Looking for advice- property damage

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by SerenityNow, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. SerenityNow

    SerenityNow Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
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    We have a wood fenced back yard and the cable box and mid American box are inside our fence. Saw mediacom and mid American flags in our back yard earlier this week, which isn't surprising since a house is being built on the lot next us, so didn't think much of it. Was outside this afternoon, and took a look around the side of our garage to see how big the drifts were (our fence gate is back there, too.) What I saw made me livid. The section of fence next to our gate was torn off and lying in the adjacent lot.

    whoever put the flags in, instead of trying to go thru the gate (I'm sure it was stuck from the snow) or climbing the fence, or god forbid giving me a call to ask to get in the back yard, tore off the fence panel for access.

    Don't know if it's mediacom or mid American, or if it's the company they contract with, but what sort of recourse do I have against the perpetrator of the property damage? Or do I even have any?
     
  2. 3TrueFans

    3TrueFans Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2009
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    I assume you would, but you'd have to be able to know who actually did it, no?
     
  3. SerenityNow

    SerenityNow Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
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    yeah, figured I'd contact both utilities and see what their response is. It's unbelievable to me someone would do that.
     
  4. chuckd4735

    chuckd4735 Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2006
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    If the fence is located on a public utility easement, you may not have recourse. However, still a shady move by the utility company.
     
  5. acody

    acody Member

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  6. SerenityNow

    SerenityNow Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
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    It is all within my property line.
     
  7. NebrClone

    NebrClone Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    It depends on the easements. Was the damaged fence on the easement?
     
  8. Wesley

    Wesley Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
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    My guess is power company, not dumb mediacom.
     
  9. chuckd4735

    chuckd4735 Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2006
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    Yeah, but most subdivisions have a 10-15' public utility easement from the rear and/or side property lines. Its your property, yes, but the utilities own the easement.
     
  10. fwiw

    fwiw Member

    May 20, 2009
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    It was probably a contractor that was doing the locates.

    Since you mentioned that the boxes are inside your fence, chances are the fence is in an easement, meaning it can be moved/removed if there's work going on in the easement (even within your property lines). However since they were just doing locates, I would argue that's unnecessary damage ... call Iowa One Call and find out who did the work and mention that there was damage to your property.
     
  11. Covenant Clone

    Covenant Clone Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2006
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    It may not matter...most developments have 5-10' side yard setbacks. Fences typically go right on or close to the property line but that setback are is an easement which utility companies can use for anything they need to. Definitely still make some calls and see what they say but be prepared to get some bad news.
     
  12. Wesley

    Wesley Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
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    I know they have to bury the power line to the new house and they probably dug through the fence area. Lucky for me my power easement is on neighboring property behind my cedar fence for the new houses behind me.
     
  13. SerenityNow

    SerenityNow Active Member

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    Never thought of one call...thanks for the reminder.

    And I didn't realize easement was also around the side and rear (this was the side, edge of my lot)... I always thought it was the ground the other side of the sidewalk only.
     
  14. acody

    acody Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    Take photos and contact both. Ask for the process to file a property damage claim. It's also covered under your homeowners policy subject to a deductible of course. Surprised they are placing flags to apparently dig in frozen ground.
     
  15. KezClone

    KezClone Active Member

    Jun 30, 2006
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    About 10-11 years ago, I was renting a place in Boone and had my wife's car parked behind the alleyway garage. Went back there to find the entire rear window smashed and the trunk lid dented. I looked up to see recent cable hardware installed on a utility pole next to the car. (It was cable, not power, I found out later.)

    Managed to track someone down at the cable company that admitted they had an independent contractor working in that area that day. THEY called the contractor, he admitted the accident, and they sent me a check for $1500 within 10 business days.

    Totally blew my mind they actually admitted guilt and paid up, PROMPTLY.
     
  16. chuckd4735

    chuckd4735 Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2006
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    Check out your abstract if you have it handy. The plat should show the easement (if there is one), and there should be an easement document as well outlining the conditions.
     
  17. Cyfan4good

    Cyfan4good Active Member

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    I'd call them both and see which one is planning work there. Tell them about the damage at the same time it was flagged and that you expect the damage to be taken care of. The sooner you let them know what happened the better. Keep notes on who you talked to and when.
    I've had some pipeline easement repair work done on my property over the years. The louder I talk and the more people i talk to with the company, the bigger the damage check is when they're all done.
     
  18. ExCyment

    ExCyment Active Member

    Jan 8, 2013
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    Crescent, IA
    Where I live, you can't put a fence around the utility boxes, you have to allow access outside of your fenced area. It makes for some ugly fences with small areas boxed inwards around the utilities. Perhaps that is the case in your area and they are technically in the right.
     
  19. Clonehomer

    Clonehomer Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    From my experience, the easement only requires that you must allow utility companies to use that area. In this case, you would have to grant access to your backyard. If the utility company feels that your fence is in their way it is your responsibility to take care of that. The utility company should not be the ones to modify that fence.

    If that were our yard and our dog would have gotten loose I may have taken legal action.
     
  20. MNCYWX

    MNCYWX Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2010
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    Is there actual damage if the section is put back? Are they done working? If not, perhaps it will be put back up upon completion. One would think that wouldn't be too hard to put it back up.
     

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