Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "I'm afraid that won't be possible." => Topic started by: MamaMootz on May 22, 2009, 10:23:46 AM

Title: Used it today with developers - Update Post 10
Post by: MamaMootz on May 22, 2009, 10:23:46 AM
Our next door neighbor is having issues with flooding in their backyard. Because of this, they have gone to the home builders of our development - there are lots and lots of issues with most of the homes in our development because the builders are not good builders.

They are famous for passing the buck and not fixing the issues, and now they are trying to blame the neighbor's flooding issues on us, even though the flooding issues take place nowhere near our property line and we have no sprinkler leaks.

So the other day the one builder rep came to my house and I let him look at our automatic sprinkler timer. He was going to reset everything we had on there - he just stared pressing buttons and I yelled, "Stop! What are you doing?!"  We have it set to water for 5 minutes 3 times a week, 2x a day, which is what our landscaper told us would work for our lawn. Builder told us we are watering too much....  ::)

Same builder rep called me last night and said they wanted to bring in their own landscaper to dig up our yard to prove where the flooding in neighbor's yard is coming from.

Me: I'm afraid that won't be possible.
Them: Well when would be a good time for us to come?
Me: I'm afraid that won't be possible. Ever.
Them: Oh, so then you will take responsibility for neighbor's yard and coordinate with them?
Me: No. Their issues have nothing to do with us. We have verified this through our own landscaper.
Them: Well that's what we're TRYING to do....
Me: Their issues have nothing to do with us.
Them: Is your husband home? Can I speak with him?
Me: I'm afraid that won't be possible. Goodbye.

I was irritated that this guy made the interesting assumption that I didn't know what I was talking about and he needed to talk to DH instead. But I was really proud of how well I handled the call. Now, let's see if they show up anyway and try to get in our yard today... I wouldn't put it past them.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: caranfin on May 22, 2009, 10:25:38 AM
We have it set to water for 5 minutes 3 times a week, 2x a day, which is what our landscaper told us would work for our lawn.

And they think this is causing your neighbor's yard to flood? And yet it doesn't flood yours? You must live on a steep slope and have some really powerful sprinklers...  ::)
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: jibby on May 22, 2009, 10:31:10 AM
Mega Props to you, MamaMootz; you handled him perfectly.

I'm afraid I would have lost my cool at "Is your husband home?"   >:( :-X >:D
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on May 22, 2009, 10:49:11 AM
Honestly my blood just boiled for you with the husband line.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: I'mnotinsane on May 22, 2009, 10:51:05 AM
If the problem originated in your yard wouldn't your yard also be flooded?  Count me as someone who also has boiling blood over the husband comment.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: rhirhi on May 22, 2009, 10:59:10 AM
Would it have been rude, when he asked for your husband, to say that you were the husband? And were either g*ay, had a sex change or were in drag?

Probably rude, but funny.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: MamaMootz on May 22, 2009, 11:37:24 AM
No, our yard doesn't flood, it has some "mushy" spots but the landscaper we hired tends to think that's because they used a low-grade soil when they finished the homes. And I believe that's the angle the neighbor is pursuing as well, as she spoke with the landscaper who minded our homes (they were the models in this development) and that landscaper told her that her yard flooded badly and ours had mushy spots for the past two years. If you look at the way our lot is graded, there is no way that we're causing any flooding in her yard, just by the grade alone - never mind the fact that we don't water excessively.

Of course, the builder is saying this landscaper isn't credible either - and they were the ones that hired him and paid him to mind the properties for 2 years!

I had to laugh when I hung up the phone over the husband comment - he tried to pull that one on me when he was trying to reset our sprinkler timer - because you know, a woman can't possibly know or understand about landscaping!

My neighbor is pursuing this through the township so I believe it's going to get ugly.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: Mom2PBJ on July 07, 2009, 04:20:58 PM
So what's been going on? 
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: Kimblee on July 07, 2009, 04:43:37 PM
So what's been going on? 

I wanna know too!
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: DragonKitty on July 07, 2009, 09:23:48 PM
Them: Is your husband home? Can I speak with him?
Me: I'm afraid that won't be possible. Goodbye.

Well, you were a lot politer than I was 20 or so years ago, the first time that was used on me by plumbers who were supposed to install a water heater.  When they said that, I told them to get the @#$%& off the porch and never come back (and found someone else ).   

I think this reply is probably one of the better ways to respond, although I haven't had this problem in years.  And anyway, DH would tell them "Why the heck are you asking me, she's in charge of <whatever project>?" 
Title: Re: Used it today with developers
Post by: MamaMootz on September 16, 2009, 12:34:09 PM
Hi, OP here - sorry I didn't check back to give an update.

After the neighbor made such a big stink about it and I refused them access to our yard, we both got an Official Letter from the builder.
Which basically said hey MamaMootz isn't letting us into her yard to verify flooding so anything that happens in Neighbor's Yard is Not Our Fault. They also said that my family was watering too much and it's up to the two of us to work it out amongst ourselves.

