Do I have any rights reading a neighbor adding a satellite dish atop of our fence?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Do I have any rights reading a neighbor adding a satellite dish atop of our fence?

Mine and my neighbor’s back garden is divided by a metal wire fence that encloses my property and is on my side of the property line. My neighbor recently added a satellite dish atop of the end of the fence took the top off a metal pole and placed the stand for the satellite dish inside. When we noticed the addition we talked with the neighbors and they thought the fence was part of their property but now realize the fence is ours. While this addition is annoying I’m not particularly bothered if it remains, however I would like to know if there any issues we should be concerned about in the future if either me or my neighbors decide to move (e.g. if we need it moved for a buyer). Currently we have a verbal agreement that the satellite dish can stay where it is.

Asked on August 3, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A buyer would not be obligated or bound by your agreement--it is personal to you. And because you are voluntarily allowing the neighbor to keep the dish there, he does not gain any enforceable right to maintain it there, no matter how long it is up (you don't get rights from what another person voluntarily lets you do). And since you have given him permission without him giving you anything in exchange (e.g. payment) for it, you could revoke that permission at any time. 
So you or a buyer could have the dish removed if you want. But despite not having a right to have the dish there, if the neighbor doesn't actually remove it when requested, a legal action would have to be brought, since only courts can force people to do what they are supposed to. Such an action can take a few months. So bear in mind that if, for example, a buyer tells you they want the dish gone before the closing, you'd have to bring the action right away if the neighbor will not remove it, to make sure you have enough time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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