Can a neighbor invade your privacy?

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Can a neighbor invade your privacy?

My neighbor has erected an observation platform at the top of the common hill inside of 5 feet from both the back and side fence line. This neighbor has stated he is within legal rights to do this. The stairs to the platform are above 12 inches in height and he towers over the fence line from the waist up. He has a full unobstructed view into every window in our home from the stairs and platform as well as the back yard. Am I entitled to damages for reduction of marketability and reduced value? Should we decide to sell there is no privacy left in our home. We are completely distressed.

Asked on April 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless your property comes with some sort of a view easement, your neighbor was within his or her rights with respect to the observation platform that was erected under the law.

One way to possibly remedy the situation that you have written about is to ascertain whether or not your neighbor obtained the necessary building permits with the local municipality to have built what was built. If not, the structure might need to be torn down and/or your neighbor could be fined.

I suggest that you consult with an attorney that practices in the area of real estate law further about the matter that you are writing about.


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