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Neighbor roof leaking and asked me to split the cost

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 26th, 2021 11:15 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 20, 2021
3 posts
1 upvote

Neighbor roof leaking and asked me to split the cost

Hi all

We live in a semi detached house.
Our neighbor hired someone to remove the ice on their side of the roof (close to our side).
While the person was working on the roof, he knocked on our door and asked if we could split the cost.

I initially said yes because he claimed the area is at the center between our house.
But when I go out to talk to him, the leaking point is at least 1feet from our side's exterior wall.

I've checked our room next to their leaking area, it was totally fine.
I'll be going up to the attic tomorrow to check if there's any trace of water leaking in.

My question is,
1) if he hired someone to do the fix without consulting us prior, do I have the right to reject to pay?
2) if I don't find any leak on my side, do I have the responsibility for the fix?
3) does he have to proof the damage is related our side if he wants us to split the cost?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
25 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Oct 24, 2016
966 posts
819 upvotes
ON
How much $ are we talking about here? Sometimes it’s not worth to sour relations with the neighbour for a small amount, especially if you initially agreed to split the cost.

In response to your questions, no you don’t need to pay if the leak is not on your side and he didn’t consult you prior to hiring someone.
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Sr. Member
Dec 9, 2013
596 posts
470 upvotes
Toronto
Of course you don't have to pay, it's all verbal and no contract.

But do people really need a reminder that it's your neighbour? You're literally sharing a wall with them and seeing them on a regular basis and you're willing to ruin/sour that relationship? If you're unsure, check yourself and talk to them to clear it up..

It's like we're all 5 years old again
Sr. Member
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Feb 25, 2004
931 posts
414 upvotes
Longueuil
miscbrah1 wrote: Of course you don't have to pay, it's all verbal and no contract.

But do people really need a reminder that it's your neighbour? You're literally sharing a wall with them and seeing them on a regular basis and you're willing to ruin/sour that relationship? If you're unsure, check yourself and talk to them to clear it up..

It's like we're all 5 years old again
You are right that the relationship with the neighbor is important. However the verbal contract here is void IMO. The neighbor asked to split the cost saying the damage was between the 2 houses. It is not the case, the OP agreed based on a false reason.
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Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1408 posts
566 upvotes
Having a shared roof doesn't mean you have you do repairs/re-roof at the same time. It does help though if you were to fix/re-roof at the same time to ensure that there's continuity of water protection on both sides of the roof. It also looks much better.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 5, 2004
25353 posts
4467 upvotes
Just go talk to your neighbour. Explain that you're more than happy to share the cost if it's actually in the middle, but that because it's only on his side, that it doesn't seem justified to split the cost. Explain that if you have issues with the roof on your side, then you'll repair it with no cost to your neighbour.

Perhaps it's worth discussing with the contractor though. Even if it is a foot from your side, maybe some of the shared roof is an issue, or perhaps if left, it will create problems for your side too. If that's the case, then I think you should be a good neighbour and split the cost.
Deal Addict
Jun 20, 2010
1914 posts
1123 upvotes
Are they re-roofing their entire house or just the affected area? Is your roof due for replacement anyway? If it's visible, a repair only may affect the look of your house and thus affecting the resale value since being so close, potential buyers wouldn't be able to tell if there was damage to your house.

Regardless, a foot is too close. I would atleast split for a proper repair to ensure it won't cause damage to your house in the future. Ideally redo the whole roof if it's needed anyway.
Deal Addict
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Jun 12, 2008
2825 posts
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Ancaster
How'd you make out OP?
Deal Addict
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Oct 13, 2008
4584 posts
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Their side ... their problem .. their cost ... simple.
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[OP]
Newbie
Feb 20, 2021
3 posts
1 upvote
eclone wrote: Are they re-roofing their entire house or just the affected area? Is your roof due for replacement anyway? If it's visible, a repair only may affect the look of your house and thus affecting the resale value since being so close, potential buyers wouldn't be able to tell if there was damage to your house.

