Can a neighbor build a fence on their property if it blocks an exit from your house?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a neighbor build a fence on their property if it blocks an exit from your house?

Neighbor built a fence approx. 12 inches from side steps to entrance to my house
from driveway. It is possibly on the property line looking at survey to see –
hard to tell. Now it is physically impossible to enter house from driveway
without having to go down an alley, up another street then across my street to
get to my front door.

Asked on July 23, 2018 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A neighbor may not entirely block you from accessing your property, but he *may* make it inconvenient for you, if the source of that inconvenience is that he is preventing you from access or crossing his property--you don't have a right to use his land, even just a tiny sliver of it, for your own convenience. 
For this answer, we will assume the fence is in fact on his property, not yours. If it is on his property and it interferes with you getting from your driveway to your door, that is because you were crossing over, stepping, etc. his land--a fence on his land would not impede you if you were not going on or accross his land. He is allowed to keep you off his land, even if it inconveniences you, so long as you can get to your home--which you write that you can.

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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