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Old 03-18-2014, 12:15 AM   #26
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From my basic business law knowledge, contract has 6 essential parts to be fulfilled to be consider binding.

1) There was an offer & acceptance. (being good neighbour & deposited the cheque)
2) did both sides gained benefits & did both side exchange promises? (yes- accepted cheques & indirectly accepted the "good neighbour statement")
3) capacity- both parties' mind are reasonable under the circumstance
4) legality of the exchange- nothing is illegal about it (just unethical)
5) intentions of both parties- did the parties understand contract & its consequences and its legal boundaries? (ambiguous in the situation)
6) in writing (not necessary for the situation described above)- verbal is considered binding in your case with your parent's implied action

With ambiguity and the "construction worker" mislead you with the "cheque", you can possibly argue for "contra proferentum" or "fundamental mistake". With ambiguity, court will usually side with the offeree and "return both party to original position". Anything you do onward related to the construction company, it is best to put it into some kind of written form: letters or emails or record any related conversation. This provides evidences to aid you if it goes to court or they deny anything happen.

Any unwanted thing on your land is consider tresspassing. To make it even more official, put up a sign that says "no trespassing" and/or specific to the construction company. Take a pic/vid of having the sign put up. If they throw any crap or do anything on to your property after the sign, you can get the police involved. Also, it would be wise not to use that $500 & put it aside at least.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:54 AM   #27
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Having been around construction my entire life I have encountered situations similar what the OP indicated ; 'they took down my parents' fence and put a new one up inside our property...' it might be possible that your parents' actual fence was outside of their property line and that the developer was just "correcting" the mistake.

The obvious thing to do, as almost every single person here has stated, is to contact the developer or simply walk onto the site and ask to speak to the site supervisor directly. However, I often get the sense on RS that people would prefer to avoid direct conversations and try to use third-parties/cities/officials/lawyers, etc., to do the same thing that they are perfect capable of achieving in the first place, which is to engage the offending party in a dialogue.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:47 AM   #28
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If they encroached 1.5m on your property you must have a fairly decent chunk of land.

Is there a particular reason you wouldn't let them onto your property? Was your fence a nice one? Cause there is a damn good chance that the developer would be willing to put up a pretty nice fence for you guys if you act neighborly.

None of this makes what they are doing right, but when someone is unreasonable ethics go out the window quick in the construction industry. This is not to say I think you are being unreasonable, but I don't have enough information to go off of.

And as for everyone above who is saying you can be a thorn in their side, if they are building a townhouse or condominium directly adjacent to his property I am pretty sure they can make his home life a living hell. So maybe thats not the best route. Trust me pissed of construction workers can throw common sense out completely if you piss them off.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:42 PM   #29
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Make sure you know where your actual property line is before you start a war.

My boss had an asshole of a neighbor who always complained and screamed about random stuff. So he had the land surveyed and it turned out the fence was actually 2m onto his property. So, he rips down the old fence and the neighbors flower beds (which are on his property) and puts a new one up right on the surveyed property line.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:08 PM   #30
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Also anyone building townhouses is going to have surveyors out there constantly, so there isn't going to be much of a dispute if your built over your property line
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:21 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfighter View Post
Having been around construction my entire life I have encountered situations similar what the OP indicated ; 'they took down my parents' fence and put a new one up inside our property...' it might be possible that your parents' actual fence was outside of their property line and that the developer was just "correcting" the mistake.
This.

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Originally Posted by Matlock
Having been around construction my entire life I have encountered situations similar what the OP indicated ; 'they took down my parents' fence and put a new one up inside our property...' it might be possible that your parents' actual fence was outside of their property line and that the developer was just "correcting" the mistake.
And This.

I find it hard to believe that a contractor would tear down an existing fence and build a new one 5 feet over just because they felt like they wanted a bigger property. I'd bet the old fence was in the wrong spot.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:30 PM   #32
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Our fence was not in the wrong spot that I can guarantee. Why would they even ask for permission if that wasnt our land to begin with?
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:44 PM   #33
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If they encroached 1.5m on your property you must have a fairly decent chunk of land.

Is there a particular reason you wouldn't let them onto your property? Was your fence a nice one? Cause there is a damn good chance that the developer would be willing to put up a pretty nice fence for you guys if you act neighborly.

None of this makes what they are doing right, but when someone is unreasonable ethics go out the window quick in the construction industry. This is not to say I think you are being unreasonable, but I don't have enough information to go off of.