Regardless, a foot is too close. I would atleast split for a proper repair to ensure it won't cause damage to your house in the future. Ideally redo the whole roof if it's needed anyway.
no, they simply just hired someone to remove the ice.
it's totally temporary fix and the problem will reoccurs next winter, or even next week since we just had another snow today.
he submitted a claim to the tarion for false structural design, but i doubt they'll do anything about it.
Shaner wrote: Just go talk to your neighbour. Explain that you're more than happy to share the cost if it's actually in the middle, but that because it's only on his side, that it doesn't seem justified to split the cost. Explain that if you have issues with the roof on your side, then you'll repair it with no cost to your neighbour.

Perhaps it's worth discussing with the contractor though. Even if it is a foot from your side, maybe some of the shared roof is an issue, or perhaps if left, it will create problems for your side too. If that's the case, then I think you should be a good neighbour and split the cost.
yeah, i'm planning to talk to him. but would like to gather all information before hand.
i emailed the city regards to the by-laws for how to deal with the repair in my situation.
I'm planning to go up to my attic tomorrow to check if there's any sign of leaking on my side.

the more i look at their roof, the more i'm convinced that the leak is on their side.
because their roof has 2 levels, he claims the leak was at the center of the window shown(yellow start).
the window's wall is inset, right below where the main roof and their pop out roof connection is.

the house is facing north, that area hardly gets any sunlight, so it penetrates snow/ice in the area above the window.
I believe the membrane in the connection between the shingles and the brick wall (pink circled area) are failing.

anyways, once i checked on my attic and received the respond from the city, i'll talk to my neighbour.

quite frankly, our basement has a leak at the corner of the shared wall and the back wall.
i'll probably going to ask him nicely to split the bill as well.
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Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2011
1166 posts
249 upvotes
OTTAWA
OP: As you wrote, "the more i look at their roof, the more i'm convinced that the leak is on their side, because their roof has 2 levels, he claims the leak was at the center of the window shown(yellow start)." you are not responsible to pay for his repair. In fact the contractor he hires should be responsible if the contractor is insured.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 23, 2008
11688 posts
8158 upvotes
GTA, ON
This isn't a reshingle. If the structural failure is coming from their side of the house then it's none of your business. Their cost, not yours.
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Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1408 posts
566 upvotes
If ice dams are constantly forming there, there's an issue with the roof on HIS side that needs to get sorted out. Either get that section of roof reshingled or install heating wires so ice doesn't form there, but it's clearly on his side.
Sr. Member
Dec 9, 2013
596 posts
470 upvotes
Toronto
WingYu wrote: $400 for removing the ice
Just a guess (since we're all behind computers), but they possibly do not have enough insulation in that section. See my attached photo.
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Sr. Member
Jul 11, 2017
618 posts
708 upvotes
The fact that people have to ask people on the internet about common sense problems now, is the destruction of society. It's your neighbor, talk to them, wow!
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
7174 posts
4355 upvotes
Victoria, BC
I wouldn't be willing to ruin my good relationship with a neighbor over $200, but you do as you wish.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
8678 posts
1624 upvotes
Looking from the OP's perspective and if his diagram is correct then why on earth should he be willing to give his neighbor $200 to be a good guy? If the neighbor was a really good one he wouldn't have asked. 2 summers ago I had to fix the grading and crushed gravel between my home and the neighbors. Not only did I not ask them for any money, I didn't even ask them to help to which he offered to as he saw the work being done.

The only way the OP should be held to pay for anything is if the entire roof is getting replaced for both homes. If the OP pays for this then what next? They guy's furnace? And by the way, what if the repair turns out to be done poorly - the OP might be on the hook to pay again for repairs on someone else's home. The answer should be "no" explaining to the neighbor the entire repair is in-fact being done on the neighbors roof and not the OPs.
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