web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Fence Value

Business-Halacha-logo

Mr. Sam Braun stood at the back door of his house with another man dressed in rugged jeans and a baseball cap, surveying the back yard. The man had a tape measure in his hands, and took measurements along the length and width of the yard. The two then walked to the side of the house and again measured and talked, gesticulating with their hands.

In the adjacent yard sat Hillel Farber, reclining in a lounge chair and reading a book. He kept peeking up to see what his neighbor was doing. Finally his interest piqued him. “What’s going on, Sam?” Hillel called out. “Whom are you talking to?”

“We’re doing some renovations,” answered Sam Braun. “This is the contractor, Tom Green.”

“What are you building?” asked Hillel.

“I’m adding a sundeck in the back of the house and a wooden structure for the kids to play in,” Sam answered. “We’re also putting a wooden floor in the dining room. I’m considering building a wooden fence to separate our two properties. What do you think of that?”

“That’s a good idea,” said Hillel. “It would also give us more privacy.”

“Are you willing to split the cost of the fence?” Sam asked.

“Could be,” replied Hillel. “How much will it run?”

Sam turned to Tom. “What do you expect the fence to run?”

“In the range of $2-3,000,” said Tom. “It depends on the exact measurements and the type of wood used.”

“That sounds fair enough,” said Hillel. “I’m willing to chip in my half.”

“Great,” said Sam. “We’ll settle when the work is complete.”

Sam decided, in the end, to run the wooden fence around most of his property. When Tom finished the work a month later, Sam said to him: “You remember that our neighbor, Hillel, said he’d split the fence between the properties? How much would you reckon that part of the job was?”

“It’s worth $3,000,” Tom answered. “Let him pay $1,500.”

Sam told Hillel that the fence cost him $3,000.

“Can I see the invoice?” asked Hillel.

“The invoice is for the entire job,” said Sam. “The part of the fence that we share is not listed separately. The figure of $3,000 is what Tom told me it’s worth.”

“If you don’t mind,” said Hillel, “I’d like to double-check with another contractor about that valuation.”

“I don’t mind your checking,” replied Sam, “but I think we should follow Tom’s appraisal anyway, since he did the work.”

Hillel spoke with another contractor, who said: “That kind of fence generally runs about $40 per foot.”

Hillel calculated the shared part of the fence, which ran 60 feet, and came to a total of $2,400. “Based on what I spoke with the other contractor,” he told Sam, “the fence is worth less than $3,000.”

“Who’s to say that his appraisal is more accurate than Tom’s?” Sam replied. “Anyway, as I said before, Tom did the work.”

“But he didn’t give a clear price beforehand for the shared part of the fence,” argued Hillel. “At this point, his appraisal is no different from anybody else’s. Why should I pay more than it may be worth?”

Sam scratched his head. “Maybe that’s what he charges, but Tom charges more?” he responded. “I suggest we take this up with Rabbi Dayan.”

“Great idea!” exclaimed Hillel. “I’ve been waiting for chance to ask him a business halacha question!”

Sam and Hillel met with Rabbi Dayan, who said: “In general, when a person agrees to a job and no price is stipulated, if there is a fixed going rate he must pay that amount.” (C.M. 331:2)

“What if there is a price range?” asked Hillel.

“Then he only has to pay the lower end of the range,” answered Rabbi Dayan, “in accordance with the principle hamotzi mei’chaveiro alav ha’reaya – the burden of the proof is on the plaintiff. This is true even if most people charge a higher price.” (Ketzos 331:3)

“But I stipulated a price with the contractor,” objected Sam. “Hillel agreed to reimburse half the price that Tom charged for the fence.”

“That is correct,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Had Tom assigned a specific price for the shared fence, Hillel would have to pay whatever the cost was, even if it could have been a cheaper fence or a cheaper contractor. However, there was no explicit price for the shared fence.”

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fence Value”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Marines walk a city street in Fallujah, heavily damaged by the fighting. (2004)
Netanyahu Says Making Gaza ‘Israel’s Fallujah’ Was Too High a Price
Latest Judaism Stories
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

“Do I have to repay the loan?” he asked. “Does Yosef have to reimburse me? What if doesn’t have that sum, does he owe me in the future?”

When Yoram got home that evening, he went over to Effy: “My day camp is looking for extra supervision for an overnight trip,” he said. “Would you like to come? They’re paying $250 for the trip.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “If you pay monthly – it’s $4,500; if you pay six months up front – I’ll give it to you for $4,200.”

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

“It is sometimes possible through hataras nedarim, nullification of vows,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but it’s not simple for charity pledges.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/fence-value/2012/06/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: