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Close, but… — 24 Comments

  1. I live in Texas.the house next to me extended the roof line close to the property line.Does the structure include the roof line and how close can it be to the propwrty line.

    • That is a 2-part question.
      1. Yes, the roof counts as part of the structure. The rule of thumb as far as property lines and buildings go is that you cannot drip on your neighbor. You own straight up from your property line, directly opposite to the pull of gravity and parallel with it into the ground. There are exceptions as to violation or trespass when it comes to tunneling and crossing airspace, but that is for people smarter than me to decide.

      2. That depends. How close you can build is a zoning thing and a restrictions thing. When the parcels were created, it is possible that limitations were set on how close you can build to the line and sometimes, what structures can be how close. Zoning does the same thing (usually). Zoning typically sets the minimum front, side, and rear yard size, establishing setbacks. Again, these can be specific to the type of structure (primary or auxiliary) or the height of the structure (one story or two).

      If you would like to know if they are too close to you, you would need to check with zoning and the restrictions on the property. You then go with the stricter of the two. Some zoning ordinances will not trump restrictions as they “grandfather” them in. Also, zoning will typically not enforce private restrictions, for those you will need to check how the homeowners association or the restrictions themselves define how to deal with violations.

      • Hi i hope you can reply to this comment. My problem is that our neighbours stacks Crates Beside our fence wall like literally beside our fence and The problem is that Some people was trying to break in to our Yard using the crates as a ladder, our neighbours stacked Which we witnessed 2 times already.beside our fence is a pathway so their are people who lives Down the pathway. What do you think is the best solution for this? Since our neighbours Do not really care about it.

        • Not sure this is a property issue. If your fence/wall is not on the property line and they are stacking stuff on your property, then you can have them remove the stuff from your property (likely will require a court order). However, if the fence is a line fence, I am not sure what you can do. I would like to think that you can discuss this with them and see if there is a solution to this problem.

          Either way, try to have a conversation with your neighbor. Express your concerns and have some constructive solutions to this problem before you even talk. Remain calm, don’t yell or threaten, advocate for yourself, but don’t be pushy. If it is their property, then you are asking for them to do you a favor. Act like it.

  2. Building a shop on my property it is 2 inside my property line. Is that good since there is a easement or possible future road on the other side of my property line. What if I put a fence on the property line so the building is on my property is this legal?

    • I am assuming you mean “Building a shop on my property it is 2 [feet] inside my property line.”
      I cannot answer that without a lot of research specific to your property. What I would suggest is that you contact the local office that issues building permits to determine what your specific zoning allows. You will also want to consult your restrictions (if any) and see if there are any building setbacks on your land beyond zoning.
      If you have done both and if neither stipulates a building setback, then you should be able to build right up to your property line. The rule of thumb is that you do not drip onto your neighbor. This means that nothing of your structure overhangs across the property line.

  3. Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention I live in Oklahoma. Also I filed a variance because the city said it was needing to be five feet from the property line and during the nesting no neighbors showed up to include the ones who filed the complaint. Know they are saying that I need to move it 3 feet and then they will give me the variance for 15 since they are know saying it is for a future road between my house and the neighbor. Even though they approved it for 6 feet and a easement not a future road. Thanks

    • If you have an approved variance (approved as in, it went through planning/zoning, was voted on, and passed), then you should have a written record and possible grounds to not move it. This is now a legal matter and you will likely need the advice of a lawyer.

    • Honestly, I have no idea about California law. I would also need to know what you are trying to do that would require you notifying anyone.
      If you are building anything, it is wise to check with your local zoning office. It is likely that they have all the information you need regarding fence type, height, distance off property, etc. We have a couple of municipalities around here that restrict the height of a fence, both in front of and behind the house (two different animals). You may also be restricted by a homeowners’ association…

  4. Since I have my clean title can I make a wall to secure my tenants with family members that stays in my land please reply asap thank you and more power.