And as for everyone above who is saying you can be a thorn in their side, if they are building a townhouse or condominium directly adjacent to his property I am pretty sure they can make his home life a living hell. So maybe thats not the best route. Trust me pissed of construction workers can throw common sense out completely if you piss them off.
I initially refused them because of their shady tactics. They sent my parents a letter and made it seem like it was from the city to get them to sign it and allow them to work into our land for a few months.

After that they called me and offered $100 compensation which was not worth my time so I told them to f off basically and didnt speak to them again.

I guess since my parents deposited the cheque its a SOL situation...I dont really want to get a lawyer.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:02 PM   #34
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Changing a property line requires a lot more than just handing someone a $500 cheque......

For starters, the change would have to be registered with the Land Title office, and would have notaries/lawyers involved.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:12 PM   #35
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^ this was never about changing a property line. The construction crew enroached onto ops yard without permission and now op is wondering what can be done. Others are suggesting that maybe the original fence was built outside of the existing property line which is fairly common. With the new information just provided about the "shady tactics" prior to the 500 cheque, it seems to me more and more that they had hope op would take the bait and they did, and now it's going to be hard to fight the case. With that said, since it's only a few months, would it be a better choice to talk to the crew, be on good terms with them, get a nice fence out of it at the end instead of spending money to lawyer up to get them off and by the time it goes in front of a judge, construction is probably close to completion already
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:22 PM   #36
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Same thing happened to my dad at his house, it ended up costing the contracting $30k
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:29 PM   #37
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Same thing happened to my dad at his house, it ended up costing the contracting $30k
Could you explain more?
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:37 PM   #38
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Could you explain more?
Construction company was building a new house beside my dads. Its at our cabin so he knew they were doing construction but only goes there weekly in the summer. When he went to the cabin one day, he noticed they had poured a huge concrete slab for a deck that was over about a foot onto his property line. My dad asked them to remove it but settled on a nice check instead.

I would be pissed if someone removed my fence without asking my permission.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:46 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poopyiii View Post
From my basic business law knowledge, contract has 6 essential parts to be fulfilled to be consider binding.

1) There was an offer & acceptance. (being good neighbour & deposited the cheque)
2) did both sides gained benefits & did both side exchange promises? (yes- accepted cheques & indirectly accepted the "good neighbour statement")
3) capacity- both parties' mind are reasonable under the circumstance
4) legality of the exchange- nothing is illegal about it (just unethical)
5) intentions of both parties- did the parties understand contract & its consequences and its legal boundaries? (ambiguous in the situation)
6) in writing (not necessary for the situation described above)- verbal is considered binding in your case with your parent's implied action

With ambiguity and the "construction worker" mislead you with the "cheque", you can possibly argue for "contra proferentum" or "fundamental mistake". With ambiguity, court will usually side with the offeree and "return both party to original position". Anything you do onward related to the construction company, it is best to put it into some kind of written form: letters or emails or record any related conversation. This provides evidences to aid you if it goes to court or they deny anything happen.

Any unwanted thing on your land is consider tresspassing. To make it even more official, put up a sign that says "no trespassing" and/or specific to the construction company. Take a pic/vid of having the sign put up. If they throw any crap or do anything on to your property after the sign, you can get the police involved. Also, it would be wise not to use that $500 & put it aside at least.
While silence cannot be considered acceptance, unless accounted for beforehand, the exception is that when the offeree conducts themselves in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe that they had agreed, such as accepting the cheque, and depositing it.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:51 PM   #40
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While silence cannot be considered acceptance, unless accounted for beforehand, the exception is that when the offeree conducts themselves in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe that they had agreed, such as accepting the cheque, and depositing it.
Yeah, you cannot lead someone to believe you have an agreement, then stab them in the back. If the two parties act like they have an agreement, then the court will look at it as if there was an agreement.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:21 PM   #41
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^ this was never about changing a property line. The construction crew enroached onto ops yard without permission and now op is wondering what can be done. Others are suggesting that maybe the original fence was built outside of the existing property line which is fairly common. With the new information just provided about the "shady tactics" prior to the 500 cheque, it seems to me more and more that they had hope op would take the bait and they did, and now it's going to be hard to fight the case. With that said, since it's only a few months, would it be a better choice to talk to the crew, be on good terms with them, get a nice fence out of it at the end instead of spending money to lawyer up to get them off and by the time it goes in front of a judge, construction is probably close to completion already
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If I was the OP, I'd take the $500 for noise/inconvenience.
But If the crew built a new fence 1.5M into my yard, and I was 100% sure it was on my side of the line, I would tear that fence the fuck down immediately.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:47 PM   #42
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Call the city and tell them what happened and that you want a site inspector to come out and deal with them.
Take pictures and document everything for now.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:47 PM   #43
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1) does it appear that they will not move the fence back to where it was after they are done doing what they need do to?

