Does my neighbor have to have my permission to change the fence on our mutual property line?

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Does my neighbor have to have my permission to change the fence on our mutual property line?

Our neighbor is putting in a spool (small pool spa combo). Consequently, they want to replace the wrought iron/block wall fence between our homes (owned by both of us) with a block wall. The wall has a mature beautiful vine (our side) that has been growing on the wrought iron for over 10 years. We don’t want the ugly block wall replacement. We had actually installed beautiful windows that look overlook the fence. We also believe that this is a downdrade, possibly lowering our property value. They tell us that the wall has to meet certain legal specs due to the spool, but wrought iron is OK – as a matter of fact, they have to keep the wrought iron in the back of the house due to HOA regs. Also, only a pool cover is required if it’s a spool and they can install a fence around the pool within their property. In summary, they are using the pool safety requirements to try to pressure us. I just wanted to know, in order to change the fence do we both have to agree? Right? Additionally, the fence will block our view. I realize we have no rights here. And, I also realize that they can erect a fence on their own property but at least we would still have the wrought iron. Not trying to be difficult, but we believe this will change our home significantly. It will also block our city lights view.

Asked on December 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Usually walls and fences are on one property or the other, rather than straddling two. You might want to have a surveyor come and determine where the property line actually is. That would probably determine who can do what. Otherwise, unless there are covenants in your title and the like, property ordinances and HOA regulations would probably be your best route to protecting your property.


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