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Austin Construction And Real Estate Law Blog

Is your neighbor a pain in the neck? You may have legal options

When you bought your home, you probably had plans for how you hoped to enjoy your property in the future. Perhaps you wanted to fence in the backyard so your dog could run, or maybe you hoped to put in a pool so your family could enjoy long summer days together. Your plans for the future and enjoyment of your property can come to a halt when you live next door to a neighbor who is a pain in the neck. 

If you live next door to a neighbor who is a nuisance, you may think that there is nothing you can do except move or ignore it. However, behavior that was once annoying or aggravating may eventually step over the line, and you may be able to do something about it. When involved in any type of neighbor dispute or real estate issue, it can be helpful to take steps to learn about your legal options.

Is there something wrong with your construction project?

When you pay a construction company to complete a project for you, you have the expectation that the company will do what you paid them to do. Construction is complex, and various problems can arise along the way. You may discover that the company did not do what they were contracted to do or there are defects with the completed project.

What can you do to protect your interests when you learn there is a problem with your construction project? Construction companies are not typically quick to claim responsibility for issues, and it can be difficult to get the problems fixed. In some cases, it may be necessary to undertake legal action in order to fix the problem or get appropriate compensation.

Is your supplier a liability risk for your construction job?

Whether you fell into the construction trade after a summer job or you always loved using your hands to build, you now have the privilege of contributing to construction projects in Texas, either commercial or residential. Owning your own general contracting business has many positive elements, including the enormous gratification of completing a challenging project to the satisfaction of the project owner.

Unfortunately, you may also face conflicts and disputes with a project owner, particularly if the owner accuses you of using substandard materials for the project. Facing litigation for defects in your construction can be ruinous to the financial well-being of your business as well as your construction company's reputation. If you do face claims of using defective products, you may be able to share the liability with your supplier.

Where does your property end and your neighbor's begin?

Like many Texas homeowners, you may not give much thought to the exact location of your property lines. For many, this is not a pressing matter until an issue arises that gives you a reason to want to know exactly where your property ends and your neighbor's begins. Boundary line disputes are often complex, and it's smart to seek a beneficial resolution in a timely manner.

Boundary line disputes can arise from issues such as the installation of a fence, installation of a shed or building a pool. While it is sometimes possible to resolve these issues without legal action, it is always appropriate for you to take action to protect your property rights and the financial investment you made in your property.

Using a mechanic's lien to your advantage

When you subcontract to work on a construction project, you take a risk, especially if you have never worked for the contractor before or the contractor's reputation for payment is sketchy. There is always the chance that the owner of the construction project will not pay or that the contractor will not pass along to you what you deserve for the work you completed.

This is where a mechanic's lien can come in handy. A mechanic's lien, or contractor's lien, is an option Texas law provides to ensure contractors and subcontractors receive fair pay for their work. Employing such a lien is complex, but since the success of your business depends on you getting paid, it may be worth it to learn how you can benefit from filing one.

Avoiding construction fraud that can harm your company

As a contractor or developer, you deal with numerous entities in a single project. You may rely on subcontractors, accountants and laborers, all of whom are looking out for their own bottom lines. If you are committed to running an honest, reputable business, you may assume others in your industry feel the same way. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to take the moral high road to make a buck.

Fraud in the construction industry seems to be on the rise, and you may come in contact with any number of people who have slick schemes to rip you off before you realize it is happening. Knowing some of the most common fraudulent practices in construction may help you avoid becoming a victim.

Your neighbor may be liable for damage from diverted water

Even the smallest amount of water where it does not belong can cause untold harm. While water can bring immediate damage, it also seeps into hidden places in a home, car or shed where it may cause long-term issues such as mold and rot.

When you alter your landscape or construct an addition or new building on your property, you have to be aware of the way your projects may create changes in storm runoff and other water drainage. If your neighbors do not have the same consideration, you may be struggling with unexpected damage from water diverted to your property.

How could an easement affect your property rights?

As a Texas property owner, you understand the importance of knowing exactly where the property boundaries lie and any potential complications that could affect your preferred use of the land. One of these complications could include an easement on your property. If there is one, it is in your best interests to know what it means and how it will affect you.

An easement allows another party to use the property in a certain way, but it does not allow for any possessory rights. This means that another person could access your privately owned property, even if you do not want them to or they have no ownership stake in the land. There are various types of easements, and you may find it beneficial to know how to shield your property rights and interests.

Construction delays can put a monkey wrench in your project

Working in the construction business often requires you to try to predict the future. You need to think about the factors that could hinder your progress on a project. Construction delays can make or break your business.

Word of mouth still means something in the business world, and if you can't deliver on a project due to delays, it could not only cost you on a particular project, but could also cost you future clients. When thinking about how your project could get sidelined, it may help to go over a few of the most common reasons why construction delays occur.

When your neighbor's tree causes damage

Trees are among the more majestic parts of nature. Providing shade and beauty, trees are often an integral part of landscaping, on both commercial property and private residences. Austin and other areas of Texas continue to debate ordinances protecting trees. Property owners who are unfamiliar with the tree regulations may find themselves in trouble with local officials who work to protect trees of certain sizes and species.

However, what happens when a neighbor's tree is a danger or nuisance to you and your property? You may have repeatedly asked your neighbor to prune or even remove a troublesome tree, but your neighbor has not complied. Regardless of tree protection ordinances, you do have certain rights when your neighbor's tree causes or threatens to cause damage to your property.

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Law Office of Tom Murphy
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Austin, TX 78759

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