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Ask WALLSTREETESQ Your Own Question
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 17223
Experience:  10 years, Real Estate litigation, represent the UFT, NYSID, AFL-CIO, PPD Network Attorney
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my neighbor wants to put a fence right down the property line.

Customer Question

my neighbor wants to put a fence right down the property line. i'd rather the fence be entirely on her property so that i do not become mutually responsible for maintenance on a fence (which i don't want in the first place.) I personally enjoy the open space between the house (i have 5 ft, she has 8ft, so its currently a 13ft alley). Can i stop her from putting it directly on the property line, and insist that it go entirely on her side of the property?
Are there any steps that i should be taking now to assure that when the fence eventually goes up, it is not directly on the property line (filing anything, etc)? I live in staten island, new york.
P.S- I'm also in a wheelchair and the 5ft on my side would just barely allow me to get past my garbage cans and side door entry.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 8 years ago.
contact an attorney but you should send her a letter from an attorney stating that she is encroaching on your property pursuant to your survey and if she continues you will sue her.

If she doesn't respond sue her in small claims court before the fence is up, this hopefully will convince her not to put the fence on the property line.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
So your advice is send her a letter which says "I will sue you if you go ahead and build the fence on my property." Which i think is already very clear and we all know that.
Then you say "sue her in small claims court before the fence is up".

My question was specifically about the actual property line and laws governing the use of a shared property line between homes. you did not address my question at all. Do you think i am justified in not accepting your advice? I do.
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 8 years ago.

If the fence is on shared property line, then the fence is shared and NY law states that both property owners are owners of the fence. . If the fence is exclusively on their property, then you cannot alter their fence in any way, and you cannot sue your neighbor for an aesthetically unpleasing fence.

In SI local codes do govern fences on homes but usually their are height restrictions which must be met or the builder can ask for a variance.

Alternatively, if your neighbor continues to be unresponsive and the fence is exclusively on their property, you may consider erecting a fence on your property which obscures the eyesore.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
DID YOU READ MY QUESTION? I told you i was aware about mutual responsibility for a fence on a shared property line. i said i want to know if i can stop her from putting a fence on the shared property line, you never answered that one question i was writing about. You said: "In SI local codes do govern fences on homes" . OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE, TELL ME WHAT THEY ARE. i already know she can BUILD A FENCE WHEREVER she wants on HER property, and obviously she cant legally put anything on MY property.
Your suggestion of building an additional fence on my side totally disregards XXXXX XXXXX in my original question where i stated i need all the room i can get to get around in my wheelchair.
Don't bother responding, you've already demonstrated that you're too busy to read my question or you're just unable to give me an answer other than everything i already know.

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