Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest banner
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
I'll Direc your TV
Joined
·
8,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Caution - Rant ahead

Think this was a record for me, went about 3 years 6 months without being directly involved in BS, straight out of high school, unnecessary drama.

Everyone has that "one" neighbor, right? You know that "one" (or several) that just seems to cause problems for the sake of causing problems? I didn't really think I had that, at home or out at our camp property. The original "one" neighbor was just a guy who was never there and coincidentally was never around to chip in for gate repair...etc. Which was never really a problem, just an annoyance more than anything; laugh it off, and move along, no problem.

Fast forward (or rewind, depending on your perspective), to about 3 years ago, and a new guy buys a piece of property near our camp. To put it in perspective, the property is primarily hunting camps, and the piece he purchased is 40 acres, accessed by a multi-use easement road; there are 6 separate properties that have access to that easement. 4 of which (including mine) regularly use it. Now it's 2020, and the road is in desperate need of repair as it's been...25+ years since the last time it was maintained other than the occasional brushing out. So, I decide i'll do it, since doesn't seem like anyone is breaking down the door offering to work on it. Have a new tractor, plus the other equipment to do it, so why not; it needs done. So I contact the other 3 camps that regularly use the road, and they all agree to split the cost of material (well, 2 other do, as I could not get a hold of the 3rd [guy that never goes to camp anyway] so not like i'm going to wait); i'll do the work as we have the equipment anyway, and we all split the cost evenly. Seems fair, right? or not?....Anyway, everyone agrees to split the cost, and everyone agrees on the guy to use for material (local excavating company). No problem. little less than a week later, the job is done, material delivered, road graded. The initial quantity was not enough to complete job, so there ended up with extra loads delivered (4 extra); why bother doing it half-assed?

4 days after the initial delivery was made, I messaged 2 of the 3 other camps to let them know of the additional gravel and why. #1 camp, paid, not a single thing wrong (road looks great, etc etc). 3rd guy [one never there} I managed to get a hold of after all that, and the conversation consisted of "Sorry I couldn't get a hold of you prior, but hey here's a bill for $720". Guy #3 says, "really? You did the road yourself, you didn't hire someone? Wow, looks great, where do I send the check to?" So, now we're left with camp #2; the initial response to the first loads of gravel was "ok, sounds good, can I get you a check in a couple weeks".....Sure, no problem. Then after the extra gravel was delivered and new total given...crickets. .....crickets for 2 months.

Fast forward 2 months, I decide, I should probably shoot the guy a message, a couple weeks must be pig-latin for a couple months? So, I send him a message, just touching base. Reminder of the cost, why how much, who it's from, and address to mail a check; no worries. Thanks".....Get a response back to the tune of "First it was X amount, then it was X+1 amount, now it's Y amount. Wife isn't happy with the whole situation. You should pay it yourself next time you make individual decisions. I have friends with equipment and can do things cheaper, i'll get you a check soon.."

....Ok...Wtf? Who made an individual decision, the decision that 4 owners agreed on? Do what cheaper? Cheaper than free? Last time I checked, I didn't have any costs for my time, fuel, or equipment? I give it a day to think over myself, and respond back to the tune of "Sorry for any misunderstanding, everyone agreed with splitting the cost before it was even done, no one is chipping in for my time, my fuel or my equipment." Explained the costs, totals, how many yards, cost per yard, and that we got a cash discount because I paid upfront in cash. ......And, go figure, at this point there's almost zero chance of this conversation going in any sort of positive direction; Turns out, I was right. The response from camp #2 was to the tune of " we only agreed on the $540 [initial delivery} any more was your choice. No single person decisions from now on. Next time we want a signed contract from the contractor" The rest of the response is complaints the gate on the easement road is illegal and it needs to go. Any questions will and can be answered about I get info about it.


