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Weird Painting Disputes

29 June, 2022

Contractors taking on what might be a run of the mill painting project may unwittingly find themselves in some dangerous situations. These stories, if anything, might prompt you to ask some questions to find out if there’s anything in particular you should know about the neighbors or occupants.

Homeowner won’t let neighbor paint his own house

Imagine living next to neighbors that you not only don’t like but are overtly hostile. It’s likely some of you don’t have to imagine. An article and TV news story reported by Miami/Fort Lauderdale-based WSVN 7News describes a standoff between two next-door neighbors, and while it’s based around painting the house, it’s grounded in some long-term animosity. 

Homeowner Rene Garcia has painted three sides of his house green, while the last side is still pink. Garcia’s house was built with a “zero lot property line,” meaning that the property line coincides with the side of the house and he has no lawn past the wall. This building technique is sometimes done to maximize the square footage in the house. However, this means Garcia would have to go on his neighbor’s property to paint the final side.

Next door homeowner Darryl Partlow says he won’t allow Garcia on his property, and if he does set up a pot & brush, he’ll have Garcia arrested for trespassing.

According to the article, the law states that in a situation such as this, each neighbor gets a four-foot easement on the next-door property to do work on that side of the house, however the neighboring homeowner still has to give approval. Partlow, according to the article, would only allow a licensed and insured painting contractor on his property, owing to the fact that he didn’t want to be held responsible if something happened to Garcia on his property.

This is where the TV station got involved and tried to mitigate the standoff by suggesting that the two men sign a hold harmless agreement, so that Garcia would agree not to sue his next door neighbor in case of injury while on his property. While Garcia was in favor of this, Partlow still stood firm, alleging that Garcia has filed false police reports on him perhaps 25 times and he just didn’t want the neighbor on his lawn for any reason. Garcia, the report continued, acknowledged calling the cops on Partlow in a good 10 or so different instances, claiming he had a legitimate reason each time he picked up the phone. Either way, Partlow stood firm in his decision.

According to a lawyer consulted by the TV station, at this point, Garcia’s option is to go to court and force Partlow into letting him use the easement. The court could force Partlow’s hand as well as bill him for Garcia’s legal expenses, should he win the case. Garcia stated he can’t afford to hire either a lawyer or a licensed insured contractor. For now, the house will stay as it is, three quarters green, and the rest pink.

Vigilante color selection

A woman in Tallahassee, Florida was charged with “aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill” after she shot at a painter working on her home over Memorial Day weekend. While the article, originally printed in the Tallahassee Democrat, doesn’t say if she owned or rented, it states that she was upset about the color being applied to her house, and after a confrontation with the painter, she went into the house, grabbed a gun, and fired at him. She went back inside and was arrested shortly after, as police surrounded the house.

No injuries were reported, and the article didn’t specify the color being applied. 

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