered incase this gets nasty.
     
  7. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,076
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    Near Walhalla Michigan
    The mis-understanding about whether they agreed upon 2 trees or 4 trees that were to be cut ..is interesting ..to say the least.
    Where was the tree owner when the trees were being cut? If it was supposed to be only 2 trees ..were they marked so that the proper 2 trees are the only ones that would be cut? Because ..even if your friend had only cut 2 trees instead of 4 ..what would have prevented the neighbor from then claiming that he cut the wrong 2 trees down? ..I think the fact that the trees weren't marked might very well work in your friends favor ..


    That said ..if your neighbor had only cut down 2 trees ..what was the agreement concerning the removal of the 2 stumps? If there were no monetary agreement for removal of the stumps ..there should be no liability there. Moreover ..concerning the extra 2 stumps ..why won't the neighbor let your friend remove them? I'd say don't pay even one red cent ..because as soon as he pays something ..he's acknowledging responsibility. Personally ..I'm of the opinion that if your friend is willing to remove them for nothing ..then the neighbor cannot demand payment for their removal.
     
  8. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

    Messages:
    1,794
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Sunny Northern New Mexico
    Hoop is TOTALLY ON THE NOSE HERE. HEED THESE WORDS!!!!


    A verbal agreement is worth the paper it is written on. Being "nice" to bad neighbors makes you a sap. Believe me, I have been there, done that and have a tee-shirt and matching hat to prove it. Being nice will only enable the neighbor to keep taking advantage. And, it will NEVER get them to change their personality!

    If the neighbor truly wanted the stumps removed, she would not want the money. (I bet if she got the dough, she would never have the stumps removed and your friend will feel like an even bigger sap.)

    Just sayin'!

    Pat

    (P.S.) If the trees are on the nasty neighbors land, there is not responsabilitiy whatsoever on the nice neighbors part, verbal agreements included.

    She'll know better next time, right?
     
  9. Ole Man Legrand

    Ole Man Legrand Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    515
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Location:
    NC
    How big were the trees?I had two 20 inch stumps removed for $50. Do not pay any one a dime. Don't even have the stumps removed unless you had a verbal agreement to do so.Next Put a fence up between you snd the neighbor. You don't need freinds like this. Jay
     
  10. jonc

    jonc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    new york
    My friend has been trying to work this out, but the neighbor has been using the classic tactics such as ignoring all attempts of contact, ie not answering the door, not returning phone calls, etc. It is in a rural area, and heavily wooded. I understand that it is four trees, but they are on the property line and there are still tons of trees in the "other" neighbors yard. Understandibly it was on the other property, but there was a verbal agreement, and there was no malicious intent on the part of my friend. Maybe there was a misunderstanding but it was not intentional. Attemts at fixing the problem have been made, but the first reaction by the neighbor was a cash settlement. This again make me believe that financial gain is the true intent here.
     
  11. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,058
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    Here in Kansas, I THINK they charge $50 a stump, providing they can drive to it and the stump is not huge.

    They put a chipper thing over the stump and grind it down to ground level.
     
  12. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,908
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    New York bordering Ontario
    It's nice of your friend to try and get along with the neighbor, but it takes two to tango and that person next door don't wanna dance. No sense trying to be the only one of the two trying to be decent about things.

    If your friend is absolutely sure about the four trees and not two, then I'd advise them to just forget about it. If stump removal was not covered by the agreement, then I'd forget about that, too, if your friend was not going to remove the stumps in the first place. A deal is a deal. Doesn't matter if it's oral or written. Your friend's neighbor is just SOL on this one.

    Jennifer