.....Really?....really? What june bug crawled up your keester and died? I honestly don't even relent that there's an argument for "not specific 'ok' given for the extra gravel; the work was agreed to be done, costs for material were agreed to be split evenly between the 4 properties. Hell no; 2 months after the work is completed, now all of sudden there's a big problem and refuses to pair the fair share. Firstly, already agreed to it. Secondly....you just got 3/4 of a mile of road, completely graded and 3" of new stone put on...for $700. Unless i'm missing something, that's pretty cheap.

Maybe I am in the wrong; I just don't know what I would be in the wrong for? Expecting people to hold to their word? I see this whole "situation" as someone who always think they could have done it better, always has to be right. But only after the actual work is done. The equivalent of ordering a meal at Applebee's, eating the whole thing, then complaining that the order was wrong when the bill comes.

end rant.
 

·
F-U-CANCER!!!
Joined
·
5,646 Posts
No way to avoid chit like this in life. It happens. Next time bump the estimate some to cover just in case. If you estimate over, then you pocket some cash....
 

·
I'm not old, honest...
Joined
·
30,494 Posts
Sorry but you are in the wrong. Unless you have a shared maintenance contract between all adjoining owners, where a majority vote controls the obligations of the others, you don't have a right to demand money. And even then, if there is no record of the vote, you still did it wrong. Nor can you bump the price after a price was agreed on.

Now, that said, the guy is being a dick and you did everyone a favor. They call this the school of hard knocks...........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,892 Posts
Projects like this I only do cash first or know that I am making a donation for the cheep ass POS that doubles back on his word If you got your 540 up front you would only be out the 160 extra right now.



RBB
 

·
I'll Direc your TV
Joined
·
8,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
No way to avoid chit like this in life. It happens. Next time bump the estimate some to cover just in case. If you estimate over, then you pocket some cash....
Projects like this I only do cash first or know that I am making a donation for the cheep ass POS that doubles back on his word If you got your 540 up front you would only be out the 160 extra right now.

RBB
All good points, and lesson learned. I am not one to bump a price just to pocket cash for just to pocket cash, which was why I thought I was open and upfront with everything from the get go. Think it boils down to just because I feel that way, doesn't mean everyone else does.


Sorry but you are in the wrong. Unless you have a shared maintenance contract between all adjoining owners, where a majority vote controls the obligations of the others, you don't have a right to demand money. And even then, if there is no record of the vote, you still did it wrong. Nor can you bump the price after a price was agreed on.

Now, that said, the guy is being a dick and you did everyone a favor. They call this the school of hard knocks...........
I will say, that according to Michigan case law; I am not in the wrong. I have 4 previous cases saved (1996, 2018, 2020, 2020) that went up to the MI Court of Appeals that all got upheld that in cases of shared usage easements "...the costs of repair and maintenance be distributed among all users in proportions that closely approximate the usage of the parties". All cases where there was no actual contract or signed agreement. Barring some sort of log book or records indication of the times and how often each owner uses the road, there would be no reasonable way too accurately determine the usage by all 4 property owners, other than the 4 property owners collectively are the majority users of the easement, more so than the other 2 property owners. Therefor, it would be prudent and reasonable to distribute the costs equally across the 4 property owners. Which as such all owners had previously agreed to share the expense before the project started.

I do not have literal proof of consent for the work, as it was verbal over a phone call, I do however, have text messages after the initial deliveries were made, indicating a dollar amount owed for the material, in which Camp #2 agreed to pay the sum, which would imply consent for the initial work in the first place; as there was no protestation of the costs to be paid, or question of work done. I also have a paid receipt from the local excavating company proving that I paid them for the material, and copies of checks from the other 2 property owners for the exact amount due each camp for material; also implying that they were also in agreement with the payment amounts.

Moreover, in continuation of the above mentioned case law, which would indicate an implied duty to contribute towards repair and maintenance of a shared usage easement, no recurring fees, or continued payments is being sought after. Rather a one time payment reimbursing myself for 25% of the costs of material, as the total costs would be shared equally by 4 property owners (25% each); which was initially agreed to be reimbursed in the first place. No fees, costs, or money is being sought for time, fuel, or equipment for the actual work performed.


