Neighbors revoked previously agreed upon access

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Bill1974

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Jun 18, 2014
103
Hauppauge, NY
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32000
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I'm about to have the pavers around my pool redone. I have plenty of access in my yard, but it's going to mess-up a fair bit of it. A lot less could be disturbed if I was to use my neighbors driveway. But I am on good terms with them, and would hate for that to change because of something happening to their property if it were damaged to access my property. I don't even want my mason to have the concrete truck drive though my yard. I asked them to pump it (i'm guessing the cost to pump will be a little more than the cost to fix things and my time). I am guessing it's going to be 20 yards of concrete. From the neighbors driveway, the concrete could be placed or easily wheel-barrowed. But I'm not sure that a fully load concrete truck isn't going to do anything to their new driveway.
 

poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
730
Seminole, FL
I'm about to have the pavers around my pool redone. I have plenty of access in my yard, but it's going to mess-up a fair bit of it. A lot less could be disturbed if I was to use my neighbors driveway. But I am on good terms with them, and would hate for that to change because of something happening to their property if it were damaged to access my property. I don't even want my mason to have the concrete truck drive though my yard. I asked them to pump it (i'm guessing the cost to pump will be a little more than the cost to fix things and my time). I am guessing it's going to be 20 yards of concrete. From the neighbors driveway, the concrete could be placed or easily wheel-barrowed. But I'm not sure that a fully load concrete truck isn't going to do anything to their new driveway.
I should take pictures of what the fully loaded concrete truck did to our driveway during our build. We're living with it for now, but if it had been a neighbor's driveway? We would have just bought a new driveway when it wasn't in the budget.
 
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chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,735
Tucson
Putting fences back up and other restoration is usually left as the very last thing in a build, so neighbors are commonly left with a mess throughout the build. Then a pool builder is anxious to get his final payment and be gone, so restoration can be tricky. If it were not a private property, you (or the pool builder) would be asked for a financial bond to insure the proper restoration.
 
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Kathleen2252

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Apr 28, 2021
148
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Not every pool build results in doomsday
We are one of five on our block who built pools.
Everyone recognized the value in putting up with the hassle.
No one had any damage whatsoever to their neighbors property and every single one allowed access.
The worst that happened was that a dog bit a contractor who entered the yard .
 
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Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
627
Apex, NC
If a neighbor asked to take down my fence and tear up my yard to put in a pool, they would have to build a temporary fence whatever feet inside the property line so my yard is still enclosed. I would not settle for an open side. I have a dog that uses the backyard. For me, it would be too much of a hassle to spend several weeks/months putting a leash on my dog so he can do his business in the back yard. That is asking too much of me.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,874
Morris Cnty NJ
I've built alot of pools amd have used many neighbors for access. Usually it's a face to face meeting setup by the homeowner. I've only had to ask blindly once as there was no access period without a neighbor on a lakeside site. Excavator does its thing the dirt is hauled and we fix it better than before. I've never had to leave access open for more than a few days other than the lakeside build. I couldn't blame anyone for turning down a whole pool build access unless getting paid. That lake job the clients paid for a nice hottub and its installation on top of fixing the neighbors yard. About 13k total if I remember correctly. They really wanted a pool
 
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Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
541
Bryan TX
We were up front with our neighbors to tell them when the workers were coming. We'd give notice to our neighbors on either side. One did say that the 7AM noise in our back yard was a bit much, just too early for them, but at least the crews were done by 2PM. Sometimes it wasn't the noise on the build, it was the workers talking and their music playing loudly. . . Whistling. We had one whistler and my two dogs perked up. Their barking drove me batty!

Two different trash days the pool builder had big trucks blocking access for trash pick up. So hubby was extremely nice and moved everyone's trash cans out so they'd all be accessed. . . Then moved them back to each house later.

I think being up front and honest about everything -
When we were done we put in a new front fence on that side and laid down new sod onto the neighbors as well as ours. Never had a problem with them and they know we don't party.
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
541
Bryan TX
I also agree that if the neighbor has dogs, that should be brought up with the pool builder and work with it. We had our build with two dogs. Our solution was gates on both sides of the front yard and a temporary fence to keep them away from the pool build. No, it was NOT fun.

I'd offer to walk the neighbors dogs. Do what I could.
 

klanel

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2021
206
Athens, GA
and they know we don't party.
I'd thought about that and the possible reasons for the OP's neighbor's reservations. We don't party either but are fortunately in the middle of 10 acres so if we did, it would not bother anyone. But I have experienced many stressful times at our lakehouse where one of the neighbor's would throw parties just about every weekend. Loud music, noise and drunks.

If someone lives in a close proximity to a neighbor, it could definitely become an issue dependent on lifestyle.
 

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Toobenaked

New member
Oct 4, 2021
2
Houston Texas
Pool Size
22000
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
In order to access our backyard for our pool construction, we would need to temporarily take down the fence between our yard and our neighbor's yard. They are not fans of the pool idea in and of itself, but agreed to this back in July. We provided them a document outlining what we'd assume responsibility for (fencing, irrigation, sod) but our big miss was not getting their agreement in writing... 🤦‍♀️

The project is already underway; we've paid our BYOP fee, have HOA approval, getting close to things beginning. Today they called to let us know they wanted to talk about the pool and long story short, informed my husband that they decided they no longer will allow us to remove the fence between our properties nor can their yard be damaged at all because of this project (magically "forgot" that they had even agreed in the first place). Without going into detail, nightmare situation.

