We had a second floor added to our house because of our expanding family. Our street is a big hill so the house to the right of us is lower than our house. With our house now being two stories it blocks the sun from hitting the majority of our neighbor's house as well as a good portion of her backyard closest to her house.
When we were building during the summer she was mostly upset because her flowerbeds at the back side of her house stopped getting sun. With the weather getting colder she says it’s making her house much colder because the sun never warms it up now.
So now she’s already having to use her heater even though she doesn’t usually have to this time of year. She says she now going to have a huge increase in her gas bill.
I did suggest that it might balance out since it would keep her house cooler in the summer since she wouldn’t have to use her ac as much. She says she never uses her ac though because she likes it warm.
Anyway she wants us to pay for the difference in her gas bill. Saying if we had just built out she wouldn’t be having this problem. We didn’t build out though because we would have lost a lot of outdoor space which we use.
She says she’ll even show me her past electric and gas bills to prove it. I still don’t really feel like it’s our responsibility to pay for that though. EDIT: We did have permits and inspections done.
Our neighbors cut down a perfectly healthy tree that shaded most of our yard/house all summer long because it was messy, and they were sick of dealing with it. It was quite an eye-opener for me as to how much a neighbor can inadvertently influence your property use/quality of life.
It ruined the use of our deck/yard. We bought umbrellas, but they were poor substitutes, and our summertime family gatherings ended bc it was too hot to hang outside like we used to. Your neighbor is understandably disappointed and upset, but her request for money is ridiculous since you did nothing illegal. Stuff like this happens when you have neighbors who live close by.
You had every right to build onto your house just as my neighbor had every right to cut down that tree. Your neighbor's anger towards you will never go away. Your addition has diminished her enjoyment of her property/quality of life. That is a fact, and she has every right to be mad about it, however unintentional it was. No AHs here.
This happens where I live all the time. People buy small capes, knock them down and build 2-3 story mini mansions on the lots. It looks ridiculous, but as long as the builder has the permits, it’s allowed.
NTA. It would make me sad if I had a beautiful garden that got the sun taken away. If I were her I would have considered moving. That said, I think that she is out of her mind for thinking you should pay for her gas bill. That's a different level of WTF?
My neighbor was building a house next to me. We were talking about how his house would block my view. He kindly lowered his roofline in the back of his house so we could have the view from the upstairs. We let them use our driveway when they gave guests. We help each other out when needed. A little consideration goes a long way.
NTA. But I feel bad for her that your home expansion negatively affected her property.
You are legally fine but I would hate to live next door to you.