It would be easy to take what they decide to pony up and be done with it. However, I feel that would continue to cause problems in the future as now camp #2 got away with screwing someone over and the likelihood of doing it again would increase. I haven't yet decided to go to small claims court, as regardless of the actual amount in dispute ($180), to me it's the principal. Someone says something, has a legal obligation to follow through (IMO), then wants to go back, AFTER the work is done and over with, because they "could have done it cheaper". Hell no; i'm not playing that game. Someone that is used to barking loud to get what they want, needs to be shut up now and again. I feel that this is that time. As I said, I may loose a small claims case, in which case; oh well, that's the system. I still have a beautiful road I use. The victory would be moral, and to me, that's just as important as money.
 

·
I'm not old, honest...
Joined
·
30,494 Posts
I didn't realize that you have texts agreeing to the original amount. He is committed to that. I still think you are making an assumption that he is obligated to pay you the added amount. Tell him you will see him in small claims court if you think you have a case.
 

·
I'll Direc your TV
Joined
·
8,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didn't realize that you have texts agreeing to the original amount. He is committed to that. I still think you are making an assumption that he is obligated to pay you the added amount. Tell him you will see him in small claims court if you think you have a case.
Again, a fair point. My assumption is based on precedent set by previous case law, which isn't actually binding. Just to me, a really good indicator.
 

·
Project Antitube
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
It's probably time to put up cameras. I think you have a new problem and it will likely get worse. Especially if he's really butthurt over $200. He probably spends that on Monster and Newports every month.

By any chance is this the last guy on the road?

If he agreed, and you saved it in writing, to pay anything he already agreed to maintenance of the road. Forever going forward he is bound to participate in the maintenance of the road regardless of cost. If he chooses to not participate in the maintenance of the road, he can lose deeded access to the easement, even if he is landlocked.
 

·
I'll Direc your TV
Joined
·
8,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
It's probably time to put up cameras. I think you have a new problem and it will likely get worse. Especially if he's really butthurt over $200. He probably spends that on Monster and Newports every month.

By any chance is this the last guy on the road?


If he agreed, and you saved it in writing, to pay anything he already agreed to maintenance of the road. Forever going forward he is bound to participate in the maintenance of the road regardless of cost. If he chooses to not participate in the maintenance of the road, he can lose deeded access to the easement, even if he is landlocked.
That's the larger issue too, I think. In either situation, I don't feel like this is going to be a one time thing and be done. I think there is just going to be more issues in the future. No, he is not the last guy on the road, my property is actually the last one on the road. He is in the middle; the other 3 camps are all in the middle of the road. The total length of the camp road is about 1.5 miles; the part that I fixed was about .75 miles; goes from the US highway to just before camp #3. It passes over 2 other properties, with the main part of road being on a completely separate guys property, he hasn't been involved in the costs and stuff because their use of the road is almost zero, Same with the other property. Those two don't use the road at all; so to me, they're not even a part of this situation. The way the road passes over which property in order is: Two non-user property, then through camp #2 property, then Camp #1, then camp #3, and mine is the last one. I only spoke with the three camps and we all agreed on the first half of the road because the last half was mostly on my property (which is also gated at our property line). So I was not going to ask they pay for that as they don't use it. All 4 camps, use the portion of road that was regraded; which was why we agreed on that in the first place. From what I see, the law does not specify how much of the easement you have access to, just that you have access in a manner that allows ingress and egress to your property. I would happily argue that they do not have to have access to my gate, as there is no access through it to get to their property. Just like they could technically put a gate on the offshoot road that leads to their camp, and not give me access to it. I have no reason to have it as it does not lead to/from my property. The main road is the only actual shared use easement road for all those properties.


Right from the get go, the first time I met him, he rubbed me the wrong way. He made it a point to tell me it was "ok with him" if i'm just riding down the road; (was on my atv, as I have access from my house to the camp through roads); Think that and the current issue is stemming from he has a incorrect understanding of what an easement with shared access is.

