Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries And Noise ~UPD~
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A boundary fence is a fence that is located on or near a property line, though the exact definition can vary by state. Sometimes even a hedge can act as a boundary. To learn more about boundary fences, including how they are defined, when a neighbor is allowed to build a boundary fence, and who is responsible for repairs and maintenance, see Nolo's Fences and Neighbors FAQ.
Guillen points to noise as the number one top problem between neighbors. Loud or disturbing noise can affect single-family homeowners and those who live in multifamily housing. It can be a blaring television, lawnmower, motorcycle, someone practicing a trumpet, a baby crying or a rooster crowing at 5 a.m.
"There are a lot of creative ways to make noise," said Guillen, who added that disputes over fences and trees (particularly branches overhanging into a neighbor's yard) rank second and third on the problem list.
But you can go back again and again to the court if necessary until your neighbor gets tired of paying up. Homeowners have been compensated for insulation, double-pane windows and/or soundproofing materials they installed because of a neighbor's noise. At last resort is an expensive, complicated full-blown legal war.
Search Search The Maryland People's Law Library Main Menu Main navigation Home How Do I...? Evaluate My Situation Alternatives to Court Get Help Legal Research Start/Respond to a Case Discovery and Evidence Prepare for Court Judgments Appeals Legal Services Directory Legal Clinic Calendar Research Topics About Toggle navigation Main navigation Home How Do I...? Evaluate My Situation Alternatives to Court Get Help Legal Research Start/Respond to a Case Discovery and Evidence Prepare for Court Judgments Appeals Legal Services Directory Legal Clinic Calendar Research Topics About Search Search Related Articles & Other Resources Real Estate and Other Housing Homeownership Solving Disputes with Your Neighbors Solving Disputes with Your Neighbors There are all types of problems that may arise between neighbors. Some of the most common are noise, property boundaries, fences, trees, or blighted property.
If the problem is one that reoccurs, (like late-night noise) start a tracking log. Write down the date, what occurs and any other observations that may be helpful. You may find that the problem is not as frequent as you thought. In any event, a clear log will help document your case for the police or the courts, if it gets that far. It will also help you talk to your neighbor.
Calling the police should be done after considering the possible outcomes. The police are most likely to be able to help if the other party has violated a local ordinance or state law with criminal penalties. For example, the police can help with excessive noise but are unlikely to be able to do much about a dangerous tree limb. If you have a log of dates and times the problem has occurred or a joint letter from other neighbors, show these to the police. The police meet all sorts of people when called out to help with neighborhood disputed. A reasonable documented approach will set you apart from others. Remember many police officers have some training in mediation but their skills and interest in solving neighborhood disputes will vary.
Before you complain about a possible zoning violation, always check the zoning map at city hall. The neighbor creating a problem might be located just over the zoning line, in an acceptable district for the activity. Also be aware that, in some circumstances, cities have the power to zone land that lies just beyond their boundaries. In Illinois, for example, towns may zone land that lies up to one-and-a-half miles outside their boundaries.
Knowing who is responsible also includes more than finding out who is committing the offense. If the problem neighbor is a tenant who turns out to be uncooperative, the landlord may well be the person who can remedy the situation. This can be true for many problems, including noise, property deterioration, and tree and boundary disputes.
If you are being seriously disturbed by a neighbor, chances are you are not alone. A noise problem, for example, likely affects several neighbors. You may find that other concerns also bother more than one neighbor. Neglected property, noxious fumes, blocked views, even an unclear boundary line can be a problem in common. Contacting others who are adversely affected and having them join you in your efforts can be very wise. It strengthens your position and also dilutes the possibility of hostility or retaliation.
Sometimes disputes with neighbors, such as boundary issues or fences, might be covered by local or state law. You may check for local ordinances at Municode.com. Louisiana state law issues may be researched here.
Washington law also prohibits building "spite fences," which is a term for a structure built for no legitimate reason other than to harass your neighbor. Washington laws allow courts to issue injunctions to stop the construction of spite fences or other structures. 2b1af7f3a8