    • If I am understanding you correctly, you are wanting to build a wall within your property lines? If this is so, I would guess that you could likely do it, but you need to check on restrictions at your local zoning office. They often have regulations governing the height/style/opacity of fencing.

  5. My neighbors fence encroaches on my property by 3-feet (25-foot length).
    I am in Tennessee. What right do I have to reclaim my property?

    • This is a legal question. In theory, you would own the property and therefore can use it as you see fit. Of course, your neighbor may also have an adverse possession claim, but that must be processed through the courts.

  6. We live in Mineral Co.,W.V. We have usedthe neighbors dirt road to exit from our property to the main hwy.for over 7 yrs. The neighber has only ow ed his property for app.4 years.He removed our roadway to exit that .We dont even have a way in h out for ambulance or firetruck.what can we do?

    • I am not familiar with West Virginia law, but my best guess is that you will need to contact an attorney. Tennessee law is clear on this. If you do not have an easement to cross a property, then the rule for prescriptive rights, the one that “forces” the encumbered landowner to grant an easement, doesn’t typically kick in until 20 years. If your property touches a road, I doubt that you would be granted an easement across another by force, but I can see instances where this may not apply.

      Again, contact an attorney. It shouldn’t cost much to meet and go over your options – much less than building a new drive (although you still may wind up doing that).

  7. My neighbor has put a small checuzzi against the back wall that separateds his and my yard. It’s on a raised platform which allows him or his company a view into my backyard. Please advice.

    • I hate to say it, but build a taller fence or plant tall trees. As far as I know, provided the offending party is within codes, you don’t have a way to control their view. I have never heard of anything that protects your privacy in your back yard. But then again, I am not a lawyer.

  8. Question: I live in Battle Ground Washington and I’m having a hard time finding out or getting a straight answer to the question, which is how far from my neighbor’s property line do I have to be if I’m to add on to this shed of mine? If anyone has the answer, please, please tell me so I can get started on this storage shed so I can clean out my garage to make room for my trike and new car. Thank you.

  9. My neighbor built a add on extension to his home and used my boundry wall as the support for his walls and roof. Can I remove the supports off my wall legally ?

    • There are a whole lot of “depends” in that answer and most will be legal matters that require an attorney (and possibly a court) to decide.

      Let’s start with the “boundary wall.” What I envision is a 5-8 foot cinderblock wall in place of a fence. Then, you say they, “built a add on extension to his home and used my boundry wall as the support for his walls and roof.” I envision this as being they cantilevered over or built directly upon the wall.

      Assuming I am anywhere near correct on these two assumptions, this would imply that the add-on was either right against the property line or really close. I don’t know your zoning (if you even have any), but most have a minimum setback from the property line – especially for primary structures.

      Now, to answer your question. The first thing I would assume you need to do is to establish where that wall is in relation to the property line. Is it on the line or is it entirely on your property? If it is the latter, then you have a stronger case to “remove the supports.” If it is on the boundary, then we are looking at a whole other animal. I am not even certain where you are, but in Tennessee, the location of a fence can change the ownership of said fence (and the responsibilities of maintenance). A “boundary fence” is significantly different than one that is entirely on your property.

      While I really didn’t answer your questions, my recommendation is to determine where the wall is in relation to the property line. Then call codes enforcement and see what the setbacks are. While you have them on the phone, you can see if there were a building permit issues and inspections done for the property (assuming your locations does those things). If you are still in doubt, call an attorney.

      I would caution you though, you have to continue living next to this person. The course of action I laid out may “upset” your neighbor and cause adverse living conditions. You will want to assess if what you get out of this is worth the potential destruction of the neighbor relationship. Having a peaceful, if not friendly, relationship with the neighbors makes a home so much more relaxing.

  10. I bought my house 3 years ago, it was built in 1960. This year, a couple bought the lot behind me and built a brand new house and they have informed me that my old garage hangs 2 feet on their property. Am I protected some how since the structure has been there for so long?

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