Are you sure? That would be interesting to learn more about that. The only thing that I saw mentioned in Michigan easement is that even if it's not specifically stated, you have a right to ingress and egress from you property; as well I know that at least from my memory, all the property deeds have an easement written in the deed that allows them access utilizing that main road; It's written in my deed, as well as the master deed (have a copy of that too, from 1976) recorded from the original seller when the guy separated his land into these separate properties.
 

·
Project Antitube
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Easements are a PITA. They're like a boat launch, they bring out the worst in people. There are 3 kinds of easements, I don't remember the other two but the most contested ones are Prescriptive which is where you've been using it for 15 years. Figure out what kind are on your deeds and theirs. My parents fought about easements for years, until they slowly bought all the properties they had to drive through. Magically ever since they did that they have almost no driveway maintenance because they drive slow down it. Their experience made me expressly avoid easements, and while the end of my driveway is shared with my neighbors, it is in the easement for the county road so I don't care and it's not on either of our deeds. Technically they barely drive on my property before entering the easement. Same for me on their property.

The easement also says what kind it is. Most only allow you "fair and reasonable unobstructed access to your property". They can't put a gate on it or landmines, but they don't have to make it so a Bugatti can navigate it. They don't have to allow parking, tooling around on your golfcart, or anything else. If they use the easement at all, they have to participate in the maintenance of the easement. If they don't use the easement, then they don't have to participate in the maintenance of the easement, even if it goes through their property. However, if they use it as its intended use as an easement they can be forced to participate in maintenance legally. So if they mow it or drive across it with their ATV to get to some other piece of property they don't have to maintain it. However, the moment a tire hits it from their automobile they have to pay for maintenance.

For my great uncle that lives in Harrison, he's had similar battles as you. He owns some vacant land that had an easement (16.5', not even the standard 33') on it so the mouth breathers down the river can get to their incest nests without driving down some clapped out dirt roads that took like an extra 2 miles to get to town vs going through the property to asphalt. My great uncle can get to the road without using the easement. The only reason my great uncle owned it was so he could keep it vacant so he didn't have to look at houses across the street. One day he had a buddy's wife use the easement to do a pull-through with their kids' snowmobile trailer and the neighbors were out there taking pictures. My great uncle would never pay for any maintenance of the easement because he didn't use it, it was vacant farmland, and it pissed off the knobs down the road. He got a letter from the court system he was getting sued for like 26 years of private road maintenance. I think he ended up paying $10 or something hilarious. Fast forward 9 months and my great uncle sued them for cutting down trees and a bunch of other shit including gating property that wasn't theirs and stuff like that. My great uncle is a retired professor so he was ready for it. It was like an epic long game. He had polaroids of all the shit he took pictures going back to the early 80s. They tried Prescriptive use because only the first property had deeded easement access. They did all sorts of other stupid shit trying to get it via historical use showing old family phones and crap but he had polaroids with the newspaper showing him knocking shit down they'd put along the fenced easement (the edge of the easement was marked with a fence, the other side was the river). It ended up being a huge pissing match and threats from the mouth breathers but I know they eventually ended up paying five figures for trees they cut down illegally, illegal dumping, and like a year later they lost the easement.

Anyway, good luck, and I still recommend cameras.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,365 Posts
Reinforce the gate and give keys to the ones that paid. Leave a note for camp #2. that reads his key is under the money he owes for road repairs.
 

·
I'll Direc your TV
Joined
·
8,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Easements are a PITA. They're like a boat launch, they bring out the worst in people. There are 3 kinds of easements, I don't remember the other two but the most contested ones are Prescriptive which is where you've been using it for 15 years. Figure out what kind are on your deeds and theirs. My parents fought about easements for years, until they slowly bought all the properties they had to drive through. Magically ever since they did that they have almost no driveway maintenance because they drive slow down it. Their experience made me expressly avoid easements, and while the end of my driveway is shared with my neighbors, it is in the easement for the county road so I don't care and it's not on either of our deeds. Technically they barely drive on my property before entering the easement. Same for me on their property.

