What do you do when a neighbor renegeson paying for half a fence after verbally agreeing to share the cost of installation?

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2010

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What do you do when a neighbor renegeson paying for half a fence after verbally agreeing to share the cost of installation?

My husband discussed on a few occasions a privacy fence with our neighbor. My husband showed him a brochure and they agreed on a style and then he got a quote from the place. He got a quote to fence 2 1/4 sides of our yard. The 1 side he asked the fence place to split in half the estimate because Mike was going in on it. They did this and my husband showed our neighbor the estimate. MOur neighbor said it looked good and was okay with paying half. Now the fence is done and he says that it was way too much money. My huband didn’t show him the quotes. What do we do, be out or sue?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Business Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

What is the quote: Good fences make Good Neighbors? You have a contract with your neighbor, even though it is an oral contract, which is harder to prove.  From what you have said about the step by step process ou took and the fact that the quote for the last half of the fence incorporated his  share, it appears to be well though out and have included consultation.  But you still need to prove your case.  Do you have any witnesses to the transaction?  Other than spouses (they are not disinterested parties)?  Try and see if you can at least negotiate the matter with him to save the relationship (even though I am sure that you will harbor resentment for a long time) as a court case can go wither way.  If he won't pay anything then go to small claims court.  Something is better than nothing.  Good luck.

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