Hi to all.
We have recently finished a full garden landscape and as part of the project the client asked us to replace a small fence. The fence belonged to the neighbour so we sought their consent before carrying out any work. We replaced the fence and put it back in exactly the same place as it was before so as not to alter the boundary. Now that the job is complete the client has complained that the fence tapers in and is not parallel with the fence on the opposite side. I pointed out he probably didn't notice the difference in angle before because 1, the old fence was falling down and 2, the area was overgrown. He wanted to know why we hadn't asked about straightening it before doing the work? I told him it would involve changing the boundaries and as such I did not want to be involved in any future boundary disputes, as far as I am concerned we did the right thing by respecting the pre-existing line. He countered that he would have spoken to the neighbour to get their consent as we were only talking about altering it by 10-15cm into their garden at one end. To complicate matters the neighbour has a large-ish mahonia with it's root crown only about 15cm from the base of the post to contend with if we carried out his plan. I pointed this out to him and suggested the neighbour might take a bit of a dim view of us hacking away at it to make way for a post. I informed him that the only viable alternative was to move the fence-line 10-15cm into HIS garden at one end, something he seemed strangely reluctant to do. Anyway, my problem is he still owes me money on the job and I fear he is going to try to mess me about and ask me to move the fence before settling up despite telling me this morning he would pay, seemingly accepting the fence had to stay as it is. He still hasn't transferred the balance so I am a little concerned.
If he does come back and ask me to move the fence what are my options? Obviously I want to get paid but I don't feel this is a legitimate excuse for witholding money. At the same time litigation is a lengthy process and I don't have the time or the inclination to go down that path yet, I'll give it a few days for him to pay before I even consider it. The alternative of course is I just move the bloody thing but I want to know what safeguards there are so I can't be held liable in the event of any disputes between them or any future occupants of either property. Do I have good grounds for simply refusing as I believe we did the right thing to begin with?
Thanks in advance for any assitance.