The easement also says what kind it is. Most only allow you "fair and reasonable unobstructed access to your property". They can't put a gate on it or landmines, but they don't have to make it so a Bugatti can navigate it. They don't have to allow parking, tooling around on your golfcart, or anything else. If they use the easement at all, they have to participate in the maintenance of the easement. If they don't use the easement, then they don't have to participate in the maintenance of the easement, even if it goes through their property. However, if they use it as its intended use as an easement they can be forced to participate in maintenance legally. So if they mow it or drive across it with their ATV to get to some other piece of property they don't have to maintain it. However, the moment a tire hits it from their automobile they have to pay for maintenance.

For my great uncle that lives in Harrison, he's had similar battles as you. He owns some vacant land that had an easement (16.5', not even the standard 33') on it so the mouth breathers down the river can get to their incest nests without driving down some clapped out dirt roads that took like an extra 2 miles to get to town vs going through the property to asphalt. My great uncle can get to the road without using the easement. The only reason my great uncle owned it was so he could keep it vacant so he didn't have to look at houses across the street. One day he had a buddy's wife use the easement to do a pull-through with their kids' snowmobile trailer and the neighbors were out there taking pictures. My great uncle would never pay for any maintenance of the easement because he didn't use it, it was vacant farmland, and it pissed off the knobs down the road. He got a letter from the court system he was getting sued for like 26 years of private road maintenance. I think he ended up paying $10 or something hilarious. Fast forward 9 months and my great uncle sued them for cutting down trees and a bunch of other shit including gating property that wasn't theirs and stuff like that. My great uncle is a retired professor so he was ready for it. It was like an epic long game. He had polaroids of all the shit he took pictures going back to the early 80s. They tried Prescriptive use because only the first property had deeded easement access. They did all sorts of other stupid shit trying to get it via historical use showing old family phones and crap but he had polaroids with the newspaper showing him knocking shit down they'd put along the fenced easement (the edge of the easement was marked with a fence, the other side was the river). It ended up being a huge pissing match and threats from the mouth breathers but I know they eventually ended up paying five figures for trees they cut down illegally, illegal dumping, and like a year later they lost the easement.

Anyway, good luck, and I still recommend cameras.
Wow, that's just crazy. Just from looking up previous cases about similar issues, the majority of rulings said that there can be a locked gate on the property, as long as everyone has either a key or combination to the lock; courts said that a locked gate did not constitute obstructed access, or it being inaccessible. The gate issue I don't see any problems with, as I think I would have the best case for it, especially considering that the property in question is not regular residential and is hunting property; which would reasonably require a gate for security. Also considering the issue went from "it's illegal and needs to go" to "well, there's might be too many people that have the combination, so it needs to change to a keyed lock". Makes sense to me...not.

I agree, i'll be putting up camera along our road, it's not exactly a hop skip and a jaunt through the woods; parts are nearly inaccessible due to the density of the swamp. so the road is almost the only way to get there. You can get there through the two other camps' property, but they also have cameras along those paths cause that's actually where some hunting stands are.

Literally none of this has ever really been a problem in the past, 45 years. The biggest problem was just like I said, side bar bickering, but nothing ever actually substantial or worth mentioning past the incident. Now, you get a guy that's think he's the biggest rooster, and has to prove it, anyway he can.

Reinforce the gate and give keys to the ones that paid. Leave a note for camp #2. that reads his key is under the money he owes for road repairs.
Literally lol'd at that
😂
 
  • Like
Reactions: aber61

·
Project Antitube
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
You can put up a gate if you want, but not if it obstructs others' deeded access. Everyone can agree to put up a gate on the easement's owner's property and share a key if they so wish. Remember that it's an easement, it is not property you own. On your property you can do anything you want, but you can't obstruct others with deeded access to the easement.

So let's say...

