It was an old, heavy beast that I had stored against the fence in the yard since before he bought the house. So far as I was aware, there was no problem with it being there. It wasn’t even remotely in the way and I wasn’t notified that it posed a problem. Rather than consulting with his long-standing tenants to see if they knew anything about the large piece of sporting equipment in the yard, however, he decided that since it was an unwanted item on his property, it was trash with which he could do as he saw fit.
I learned all of this when I asked after its whereabouts. Now to be fair, because it was so heavy, it hadn’t seen a whole lot of recent use. Thick, 1970’s fiberglass made it a two-person carry, and more often than not, I was the sole passenger. I honestly didn’t think it was worth getting into a row over. I had no intention of asking him for compensation, partly because it was a beast on its last days and partly because I’m a tenant at will who’s paying about half of the going rental rate in this area.
Unfortunately, when I expressed that I wished he had asked us about it, what could have remained a misunderstanding turned into a pissing contest over who was most wrong. His contention is that since it is his property, he can do whatever he damn well pleases with it and anything on it. Because there was never any formal agreement between us that I could store the canoe there (never mind that I had had just such an agreement with the previous owner), as soon as he bought the house, the canoe became his to do with as he saw fit.
So, I just wanted an apology, but because he wanted to ensure that he wouldn’t be considered liable and to make it clear to me where he considers decision-making power to reside, he’s created an adversarial relationship with me. It’s apparently too much to ask him to take responsibility for his actions
The bottom line is that he gave away a piece of my property that will cost me hundreds of dollars to replace and won’t admit to any wrongdoing in the face of it.