Can my neighbor put a fence along our property line?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can my neighbor put a fence along our property line?

My neighbor and I have recently had a falling out, reasons irrelevant. She is now talking about putting up a fence along our property line.
Problem is, there is only 5 feet of space between our houses. A fence will leave me with barely 2.5 feet to access my back yard, and for my tenant to exit the apartment.
Is she allowed to do this? Can this be considered a hazard?

There is no easement or indication of shared space on the property maps.

Asked on August 6, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

She can do this so long as it does not violate any local construction or building ordinances. As a general matter, a homeowner can build whatever she wants, including a fence, on her own land, even if it has a negative impact on or is undesirable for her neighbor(s); and there is also no right to go onto your neighbor's land (i.e. her 2.5 feet) to access your backyard or for your tenant--you can be required to stay fully within or on your own property. So unless there is a local building, etc. ordinance requring some amount of separation between any fences and a neighbor's house (if there is, you can file a complaint with the local building department), she can do this.

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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