first of all, we only have the OPs word on what was said between them. Assuming that he is sincere (and I do think he is) she could have said or understood that she said 'she'll think about' granting his request. There is much room for verbal misunderstandings. That's why in many states, contracts regarding real estate must be in writing. Also there is the matter of 'consideration'. In the OP's case the benefits are to him and he is offering nothing that the neighbor wants in compensation. So there is no contract. If, for example, he wrote a contract that she signed that he would pay the lady $2,000 if he let her alter her light - there would be offer, acceptance, and consideration. It would be a legal binding contract and enforceable.
Lets take another example. Say you have your home and you love to garden. Thats one reason you moved into your current place, perfect gardening soil,light,etc And some stone planters already there. Then say that I move next door. I find that I get hayfever when I'm in my backyard trying to BBQ some steaks. I can never use my BBQ because of that. I request that you pull up your garden so that I can BBQ. I offer to pay for having a nice rock driveway installed where your garden was. It will cost me quite abit, but its a 'generous' offer and I want to BBQ. Am I entitled to have you do this ?
You see, sometimes people will disagree and not come to agreement. If you were the gardener & I'm the BBQ guy, we're not going to come to a compromise. I moved in after you and could have checked out the garden situation. Gardens aren't a general hazard. - - If the shoe were on the other foot and I was there first and the gardener moved in and later wanted me to stop my BBQing because she is a vegetarian and the smell makes her ill, my property rights would also be protected. There is no general hazard from the smell of BBQing steaks, so the state has no role to play. A group of vegetarians can't vote to have my stone BBQ dismantled because its their personal preference and they voted on it.
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