I wrote a letter back and sent it certified mail, again re-stating our position that whatever is going on in the neighbor's yard has nothing to do with us, and that we assume no legal liability for any flooding issues they are having over there.

Neighbor came to talk to me and she was livid - she also sent them a letter letting them know she'd be contacting her lawyer and the township, and if the issues were not fixed she'd be hanging a banner off her back deck (our back decks face a main road) that said "Builder Refuses to Fix Problems" and "Don't Buy Homes Here".

I have not heard another word about it since then, and don't know if they ever actually fixed her yard. Haven't seen neighbor in quite awhile as she's working overnights now. I do know she had flooding issues that prevented her from closing before she bought the home, though, that they did fix.

That's mah update...

Title: Re: Used it today with developers - Update Post 10
Post by: rhirhi on September 16, 2009, 01:49:47 PM
So she's mad at the builders because she's got her high waters on- SWEET! Who knows, after all this is done you could have a great neighbor!
Title: Re: Used it today with developers - Update Post 10
Post by: I'mnotinsane on September 17, 2009, 10:46:33 AM
If you like your neighbor and have a friendly relationship I would advise against that banner.   It will make her house very difficult to sell when the time comes-even 20 years from now.  People remember stuff like this.  It will also impact you and the rest of the neighborhood from selling your homes should you wish to move.  This will create lots of unhappy campers with whom she will have to co-exist.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers - Update Post 10
Post by: delphinium on October 04, 2009, 03:43:46 PM
A friend of mine had a problem in his yard with flooding; his sump pump was going constantly and the HOA refused to deal with it.  Finally, they found out that the neighbor had a leak in the pipes that led from the street to his house.  The leak occurred before the water line reached the homeowner's water meter, so there wasn't a large water usage to indicate the problem.

When the leaks were repaired, the water problem was solved.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers - Update Post 10
Post by: Lisbeth on October 10, 2009, 10:02:11 AM
Hi, OP here - sorry I didn't check back to give an update.

After the neighbor made such a big stink about it and I refused them access to our yard, we both got an Official Letter from the builder.
Which basically said hey MamaMootz isn't letting us into her yard to verify flooding so anything that happens in Neighbor's Yard is Not Our Fault. They also said that my family was watering too much and it's up to the two of us to work it out amongst ourselves.

I wrote a letter back and sent it certified mail, again re-stating our position that whatever is going on in the neighbor's yard has nothing to do with us, and that we assume no legal liability for any flooding issues they are having over there.

Neighbor came to talk to me and she was livid - she also sent them a letter letting them know she'd be contacting her lawyer and the township, and if the issues were not fixed she'd be hanging a banner off her back deck (our back decks face a main road) that said "Builder Refuses to Fix Problems" and "Don't Buy Homes Here".

I have not heard another word about it since then, and don't know if they ever actually fixed her yard. Haven't seen neighbor in quite awhile as she's working overnights now. I do know she had flooding issues that prevented her from closing before she bought the home, though, that they did fix.

That's mah update...



So much for friendly neighborhood relations!

Do you have an HOA involved in this?  If so, I think you'd better get them on your side; also, I think you may need to have yours legal counsel ready to deal with any lawsuits, injunctions, or anything else this "neighbor" comes up with against you.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers - Update Post 10
Post by: Ducky on October 16, 2009, 08:06:05 AM
KeenReader, the neighbor isn't the issue.  She (the neighbor) was livid, but with the builder, not the OP.  Both the OP and the neighbor blame the builder for the flooding.  Not that MamaMootz shouldn't be prepared in case the neighbor's anger shifts, but in general, the neighbor has been fairly neighborly to her actual neighbors.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers - Update Post 10
Post by: MamaMootz on November 16, 2009, 11:51:55 PM
The HoA is owned and run by the builder, actually, so getting them involved will not be helpful.

KeenReader, the neighbor isn't at all upset with me or my family over this, but she was rarin' to go against the builder - sorry if my post wasn't clear on that. She actually even "boo'd" my family his Halloween, so things are good between us - we both agree that the builder messed up here, though.

She never did put up the banner but I noticed she stopped trying to grow things in her yard so maybe she gave up. It will probably resurface again this spring.
Title: Re: Used it today with developers - Update Post 10
Post by: Marisol on March 12, 2010, 07:02:22 AM
Is she always flooding even if it doesn't rain?  When I hear a yard is flooding it signals that the drainage for the area was not properly assessed.  Either they don't have enough storage in their storm water ponds, or they did not create proper ditches and/or sewers.  Or someone decided to fill in their backyard without a permit.  But I've never heard of a sprinkler causing flooding unless it was left running for hours and hours.  This definitely is poor project planning by the builders.  Has she contacted the local or state water management yet?  They are responsible for permitting developments and they should be made aware of the builders follies.