Last summer, a veteran Realtor/developer in my neighborhood came to my home and asked me if I would allow his workpeople to come on to my property to run 40 feet of underground power line from the power pole in my backyard to the new “McMansion” he built on an adjoining property. (Our local power company apparently has a policy stating that owners of newly-constructed homes have the option of running lines underground instead of overhead, but must do so at their own expense.)
Being a longtime member of my community and a pretty friendly neighbor in general, I told him that he was welcome to dig the line ditch across my property on the condition that he promptly repair the damage to the lawn and re-seed the area affected before the following (2006) Spring season. He agreed to do so, we shook hands and he thanked me profusely.
Well, it’s now May, and the re-sodding/re-seeding was never done. Worse, the guy has refused to acknowledge my repeated telephone calls and e-mails over a span of five months. I even stopped by his office and left my card. No response whatsoever. Complete stonewall. As if I didn’t even exist.
Now, I must admit that the thought of waiting in his office parking lot for him bright & early and greeting him with a good, old-fashioned punch in the nose crossed my mind more than once, but thankfully my beloved bride convinced me that would only land me in the clink - and would do nothing to repair the property damage.
Last week, with Spring already here, I was finally forced to fill in the ditch myself and re-seed the yard at my own expense, and it still looks terrible. There’s mud, stone and unearthed clay strewn about the yard, along with the still-unconnected power line sticking up out of the ground which - despite several calls to the power company (a whole 'nother story) - has been there for more than six months now.
A few days ago, I decided enough was enough. I filed formal complaints with the BBB, the local Realty Board and several online consumer complaint sites. And wouldn’t you know it, last night I got an e-mail from the guy’s broker, profusely apologizing for the situation and offering me $150.00 (to cover the grass seed, sod, time and aggravation) to make the complaints “go away.” Yet still not a word from the actual culprit himself.
So the question is - what would you do? Take the money and be done with it, or continue to stack up complaints against this jack*ss on principle and let the community know to beware. Your input would be most welcome.
Regardless of the outcome, here’s some solid advice: Don’t let anyone do work of any kind on your property - for any reason - without a written agreement.
Lesson learned. And my back still hurts from all that shovelling!