On your neighbor's property, in the easement on THEIR property, you put a gate on your side of their driveway. It makes sense because you're the last person on the private road, right? Who needs to go past their driveway besides you? Well, when you put up that gate you technically start the clock for adverse possession if you don't have it in writing that the only reason you put up a gate is because they allowed you to. It gets messy. After 15 years you can legally go to the township and start a lawsuit in the county to claim that you have been maintaining that easement and it is now yours via adverse possession. This is why in so many townships they don't allow private roads and require a minimum of 200' of road frontage for every rural parcel.

Let's say you have a "verbal agreement"... well, it's not worth the paper it is written on. If you can prove that you've been taking care of it for 15 years there is a good chance you'll win a 66' swath through your neighbor's property.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
Sorry but you are in the wrong. Unless you have a shared maintenance contract between all adjoining owners, where a majority vote controls the obligations of the others, you don't have a right to demand money. And even then, if there is no record of the vote, you still did it wrong. Nor can you bump the price after a price was agreed on.

Now, that said, the guy is being a dick and you did everyone a favor. They call this the school of hard knocks...........
^^^Spot on.

In an ideal world, the three other road users would pay for the materials and you would supply the labor and equipment to do the job. As you’ve seen, the world is far from ideal. That said you made two mistakes (three if you count stepping up to the plate to take command of the project as a mistake). The first was not waiting for guy #3’s approval before starting the project (you dodged a bullet on that one) and the second was not getting the cost increase approved by everyone before getting the extra truck loads.

While your efforts and donated labor are commendable, that doesn’t give you the right to spend other people’s money without their explicit consent. And just because they agreed to the initial project, that isn’t consent for cost overruns at your sole discretion. Would you expect a paid contractor or auto mechanic to continue with a job once they determine it will cost the customer significantly more without first getting the customer’s approval for the higher cost?


30+ years of living with shared gravel driveways and private dirt roads has taught me to expect nothing in return for doing the snow plowing or road maintenance, not even a simple thank you. You’ll get the whole spectrum of people; on one extreme are those who insist on giving more than their fair share toward the expenses and on the other extreme are the freeloaders and/or entitled assholes that seem to think they are doing you a favor by allowing you to maintain their road! So if you are planning on doing a disproportionate share of the road maintenance, then you better grow a thicker skin and expect to have your time and labor not count towards anything.
Projects like this I only do cash first or know that I am making a donation for the cheep ass POS that doubles back on his word If you got your 540 up front you would only be out the 160 extra right now.

RBB
Best policy (y)

People suck, you can fight it to your grave or you can learn to roll with it.
 

·
I'll Direc your TV
Joined
·
8,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You can put up a gate if you want, but not if it obstructs others' deeded access. Everyone can agree to put up a gate on the easement's owner's property and share a key if they so wish. Remember that it's an easement, it is not property you own. On your property you can do anything you want, but you can't obstruct others with deeded access to the easement.

So let's say...

On your neighbor's property, in the easement on THEIR property, you put a gate on your side of their driveway. It makes sense because you're the last person on the private road, right? Who needs to go past their driveway besides you? Well, when you put up that gate you technically start the clock for adverse possession if you don't have it in writing that the only reason you put up a gate is because they allowed you to. It gets messy. After 15 years you can legally go to the township and start a lawsuit in the county to claim that you have been maintaining that easement and it is now yours via adverse possession. This is why in so many townships they don't allow private roads and require a minimum of 200' of road frontage for every rural parcel.

Let's say you have a "verbal agreement"... well, it's not worth the paper it is written on. If you can prove that you've been taking care of it for 15 years there is a good chance you'll win a 66' swath through your neighbor's property.

Looking at previous similar cases with gates and locked gates on shared use easements; MI courts have consistently upheld that a locked gate does not constitute unreasonable interference with use of the easement, as long as all parties have are reasonable access to the gate (including having the combination or key to a lock). (Smith v Straughn). You also cannot claim adverse possession when the property in dispute in part of an share use easement (that you already have). It sounds like you are talking about a Prescriptive Easement.

