Neighbor's Fence Being used as Retaining Wall

ABC123KTAugust 5, 2013

I need some outside opinions...

I lost my home due to Hurricane Sandy. I had 5 feet of water in my one story house and foundation damage. We JUST knocked the house down the end of June, and are rebuilding.

I have a nasty, nasty neighbor, who I honestly cannot stand to look at. Her house was new construction, high enough, and took no water during the storm.

Well, needless to say, I was, and still am, out of my home. About a month after the storm, my neighbor replaced the 6 foot fence between our two backyards, and put in a new 6 foot pvc fence with a 12" white spacer below...making the fence 7 feet tall. She then proceeded to have an inground pool put in, and decided to landscape it with BOULDERS, trees, dirt, mulch, bushes, etc. (Wait, let me rephrase that..she finished her inground pool. 2 days after the storm she had the pool company blocking the roadway and digging for her inground while the rest of the block was cleaning out their destroyed homes, throwing their lives away).

Her property is one solid foot higher than mine. And on her side of the fence there is about 3 feet of stuff (boulders, dirt, plants, trees, bushes, mulch) piled up. NO RETAINING WALL WAS EVER BUILT. The fence is 6+ months old and is now bowing into my backyard. I have an almost 4 year old. Where the fence is bowing is where his swing set went before the storm, and will be returning after we move back home.

Should I be concerned that her fence will blow out? Do I call the town and report her? I would nicely say something to her, but she won't give a damn. She's the kind of neighbor who does whatever she wants at everyone else's expense. And she doesn't give a damn about her own three kids, so I know she won't care about mine.

Suggestions? Thank you in advance.

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Hmmm, this is definitely a problem. I would call your city building permitting office and ask them about it. Depending on your local regs, it's possible she needed a permit for the pool, and if she didn't have one, they'll take a serious interest. If she did, either they didn't inspect it or she did improper work after it was closed out. There is some chance that they can order her to fix it, but I wouldn't count on it. Still it's the first place to start. They can tell you what your options are.

After that, you may end up having to take her to court. You would have to show that there was damage to your property or cost to you, in order to win any kind of settlement or force her to fix it.

Of course, you could go out and remove anything that slumps over onto your side. :-]

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 11:12AM
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If the dirt is up against the plastic fence, I would think it will be cracking before long. Can you move your kids swings few ft. out into your yard? Doesn't sound like someone you want to mess with. I just saw warnings out here that these fences are very flammable so keep your firepit, BBQ or any other flames away from the fence. It may split open soon & then they will have to take care of their problem. Might take pics & if it is moving into your yard then contact the city, if it is cracking & splitting might just give way before you get back in your home & you can say, oh, so sorry to your neighbor!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Pictures, definitely. Make a diary for this and write down the date it was installed, any details you remember about who did it, and any interactions with the neighbor on it. And take dated pictures along the way as it sags and collapses.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:38AM
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