I have a question re: rights and obligations for proceeding with replacement of a shared fence when one neighbor is demanding that the work be done solely by him at a price to me that is much higher than other quotes. This may be long-winded but I want to make sure I have presented the relevant facts:
My neighbor and I share a fence which runs right along the property line between our backyards. I have had a recent survey done and there are markers in place which confirm this. The fence is ancient (predates both of us as property owners) and has become quite dilapidated. We both own dogs so it's important to have proper fencing in place.
Recently, the neighbor came to my door to discuss the replacement of this fence. I was happy to hear from him, as I had planned to contact him about it anyway. He then told me that he is a general contractor and could do it at cost, with us splitting this amount 50/50. He claimed this would save us both money as it would be below the retail price to hire an outside company to do it. I told him to provide me with a quote and what he proposed. I also indicated that I would like the new fence to match existing fences that run along the other sides.
A few weeks later, he came back with a number that seemed, well, suprisingly high for something that was supposed to be "at cost". He did not provide a quote (e.g. materials, labor) to show how he arrived at that number. He claimed to have received estimates from other companies that were about the same amount of money, but did not provide these estimates or even company names. He also got very vague when I asked him how his "at cost" price came in at the same amount as the estimates he received for full price.
I checked with our landscape architect/contractor (who isn't cheap) and his retail price for doing this job was about 40% less that my neighbor's supposed "at cost" price. I contacted the neighbor and told him the good news that we could have the job done for substantially less, by a very reputable and well-known high-end company. As the quote my neighbor had given me was supposed to be his out-of-pocket cost, we would both presumably save money by contracting with this landscaper and splitting this lower price 50/50.
Things went south from there. My neighbor asserted that his price is his price, and he will not agree to work with or pay any other contractors for this job. He also refuses to cooperate with the permit dep't. He stated that he will not agree to replacement of this fence by anyone other than him, for any price other than what he's quoted, under his conditions. If I don't pay him his price, I will have to "wait and see what happens" to the old fence.
At this point I told him that I did not understand his reasoning, but if this is his bottom line he should provide me with a written contract/proposal outlining the scope of work, price, terms, etc. and I will review it. (I checked with the state and they confirmed that I am entitled to get something in writing, whether I'm "just a neighbor" or not.) I also asked for his contractor's license number. He has not responded since.
So now I am left with a shared fence that needs to be replaced sooner rather than later, with a neighbor who will only cooperate if I pay him a very high price without a written contract. We do need to proceed with this project soon as it is a hazard, but what are my rights and options at this point? Suggestions? Thanks for reading.