2) the only way to be sure the fence was on the exact property line is getting the info from the city, not because "you are sure".

At the end of the day the construction will keep going on... post pictures please.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:47 PM   #44
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somewhat related but not lol.. my mom is a mortgage broker and has a few very good clients/friends that live and work part time in India, some of them have insanely stupid big properties including farm land etc.

One guy who already lives in an extremely nice place in West Van owned like a 200 acre farm or somthing and a large company built a huge factory/industrial building that encroached on the far reaches of the corner of the property

somthing to do with the law in India and the cost of the actual building that was built, his settlement was in the double digit millions lol, crazy
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:06 PM   #45
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Our fence was not in the wrong spot that I can guarantee. Why would they even ask for permission if that wasnt our land to begin with?
OP how can you guarantee that your fence wasnt in the wrong place? If you have any documentation, such as a survey plan then what is there to wonder? They cannot just transfer 1.5m of ur land into their name through verbal agreement and $500 dollars. I wont go into detail but it takes a number of steps and few weeks at least to process.

If this is in vancouver, u can go onto vanmap and look at ur land size and just simply walk the depth of ur lot. Its approx, but u got 1.5m of difference.

Or if you have a realtor friend have them find the old listing of the townhouse being build now and find the land size of both yours and underconstrutions.

Lastly, ive seen alot of construction in smaller lots where during construction, shared fences usually needs to be removed because of the excavation an the builders will put up a new shared fence afterwards. Donno if this is ur case.

Good luck
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:36 PM   #46
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Hey OP,

Can you go outside to your front curb and look for the property marker and take a picture it in relation to the temporary fencing the contractors put up?

I went outside to take a picture of my property line marker to show you what it looks like
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:09 PM   #47
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^I thought these were just datum points where the surveyors work off of and they're not necessarily placed at all property lines?
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:17 PM   #48
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Okay kids, let's have a little dose of reality here.

First of all, OP, WHY did your parents deny the company permission to chop into their yard a little? Were they intentionally trying to be difficult and un-neighbourly? Or did they somehow get the idea that the company was planning to permanently TAKE OVER that little strip of land? Or was there something really special about that bit of land? Indian burial ground or something?

Second, OP, did these guys actually build a permanent fence, or is it a temporary construction fence? My money is on the latter.

So here's what happens on a development like you're talking about: they don't just make a hole in the middle of the property and drop a building in it. They need to dig it up right to the property line to address slopes, install drainage, and ultimately, re-landscape the entire plot. And probably put up a better, newer fence than was there before.

They COULD possibly dig right up to the property line and stop, but that would make proper landscaping tricky, and depending on how close they're building to that line, likely not leave enough room for heavy equipment to move around the building. Zoom-booms and the like would probably have to cross the fenceline and tear up the grass on the other side of the property line, so what's the best way to do it? Take down the old fence, dig a bit over a the line, and then fix it all nice and pretty afterward. A temporary fence is required for safety and security reasons to keep people out of the site.

So about the workers coming in, dropping off a check, and digging up the ground, I know the RS default is to jump straight to the position that these guys are overstepping bounds and just being assholes, but having worked on big construction jobs as well, let me suggest this: somewhere between the person who originally made the offer, and the person who delivered the check, there was a breakdown in communications that left someone thinking that permission HAD been obtained and all that was needed was to deliver the check. Think that's crazy? You haven't seen some of the shit-show jobs I've been on where nobody fully knew what anyone else was doing. Yes, believe it or else, it IS POSSIBLE that the people on the ground there may actually have proceeded in good faith that all had been resolved and permission obtained by those above them.

Now, everything else aside, at this point, I'd say OP's parents have basically sealed the deal for themselves by cashing the check. I'm not a contract lawyer, but I'm pretty sure this would be considered as them agreeing to and accepting the construction company's offer. Giving it back now wouldn't mean shit. If they'd held onto the check, or taken it back, they might have room to move, but as it stands, all it looks like is that they've accepted an offer, changed their minds, and are now trying to go back on an agreement... or worse, extort more money from the contractor.