Also, I don't think I ever actually talked about it; the gate is not on any one of our properties. The gate itself is located on one of the property owners that does not use the road. The 4 main property owners drive through 2 other pieces of land, of which all have shared access easement rights via that road. The gate in question is one of the 2 pieces of land, owned by a separate person from the 4 main properties. There hasn't been (at least not yet, knock on wood) any dispute on who can and can't use the road itself; seems like the dispute is there being a gate on it. Which as I said before, MI case law supports it being ok. My property had an Easement by Necessity written into in back in the 70s when the original owner (of all the surrounding land, all one big piece) split up the land into different parcels. As the land owner that split it into parcels, creating landlocked parcels, he described the scope, area, and place of where the ingress and egress easement will be. In my deed I have, it describes the same easement as access for purposes of ingress and egress, and is written onto the deeds of other other properties (At least 2 others, as i've spoken with Camp 2, and other owner 2 who indicate their deeds have our easement written into them). Additionally, I do have documentation for the past 25 years (photos, receipts) of continued use and maintenance of that road, if for whatever reason I had to try to get a Prescriptive Easement.

^^^Spot on.

In an ideal world, the three other road users would pay for the materials and you would supply the labor and equipment to do the job. As you’ve seen, the world is far from ideal. That said you made two mistakes (three if you count stepping up to the plate to take command of the project as a mistake). The first was not waiting for guy #3’s approval before starting the project (you dodged a bullet on that one) and the second was not getting the cost increase approved by everyone before getting the extra truck loads.

While your efforts and donated labor are commendable, that doesn’t give you the right to spend other people’s money without their explicit consent. And just because they agreed to the initial project, that isn’t consent for cost overruns at your sole discretion. Would you expect a paid contractor or auto mechanic to continue with a job once they determine it will cost the customer significantly more without first getting the customer’s approval for the higher cost?


30+ years of living with shared gravel driveways and private dirt roads has taught me to expect nothing in return for doing the snow plowing or road maintenance, not even a simple thank you. You’ll get the whole spectrum of people; on one extreme are those who insist on giving more than their fair share toward the expenses and on the other extreme are the freeloaders and/or entitled assholes that seem to think they are doing you a favor by allowing you to maintain their road! So if you are planning on doing a disproportionate share of the road maintenance, then you better grow a thicker skin and expect to have your time and labor not count towards anything.

Best policy (y)

People suck, you can fight it to your grave or you can learn to roll with it.

100% agree there, I really could have said nothing if he didn't want to pay; because that was on my dime then for sure. Luckily, the guy was super cool about it, understood nobody had his contact information. Bullet dogged for sure.

I do see that point, and I agree it is a legitimate argument. If that were the actual issue, I would like to think i'd agree, suck it up and move on. I don't agree that's the actual issue. I see this as dick measuring contest, camp #2 is a "hands on" guy, and has to be the center of attention, because he was not then he has to create a problem to prove he should have been.

It's still on me though, I need to change the way I do and look at things, for the past, at least 20 years for me, our camp have been doing all the road maintenance as nobody else would. Never said much about it, because it was just easier rather than start a contest. Plus, the maintenance was mostly a dozen hours of brushing, couple hours of tractor work, and $20 here, and $20 there for fuel during any given year. Why throw a fit over that. I decided I was not going to shell out $3,000 out of just my pocket; that's a lot different a couple hours of work. Which was why all 3 agreed to share the cost (before the cost was spent mind you), Camp #2 has only been there for 3 years, and being the biggest dick shower guy he seems to be, has to go out of his way to prove it and this petty throwing a tantrum over $180, and bring up something 100% unrelated, is just showing the "im a macho man" having to stroke his ego and prove he's the biggest dick.

Seems pretty much the going rate from now on for the camp.
 

