Does youra neighbor have a sayas to whether or not you can put up a fence on your own property?

UPDATED: Jan 22, 2011

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Does youra neighbor have a sayas to whether or not you can put up a fence on your own property?

There is a stream that borders my property. Perpendicular to the stream is a 10′ block wall (on prop line) with a 3.5′ opening at the bottom to allow the stream to flow under. The stream also catches rain runoff and sometimes floods. Kids come onto my property via this opening and then try to climb the wall on my side. There are other areas on my property which are hazardous for children. I want to put up a chain link fence (6+ inches within my property line)to keep the kids out; I don;’t want to get sued for an injury. However, my neighbor doesn’t want the fence there because he’s concerned about debris catching on the fence and causing additional flooding.

Asked on January 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You have a very trick situation here.  While you have a general right to do as you wish on your side of the property, your rights are limited if what you do or erect causes a condition that damages your neighbor's property. Then they have a right to go to court and ask for the "thing" causing the damage to be taken down.  I can totally understand how you would want to protect your property and yourself from being sued because the kids were trespassing and got hurt.  But I think that you may need to get yourself someone who is an "expert" in this matter and not just a chain link fence retailer to come in an see what the best thing to do is given the flooding issue. And ask for assurances and guarantees from the fence people (although I doubt that you will get it) and then show your neighbors that you did the research and this is what you have come up with.  Good luck to you.

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