We are working with our BYOP guy as well as waiting to hear back from the excavator in terms of how they'll get into our backyard to do the dig. We have 5'4" to work with inside the fence in question, and the other side of the house really isn't feasible as our AC unit + existing patio are on that side. Has anyone ran into this as we are bound and determined to figure out how to make this work now with this major wrench being thrown into our plans. FWIW, we are in Austin, working with BYOP on an IG pool and anticipate there being plenty of rock... Thanks in advance for any ideas/suggestions!
Is there possibly a utility easement on that side of the house? If so you may check into the legalities of using it that way or contacting the utility company that the easement belongs to for permission to use it.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,200
A Utility easement only gives the Utility in question any rights. They can't (and won't) allow those rights to be used for anything other than their access for their business needs.

:(
Find out where the utility buys their uniforms from and get enough for the construction crews.

:goodjob:
 

Partymomma

Member
Mar 6, 2021
9
Barrie, ON
In order to access our backyard for our pool construction, we would need to temporarily take down the fence between our yard and our neighbor's yard. They are not fans of the pool idea in and of itself, but agreed to this back in July. We provided them a document outlining what we'd assume responsibility for (fencing, irrigation, sod) but our big miss was not getting their agreement in writing... 🤦‍♀️

The project is already underway; we've paid our BYOP fee, have HOA approval, getting close to things beginning. Today they called to let us know they wanted to talk about the pool and long story short, informed my husband that they decided they no longer will allow us to remove the fence between our properties nor can their yard be damaged at all because of this project (magically "forgot" that they had even agreed in the first place). Without going into detail, nightmare situation.

We are working with our BYOP guy as well as waiting to hear back from the excavator in terms of how they'll get into our backyard to do the dig. We have 5'4" to work with inside the fence in question, and the other side of the house really isn't feasible as our AC unit + existing patio are on that side. Has anyone ran into this as we are bound and determined to figure out how to make this work now with this major wrench being thrown into our plans. FWIW, we are in Austin, working with BYOP on an IG pool and anticipate there being plenty of rock... Thanks in advance for any ideas/suggestions!
What a horrible situation. This was a fear I had as my neighbour gave us his word and permission last Fall when we gave the deposit but wouldn't sign. However we are in the middle of it now and no complaints. I MUST find a good gift for these lovely people. Anyway, What I am hearing is that you don't want to use the other side because you might damage that side but I think that is your solution. They removed my AC for now. It your patio stones that could be moved?
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
668
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
By the way, unless you were giving them something for the access, having a signed written agreement would have meant nothing. Contracts require consideration to be valid, which means that there's an actual exchange of value. And even then, they still could have backed out last minute like this, and simply forced you to sue them, because that's the only way to force resolution of a contract dispute.

So you didn't really do anything wrong here. They would still be doing this, even if you had a written agreement. And the best you could have hoped for at this point in time would be to sue them for any damages resulting from their non-performance of the contract. Because it's way too late in the game to take them to court to enforce their participation in the contract.
Conversely they can probably just drive the equipment over their property (claim they misunderstood and thought they had consent) and then pay for the damages as they originally planned. “Your honor they damaged my property then made me whole. I demand action!”
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,200
By the way, unless you were giving them something for the access, having a signed written agreement would have meant nothing. Contracts require consideration to be valid, which means that there's an actual exchange of value. And even then, they still could have backed out last minute like this, and simply forced you to sue them, because that's the only way to force resolution of a contract dispute.
Under the concept of Promissory Estoppel, the promise/permission to allow access could be enforceable or compensable if the person suffered loss related to their reliance on the promise or permission.

For example, if the person signed a contract and spent money (deposits, plans etc.) that they could not recover based on their reliance on the promise of access, then the promisor could be sued for the loss.

Promissory estoppel is the legal principle that a promise is enforceable by law, even if made without formal consideration when a promisor has made a promise to a promisee who then relies on that promise to his subsequent detriment.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,200
Conversely they can probably just drive the equipment over their property (claim they misunderstood and thought they had consent) and then pay for the damages as they originally planned.
They can also be charged with criminal vandalism and trespassing.

The neighbors can claim that the permission was specifically denied and they can provide proof from their Ring doorbell camera which recorded the entire conversation.

If the claim of "misunderstanding" could be proven to be false, the charges could also include perjury for providing false evidence or statements to a court in filings, depositions or in testimony.
 
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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
668
NY
Pool Size
25000
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Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
They backed out of a verbal agreement which OP relied upon to their detriment. I’m not seriously suggesting they trespass but I doubt the neighbors have anything recorded - no one is going to be charged criminally. The best course of action would be to explain that they are now on the hook for thousands of dollars based on their promise and that the project timeline and impact to the neighbors will now increase greatly based on their decision to renege. Explain that the pool is going to be built regardless and that it is their sincere hope to proceed with the least impact to them as possible. To that end a one time grant of access will result in the quickest least impactful experience. Then gently explain what It means to be a good neighbor (maybe in the context of explaining that in that spirit you would never consider taking legal action to force specific performance or seek damages as a result of their breach so you would hope that the preservation of their word would prevail in the best interests of all).
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,735
Tucson
As I said, there are ways to complete construction with limited access. It may be a bit more complicated and even cost a bit more, but any good pool builder can find a way.
You do not want to turn your immediate neighbors into sworn enemies. That would make your future life very uncomfortable. I can’t believe people are even suggesting it.
 
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