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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Laws regarding fences at property boundaries

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York

    My new neighbor claims that an existing fence is 2 feet from the property line at one end, favoring my property. He want to demolish the fence and erect another, moving it 2 feet to my side. According to my own survey, performed when we moved in 16 years ago, the fence was erected 1'9" onto his property. But moving the fence will force the removal of much of the shrubbery along that line on my side, most of which was there when we bought the house. It will also destroly a gate we have which ties into the existing fence. What are our rights in this matter? We live in Queens County, NYC. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    New Hampshire
    In most cases you (your neighbor) have the right to place a fence anywhere on your own property, regardless of the damage that may do to your neighbors shrubs, etc. In some places there are specific laws governing zero lot line fences, but you would have to do local research on that.
    You cannot connect anything to your neighbors fence and they have no obligation to you regarding gates or otherwise enclosing your property.
    He cannot place his fence on your property without your permission, and doing so without a written agreement may cause problems over ownership and maintenance in the future.

  3. #3
    NY Law on adverse possession was recently modified, and your fence/shrubs probably would not qualify to establish AP (assuming other categories met).

    Here's a summary.

    [url=http://blog.szlawfirm.net/adverse_possession/]Adverse Possession :: New York Zoning and Municipal Law Blog[/url]

    One option is for you to contact a lawyer to discuss whether AP is viable. That will be expensive.

    Another option is to say "okay, you can rebuild the fence on the property line (or just inside), but could you give me some time to move the bushes/hedges". I assume you could move the hedges--if not, and he wants to reclaim what is his land, and you don't have an AP claim to make, you need to accommodate his request.

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