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Bad fences make idiot neighbors !

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  • Bad fences make idiot neighbors !

    I swear, people will try and get away with anything.

    Okay...so one of our horses jumps the fence and goes onto the neighbors lawn. In doing so, he wrecks the fence. He also leaves some hoofprints on their lawn.

    Keep in mind....the fence is OURS, paid for and built by my husband. And the damage to the lawn was pretty minor.

    Crazy neighbor lady tries to get us to pay for a new fence AND replacement of her entire lawn, as well as some trees (WTF?). We say 'no', but we will however fill in / re-seed the hoofprint holes. As for the fence....since we don't really need it any more (our horses have since moved from the property), and since it is ours, we will just tear it down (we were planning to do so anyway because it had gotten old / ugly).

    Of course, she is not happy with this arrangement, because the fence was keeping her yapping yorkshire terriers confined.

    Anywho....yesterday, we get this registered letter from the legal department of her insurance company, telling us that we have to pony up this crazy sum. Attached to the letter is the following:

    1) An estimate to fix the fence (remember: OUR fence...a detail she failed to indicate to the insurance company...fraudulent, in my book)

    2) Bills from 2008 (the incident with our horse was March 2009!) for an entire re-planting of the lawn plus all sorts of shrubs, trees, etc. I notice that the date on the bill is January 1, 2009 (a holiday here!) and that in tiny writing at the bottom it says 'paid by check #xxx February 23, 2008'. Fishy?

    I am really surprised that the insurance company did not look into the veracity of any of the bills in specific and the claim in general. I called them to see if they even had someone from the insurance company look at the damage...to which they replied 'they can't divulge that information' (read: they didn't).

    I am thinking that this constitutes fraud, and I may actually end out pursuing the neighbor for this. And who knows..maybe the insurance company too.

    Anyone ever have a similar experience? Opinions, advice? (and yes...I will be speaking to our lawyer...just throwing this all out for discussion here)

    (The silver lining in the story is that we found out that the horsie in question is quite a little jumper! )

  • #2
    I would call your insurance company and sic your insurance company on theirs. That should take care of the problem.


    • #3
      boundaries -- i would 1st go and check to see if the bondary line is actually yours
      i know you said you put the fence up but depends on boundaries here in uk normally if a garden fenceline each house owns the left fence side but back fencing is half and half
      if a square garden so one has to speak to the other house over the back fence if one wanted to errect another fence

      as to the damage of the lawn then shes in her rights to claim what could be deemed as few horse prints might not be, the horse was obviously in a panic as he jumped the fence
      and itcame down so sped off or took his time to eat the yummy stuff on the otherside

      now it could be -- lenght of time -- f which it took you to re catch your horse
      if 5mins then amount of damage might be small,if on the other hand over an hour before you realised he dissapeered then the damage to the garden could be servere same to if the horse was in a panic and not realsing where he was - in which case ther would be plenty of trees and shrubs busted of which take years to grow maybe

      and as you said the fence was dodgy anyways it could be hes done it before and this is the last straw the owner has in getting you to do something with the fence

      and since you have moved the horses and now dont care about the fence
      see to me it could be that your horses are always getting out on her lawn hence the move

      and bills of repair are back dated from previous incidents as the fence wasnt brillient when it was errected by your hubby

      in which case she can and does have a the right to complain and try to get her garde back to how it was and erhaps she cant afford to do that this time round or had enough of horses breaking out into and onto her lawn

      knock for knck it will be with inusrances comapnies yours against hers as no proof as no camera to take the actual accident so there will a compremise of settlement which i can see being at least half of the bill
      which will be deemed fair


      • Original Poster

        Hi Stink!

        Yeah, we did check the boundary line, it is ours. So's the fence.

        I saw the damage with my own eyes, with the owner there. There was not a whole lot. Certainly no trees and just a few hoofprints, no mad horse galloping around and pulling out trees ( ) .

        The old bills were for the LAWN and not the FENCE. There was an estimate for the fence that was recent.

        Remember, the fence is OURS....so she is basically billing us to repair something that belongs to US. A little fact that she failed to mention to her insurance company.... um, smacks of fraud to me!

        For information, these people have pulled crap like this before. My dog bit her yorkshire a while back .... I was mortified and told her that I absolutely take 100% responsibility for my dog (a JRT, no less...so yeah, really controlable when he wants to be ) and that I would pay the vet no problem. She proceeded to present me with a disgustingly inflated bill, including things like teeth cleaning for the yorkie!

        My mistake in the whole thing was to just pay the Yorkie bill, because I am a stupid animal lover and I was afraid that these cheap people would forego the teeth cleaning if I didn't pay (yappy dog or not, I felt sorry for him with all of his teeth practically falling out of his head..).

        Now, they probably take me as an easy target.


        • #5
          Check your state fence laws in most states a shared property line has to be fenced if the other land owner wants one. You can't be forced to do labor but you can be forced to pay 1/2 the cost and responsable for 1/2 the cost of maintenence. In this state when standing on your property your responsable for the 1/2 when facing the fence.
          Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.


          • #6
            Contact your insurance agent, advise them a claim has been filed, and tell them the woman is lying. It's their job to defend you and they're going to want to take a statement from you.

            This is why you purchase insurance. I hope your homeowners insurance covers livestock - because many people who keep their horses at home do not realize they need a farm type of policy, or a policy that specifically covers livestock.

            As county pointed out - fence laws vary by state.

