My Neighbor Digs My Home!

Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

NO...really they dug a hole in the my son's backyard!  I get a call from my son, "hey dad, a local builder just crossed into my yard and dug a hole for back-fill dirt to put around their house to stop water from draining into the basement. What should I do?"

I asked a few questions like are you sure he isn't on the lot line?  He tells me no he ran over the bushes I planted this summer.  His yard is low and mine is higher so he came over for the dirt and told me it was in a right of way.  I then asked him to get out his survey and look.  Not on the survey.  So it was a rouse to get my son off his back.

Since there are survey stakes it was easy for him to call the local police.  This only happens when someone is non-Reliable Buildersresponsive and tells you to take a hike.  He (the builder) was charged with trespassing, theft and destruction of private property.

He didn't ask my son, he didn't talk to him he just drove on the property with his backhoe and started digging a trench taking scoops of dirt to back-fill his basement wall.  The area had been back-filled before but was not sloped right to allow for proper drainage.  He decided that the quick fix was get dirt from close to the property line and ask for forgiveness later.

My son isn't someone who normally discusses these issue calmly.  At 8 pm on Sunday night, when it's dark, isn't the time to run heavy machinery in a suburban neighborhood.  It tends to draw attention.  You can imagine my son's surprise to look out the window and see a backhoe in his backyard digging a trench.

The contractor is willing to fix everything if my son drops the charges.  At the time he told him to take a hike.  My son relayed his conversation.  You weren't that concerned about our neighborhood relationship before.  I know you will fix everything that is part of the judgment we are asking for in addition to the charges the police issued.  Take it up with the courts they have your file.

Seems the contractor built many of the homes in the subdivision and most have issues.  My son's was built by a different contractor.  Interesting scenario, glad I do not have to contend with a guy like that.  


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bobi Bigelow 04/02/2012 02:24 AM
  2. Winston Heverly 09/17/2012 12:39 PM
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Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

Yikes!  I'd want something from him, rather than just fixing the damage he caused.  Maybe dig a pool?  April Fools'!

Apr 01, 2012 01:50 AM #51
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Gary,

Unbelievable! I'll side with Gandhi on this one and say that "I think [Western civilization] would be a good idea.”

Apr 01, 2012 02:33 AM #52
Judi Judge
United Country Marshland Realty - Beaufort, SC
That is absolutely horrible! I hope that your son sues the contractor, he needs to learn a lesson. With business practices like that maybe they should pull his license. Your son should also file a complaint with the BBB.
Apr 01, 2012 02:53 AM #53
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Amazing story about another profession that lacks professionalism, so it affects many industries, doesn't it?

Apr 01, 2012 03:24 AM #54
Michael J. O'Connor
Diamond Ridge Realty - Corona, CA
Eastvale - 951-847-4883

Oops, the retaining wall on my side needs bricks.  I think I'll just take some from your wall considering it's right there......


Apr 01, 2012 03:38 AM #55
Mary Sheridan
Keller Willliams - 1033 Hamilton Place,Johnson City TN 37604 - Johnson City, TN
Creative Marketing, Buyer Agency 423-943-7655

I've heard that in some areas, some builders can get away with almost anything.  Once upon a time in a land far away there was a builder blasting for his new subdivision.   Suddenly, a number of houses nearby that had stood without problems for 20-25 years started having structural problems - cracks in walls, cabinets puliing away from walls, driveway cracks, etc.   The structural engineer who looked at all those problems judged that they were all just routine settlement.   

This one takes the cake and I hope the builder gets what's coming to him.    I wonder how many others in the neighborhood have something else to complain about. 

Apr 01, 2012 03:49 AM #56
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Wow .  That one is a jaw dropper.  I am glad that the police were responsive.

Apr 01, 2012 04:12 AM #57
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Gary, thanks for the story, not sure if the neighbor is really gutsy of just stupid.  I have heard a lot of neighbor stories but this one is at the top of the list.

Apr 01, 2012 04:55 AM #58
Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate

Wow!!! Great post!

Apr 01, 2012 05:11 AM #59
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Let the charges stand, for sure. AND, try to get as much adverse press as possible for this lout.

Apr 01, 2012 06:54 AM #60
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

"Well, hello neighbor, would you please be so kind as to turn your head while I plunder your land?" I'm glad your son is standing his ground.  How could this guy even think he could get away with it?  He needs to learn a big lesson.

Apr 01, 2012 07:30 AM #61
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Yikes, now that would cause me to say a few choice words. Pretty nervy. Guess he figured it was worth the risk.

We have good friends whose read neighbor had an arborist come in to trim the trees. Unfortunately he got overly ambitious and cut off significant portions of the big trees in our friends' yard. Not only was it poorly done, but a downright eyesore. Needless to say that company, and the neighbor, paid royally. But you can't replace the trees that has been growing there for many years and provided a great deal of privacy.

Apr 01, 2012 10:25 AM #62
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC
BROKER, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR, Wilmington NC Homes an

Love it Gary - good for your son standing up to that jerk... Some people really have nerve

Apr 01, 2012 10:54 AM #63
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I don't think I would drop the charges unless the contractor walked away from that job in favor of another contractor.

Apr 01, 2012 11:11 AM #64
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


That contractor has a lot of nerve.  I am so glad your son called the police and the contractor was charged.  Your son is right to stand his ground.   That contractor needs to be held responsible for his actions.  Not the kind of contractor most people would want.

Apr 01, 2012 12:55 PM #65
Pam Ruckriegel
Louisville Real Estate Pros - 502-435-5524 - Louisville, KY
Negotiating the Best Deal for You!

Where I live, he would have to have a permit to do any trenching work, on his property or mine!

Apr 01, 2012 11:32 PM #66
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

I know the adage, "ask permisson or beg for forgiveness," but this story takes the cake! I'm with your son.

Apr 02, 2012 02:00 AM #67
Bobi Bigelow
Jim Green Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Advertising / Marketing Administrator

I was shocked to read this blog, not only because it was such an immoral act but because I'm sad to say practically the same incident happened to me 5 years ago. Unfortunately I wasn’t as lucky as your son. I live in one of those “Good Old Boy” areas where it’s not what the law is, but who the well connected defendant’s of the town know that's applied (just as Lenn Harley said) so my neighbor got away with everything and I was stuck paying the landscaping bills L.

I had passed my neighbor on my way to work that morning, he waved but never said a word. I came home from work that evening to find an excavator on my front lawn, my fence between my neighbor’s house and mine had a panel removed, limbs were cut off my tree and a 10' x 4' trench had been dug… my jaw dropped open and I just started shaking with anger at that point (I’m sure your son knows exactly how I felt). My neighbor told me his water pipe broke and he ‘thought’ it went through my property line and connected to the town pipes on the other side of my house so he had to take care of it 'immediately' while I was at work and he didn’t have time to call my cell to let me know what was going on. He promised to fix EVERYTHING back to the way it was, by the time I returned home the next day. He of course didn’t fix the damage to my lawn, fill in the missing dirt, holes, etc. He did however help himself to the wood from the large branches he cut off my tree.

Apr 02, 2012 02:19 AM #68
Jack Snyder
Loan Officer in Orange County for Omni-Fund Inc. - San Clemente, CA
Loan Officer, San Clemente, Orange County, Califor

Hi Gary,

Yes, hit the contractor with both barrels. What a ignorant fool this contractor is, he needs to lose his license. He is doing more harm than good.


Apr 02, 2012 02:26 AM #69
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Wow, what a mess! You'd think the contractor would know to get permission first, even if it wasn't a Sunday night, they'd likely have noticed!

Apr 05, 2012 08:16 AM #70
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