They can complain to the city, the RCMP, or whoever they want, but I have a feeling everyone is going to see it the way I laid it out above. Their best course at this point is just to live with it and enjoy their fresh grass and new fence once it's all done.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:34 PM   #49
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Okay kids, let's have a little dose of reality here.

First of all, OP, WHY did your parents deny the company permission to chop into their yard a little? Were they intentionally trying to be difficult and un-neighbourly? Or did they somehow get the idea that the company was planning to permanently TAKE OVER that little strip of land? Or was there something really special about that bit of land? Indian burial ground or something?

Second, OP, did these guys actually build a permanent fence, or is it a temporary construction fence? My money is on the latter.

So here's what happens on a development like you're talking about: they don't just make a hole in the middle of the property and drop a building in it. They need to dig it up right to the property line to address slopes, install drainage, and ultimately, re-landscape the entire plot. And probably put up a better, newer fence than was there before.

They COULD possibly dig right up to the property line and stop, but that would make proper landscaping tricky, and depending on how close they're building to that line, likely not leave enough room for heavy equipment to move around the building. Zoom-booms and the like would probably have to cross the fenceline and tear up the grass on the other side of the property line, so what's the best way to do it? Take down the old fence, dig a bit over a the line, and then fix it all nice and pretty afterward. A temporary fence is required for safety and security reasons to keep people out of the site.

So about the workers coming in, dropping off a check, and digging up the ground, I know the RS default is to jump straight to the position that these guys are overstepping bounds and just being assholes, but having worked on big construction jobs as well, let me suggest this: somewhere between the person who originally made the offer, and the person who delivered the check, there was a breakdown in communications that left someone thinking that permission HAD been obtained and all that was needed was to deliver the check. Think that's crazy? You haven't seen some of the shit-show jobs I've been on where nobody fully knew what anyone else was doing. Yes, believe it or else, it IS POSSIBLE that the people on the ground there may actually have proceeded in good faith that all had been resolved and permission obtained by those above them.

Now, everything else aside, at this point, I'd say OP's parents have basically sealed the deal for themselves by cashing the check. I'm not a contract lawyer, but I'm pretty sure this would be considered as them agreeing to and accepting the construction company's offer. Giving it back now wouldn't mean shit. If they'd held onto the check, or taken it back, they might have room to move, but as it stands, all it looks like is that they've accepted an offer, changed their minds, and are now trying to go back on an agreement... or worse, extort more money from the contractor.

They can complain to the city, the RCMP, or whoever they want, but I have a feeling everyone is going to see it the way I laid it out above. Their best course at this point is just to live with it and enjoy their fresh grass and new fence once it's all done.
It was me who denied them permission initially. I already stated why...If they were up front in the beginning instead of sending a letter that made it seem like it was from the city I would have approached the situation a bit different. It seemed to me they were trying to take advantage of my parents lack of english.

Not only that..one of the guys from the company later called me since and tried to negotiate a deal, I won't get into details but I was a bit insulted. He probably thought I was young and gave me an offer to compensate $100 to use our land for half a year approximately. Bit of a joke to me really, as it's a fair size of land. This is why the $500 cheque drop off is no "miscommunication" within their company, they took a chance my parents would deposit it. My parents even asked them straight up what is this for, the guy clearly stated "Oh just for being good neighbours and apologies for the noise". Unfortunately I was away so they told me afterwards..they thinking nothing was signed in paper it was fine...

About the property line thing...as already stated, if it was not our land why would they ask for permission to work on it for a few months in the first place if it wasn't technically ours..Yes it is a temporary fence they put up, I am not worried about them constructing anything permanently over into our property.

I don't need any headaches so I am probably going to just live with it. I already understand there's not much to do due to the cheque. One of the guys at the company is going to call me back tomorrow so we'll see how it goes.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:04 PM   #50
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While silence cannot be considered acceptance, unless accounted for beforehand, the exception is that when the offeree conducts themselves in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe that they had agreed, such as accepting the cheque, and depositing it.
Yes, I totally agree the implied action makes it binding. However, there was ambiguity with the statement: "thanks for being good neighbours and dealing with the noise". Ambiguity lies within "being good neighbours"- what does it imply? Also, the parents's limited understanding of English language makes it a misrepresentation/mistake for not truly understanding the implied message. This makes the binding contract less enforceable; especially with previous actions to support the decline of offer from the offeror.

The company will never lawyer up or go to court for this situation, even if you challenge them (as long as you are right). It is not financially worth it for you and them, but they might try to be aggressive and threaten with legal stuff. Just try to be reasonable and negotiate with the company.
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