            Good luck.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling


            • #7
              Unless 3eme has moved to the US then I think she is in France. (At least that is what her info shows in the corner).
              If France has homeowner type insurance I would contact them first. Let them know that the neighbor is trying to get you to pay for damage & work done before the horse landed in her yard. They will tell you if it is something they can defend you on or not. If it is something they don't cover then go for the lawyer.
              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


              • #8
                Certainly do NOT just pay it this time.
                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                • #9
                  Can I say I HATE my neighbor?

                  goeslikestink;4109274]boundaries -- i would 1st go and check to see if the bondary line is actually yours
                  i know you said you put the fence up but depends on boundaries here in uk normally if a garden fenceline each house owns the left fence side but back fencing is half and half
                  if a square garden so one has to speak to the other house over the back fence if one wanted to errect another fence "

                  I feel your pain...I put a thread up on this forum a few months ago regarding a boundary line dispute with my idiot neighbor, too lengthy to go into here but you can read it if you look back on the threads...
                  Good idea to check your deed, or old survey etc...however, do not go off what they may have posted on line on the county website. That was the start of my problem; they are often wrong on where they draw the line, literally. I would suggest you do research where that line is though...


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by county View Post
                    Check your state fence laws in most states a shared property line has to be fenced if the other land owner wants one. You can't be forced to do labor but you can be forced to pay 1/2 the cost and responsable for 1/2 the cost of maintenence. In this state when standing on your property your responsable for the 1/2 when facing the fence.
                    We have a law like this. However, the individual who doesn't really want the fence but is required to pay for half only has to pay for minimal fencing. So, you can put up t-posts and barbed wire and fulfill your obligation. The law can't force you to pay half for post and rail, horse fencing, etc.
                    Crayola Posse - Pine Green
                    Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
                    Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
                    Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)


                    • #11
                      MM yep thats what it is here also they can only make you pay the min. amount like you described and they can't make you maintain your 1/2 unless you have livestock on your side,.
                      Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.


                      • #12
                        That's rediculous! I would definately not pay for it!


                        • #13
                          What they do here if you don't pay is the county adds it to your property taxes.
                          Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.


                          • #14
                            in most states a shared property line has to be fenced if the other land owner wants one.

                            HUH???? I have never heard that before! If my neighbor wants a fence and I don't, then he can pay for it all by himself.
                            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                            • #15
                              Did you get good pics of the "damage" for your proof it's not what she's claiming? Bad neighbors suck.


                              • #16
                                Rural fencing laws can certainly vary from city fencing laws too. Where I live the city properties have to have the neighbors consent to put up fencing and pay half, but if the neighbors don't agree on fencing choices or don't want one then the other person has to put their fence inside the property line on their side and pay for the entire thing-you can't just put up something on the property line and force the neighbor to pay for something they never agreed to. The rural properties here put up shared fences if they can agree on the type, but in case of dispute the owner that wants the fence has to put it 3 or 4 feet inside their property line to allow for official travel between properties (in case of fire or other emergencies to get large equipment in-and I think in case of joint fencing they have to have wide gates for emergency access.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                • #17
                                  Talk to your insurance company.
                                  I had a recent string of bad luck and it all ended up okay in the end.
                                  I was in a vehicle accident a couple of years back. I was stopped at an intersection and the man across the intersection ran his stop sign, had to swerve around a vehicle in the cross roads, then hit me. Police, etc put him at fault, obviously. My car is a write off, insurance pays for a new one.
                                  BUT a year later I get this registered letter in the mail. The man who hit me is trying to claim medical expenses, loss of work and damage to his vehicle. And he's trying to claim it from me, saying I was speeding, had a mechanically unsafe car and couldnt stop for him etc etc. Need I mention I was stopped at a red light? Seems his insurance wouldnt pay since he was a fault so he's going to try to get something out of me . To make a long story short, my insurance company has a lawyer taking care of it for me. Definitely worth looking into in your case. If insurance can't help, talk to a lawyer. I had an ex boyfriend try to come after my house, pension, etc after we dated for 6 months. Judge threw out his claims AND made him pay for my lawyer AND compensate me for the time I spent in court, away from work.
                                  People seem to be more and more inclined to make frivolous claims and lawsuits Stick up for yourself and don't let them bully you.


                                  • #18
                                    Not to start anything, but if your dog got bit mine and then your horse jumped the fence into my yard, *I* would be the one posting about bad fences making poor neighbors.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
                                      Not to start anything, but if your dog got bit mine and then your horse jumped the fence into my yard, *I* would be the one posting about bad fences making poor neighbors.
                                      Considering that circumstance about the dog incident was not in depth...seems it was never in question that the actual damages would be paid, just not inflated ones. or on the OPs own property.

                                      I mean, that is funny! Like I am paying you for damages to my car etc...does not make sense.

                                      but check into fencing laws, indeed. In germany they are different from are to area. Some areas require fencing, some on one side, and I bet some don't.

                                      If all else fails, put a couple stands of wire up, fence fixed, but oh darnit, she will have to keep her own pooch in still!

                                      All kidding aside, fishy billing, tell your people about it, so they can tell her people....I am all for using insurance when needed, but they are not there to pay for your landscaping when all you got is a couple hoof prints (and jumpiing horses can do surprisingly little damage, even on softer ground)


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
                                        Not to start anything, but if your dog got bit mine and then your horse jumped the fence into my yard, *I* would be the one posting about bad fences making poor neighbors.
                                        Yeah, I thought of that after posting about the dog. I should have specified, her dog got bit by mine after coming on OUR yard and taunting my JRT. Usually not a wise doggy decision.

                                        As for the horse jumping....it was the first time it had ever happened, and was such a minor incident.

                                        And come on! We live in the country....in a town with a human population (40 people) that is approx 1/10 of the livestock population! Crap like this happens all the time, people (normally) just dealt with it (without the fraud), get over it, and move on. We've had neighbors sheep / cows stray, get into our crops, whatever.... and we are on great terms with those neighbors. Perhaps the next time there is a stray sheep in the feed bin, I will send a bill for re-modeling my bathroom!