·
Yooper In Training
Joined
·
7,290 Posts
30+ years of living with shared gravel driveways and private dirt roads has taught me to expect nothing in return for doing the snow plowing or road maintenance, not even a simple thank you. You’ll get the whole spectrum of people; on one extreme are those who insist on giving more than their fair share toward the expenses and on the other extreme are the freeloaders and/or entitled assholes that seem to think they are doing you a favor by allowing you to maintain their road! So if you are planning on doing a disproportionate share of the road maintenance, then you better grow a thicker skin and expect to have your time and labor not count towards anything.
Bingo. My house is on an easement with 2 others. Me and one other guy do all maintenance, plowing, grading, etc. It works well, we both enjoy doing it and it ends up just being whoever gets to it first. The third house is owned by a couple nerdy recluse vampires who contribute nothing to upkeep or snow removal. I'll still plow their short section of personal driveway when it snows heavy, but I purposely do a really shitty job of it:LOL: Prior to them there had been 2 different families of renters that were equally useless. There's been no monetary need for maintenance or repairs, so that hasn't been an issue, but if we eventually bring in a gravel train or something for a fresh topcoat it'll be handled by me or the other contributor, and we'll get payment up front from everyone.
 

·
Yooper In Training
Joined
·
7,290 Posts
It's still on me though, I need to change the way I do and look at things, for the past, at least 20 years for me, our camp have been doing all the road maintenance as nobody else would. Never said much about it, because it was just easier rather than start a contest. Plus, the maintenance was mostly a dozen hours of brushing, couple hours of tractor work, and $20 here, and $20 there for fuel during any given year. Why throw a fit over that. I decided I was not going to shell out $3,000 out of just my pocket; that's a lot different a couple hours of work. Which was why all 3 agreed to share the cost (before the cost was spent mind you), Camp #2 has only been there for 3 years, and being the biggest dick shower guy he seems to be, has to go out of his way to prove it and this petty throwing a tantrum over $180, and bring up something 100% unrelated, is just showing the "im a macho man" having to stroke his ego and prove he's the biggest dick.

Seems pretty much the going rate from now on for the camp.
While your intentions and principle are morally correct, it sounds like you're participating just as much in the dick measuring contest. Pick your battles, some is worth fighting and some isn't, just like how you've been maintaining the road all along because no one else would. While you don't want to let him and his petty BS "win", also realize there will be no winners here, especially if you make an enemy at a longterm property. If he doesn't pay up and you're still irked by it, make it clear that you will not be buying materials again without cash up front and then just shut up and if you still feel a need to "win" just discreetly change the grading and drainage so his section of driveway gets washed out and rutted. Sure it's petty and childish, but giving karma a bit of a push while you sit back and laugh is fun once in a while.
 

·
I'll Direc your TV
Joined
·
8,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
While your intentions and principle are morally correct, it sounds like you're participating just as much in the dick measuring contest. Pick your battles, some is worth fighting and some isn't, just like how you've been maintaining the road all along because no one else would. While you don't want to let him and his petty BS "win", also realize there will be no winners here, especially if you make an enemy at a longterm property. If he doesn't pay up and you're still irked by it, make it clear that you will not be buying materials again without cash up front and then just shut up and if you still feel a need to "win" just discreetly change the grading and drainage so his section of driveway gets washed out and rutted. Sure it's petty and childish, but giving karma a bit of a push while you sit back and laugh is fun once in a while.
I was actually thinking about that last night. I am doing the same thing; Was actually thinking maybe I need to adjust my way i'm going about this.

Why not extend the olive branch, take the high road? Apologize for what he sees a slight (doesn't matter if I don't or not),come to an understanding that it's everyone's road, talk about what they expect, what I expect, want/ I want etc. I'm not going anywhere, and neither is camp #2. I'd much rather either get along with the neighbors, or at least have a reserved understanding than outright hostility. If he still decides that the contest is still going on, whatever, that's his perview. I did what I did to make it right.

....I actually already have given Karma a "nudge" in the right direction, long game. So either way, may not be today, may no be tomorrow, but karma will catch up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnnyJ

·
Yooper In Training
Joined
·
7,290 Posts
Yep, that's the attitude that's going to make the best of the situation. Having to be(or appear) right isn't always the most productive path forward whether you actually are right or not.
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top