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Questions on Disputes with Neighbor

There are many kinds of neighbor disputes. You could have a dispute over a neighbor building new structures that cross your boundary line, trees overhanging your side of the property that cause damage, a pet creating a nuisance in your property, neighbors trespassing into your land, and so on.

Listed below are a few questions on neighbor dispute related issues.

I live in Pennsylvania and have a dispute with my neighbor. She had a new survey done and found that my driveway flares out by 3 feet and cuts into her right-of-way. She also claims that the flare was widened 10 years ago although I don’t clearly remember this. Our homes are an acre each and are 50 years old. She insists that I move the driveway right now. Do I have any legal rights here?

In Pennsylvania the requirement for adverse possession is 20 years. So the part of your driveway that has crossed over into your neighbor’s property for over 20 years would belong to you. The area that covers the widened flare would have to be returned to your neighbor as it is only 10 years old.

I had a survey done recently and found out that my neighbor built two structures on 2.5 feet of our property line. One is a fence in 2002 and the other is a shed in 2010. How do I solve this property dispute with my neighbor?

Based on the facts of your case, you could send your neighbor a letter stating that unless he relocates the fence and shed to his side of the property line, you will have them both removed yourself. Ensure that the letter is sent by certified mail so that it is on record and you know he has received it. If the neighbor does not respond to you or take any action, you can have the fence and shed removed.

My neighbour and I have an ongoing dispute. He lets his dog run around freely and poop in my yard twice a day. I live in Florida and am wondering what legal action to take.

You could start by notifying animal control about the dog running around in an uncontrolled manner in the neighborhood. In addition to this, if the dog happens to cause some damage to your house or garden, you could sue the neighbor for the nuisance as well as for the damage caused in small claims court.

I am involved in a neighbors’ dispute where I would like to paint my side of the house but am being refused permission by my neighbor to put up a ladder in her driveway to access the eves and second story of my house. She is even threatening to call the cops. What legal action can I take?

Based on what you have said, although it is unfortunate that your neighbor seems to be acting unreasonably, she does have the right to prevent access to her property. The fundamental principles of real estate law say that entering someone’s property without seeking their permission can amount to trespassing and you can be charged for it. There would be no exception for repairs/maintenance in this case either.

Dealing with a neighbor dispute can be unpleasant since you both live in the same neighborhood. If problems are not solved through a mutual agreement or mediation, then you will have to seek help from the court which might further sour your neighborly relations. However, as a property owner you need to be aware of your rights so you can act accordingly.
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