I was bothered by a certain question that was posed. I love your site, and immediately I thought to ask it of you, being that I do not have an answer as yet.
Should a person build a porch and pool in my house while I was on vacation (without my knowledge), and when I return I see this pool and porch, and after a week or so the builder knocks on the door and hands me a bill for the work. Am I obligated to pay for the work? Would it make a difference whether or not I was gladdened?
Pinchas Mizrachi, Philadelphia, PA
It depends whether it is standard to build a pool and a porch in a house such as yours. If it is you must pay the standard fee, if it is not you must pay the lesser of the cost of the building materials and the appreciation of your house due to the new additions.
If it actually happens, be in touch, these are just the basics. The actual laws are more complex.
(Please accept our apologies for the delay in getting back to you on this. Due to the pressures of organizing our Grand Siyum and Pesach vacation, the Kollel fell behind in keeping up with our email questions. We are now back on track, and you should receive prompt answers to any future questions, G-d willing.)