Spite fences

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My sister's neighbor is putting up a spite fence, more like a wall. She has been a very difficult neighbor for a long time--wanting my sister's twin teen daughters to "hang" with her young daughters. She was very insulted when the girls said they'd be happy to babysit for them, but didn't really want to hang with them. The woman was ok when she was married, but now she is divorced with a new live in who has had words with sister's hub. Bottom line: They are going to build this wall unless sister/hub can stop them. Hub/Sister are planning to divorce and want to sell the house (which is in an exclusive neighborhood). The neighbors know this. Sister is afraid that the value of her house will dive, since anyone moving in would be unable to take down the wall. Any suggestions? They are getting a lawyer, but aren't sure it will happen in time.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We had a situation like this in my neighborhood. Because the fence builders put the fence on their side of the property line, and it was built within code, there wasn't a darn thing that could be done about it, even though it completely blocked their neighbor's view (we have no laws in our town protecting property views). There might not be much your sister can do about this, unfortunately. I'd suggest she talk to her local building and planning department to see what they have to say about it.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    You need to check zoning laws and since it is in a ritzy neighborhood, check covenant or HOA laws.

    If she's putting up a fence in a gated community or even a sub-division there ARE laws that are enforced. The covenant may say she's only allowed to put up a wooden fence or whatever. Most HOAs and cities will ONLY at MAX allow a 6' fence and ONLY in the back NOT near a driveway as it causes a hazzard for driving.

    And as far as putting the fence up? Make sure that the property lines are CLEARLY marked, and that you contact the installers fence company and tell them they are NOT allowed on your property. AT ALL - period. And identify anything like invisible dog fences, or sprinklers, or alarms with the company if they are still going to install it.....and find out if there are any bushes, plants etc what is the right of way.

    Make sure they have a permit -
    Make sure they call and underground utilities company to mark
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Another "alternative" would be for your sister and hubby to split the cost of a nicer more visually appealing fence with the spite neighbors so that the house WOULD sell with a wall there.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I like Star's suggestion to build a visually appealing wall, if after checking out alternatives to legally stopping it, fail.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help. The neighbor lady has made it clear she will build this "wall" and do it strictly out of spite. "I don't want to see you anymore."
    Sister has two sixteen year old twins who drive and she's afraid they may hit the wall while they are still learning to back out of the driveway. I will tell her to check to see if walls are illegal in her sub-division (it is in a very exclusive area. You'd think they'd have rules against this, but, from what sister knows, they don't). It will be a real eyesore too. According to her, there is no reasoning with this lady. Of course, her hub is no prize (sister's) and sort of started the feud, but it sounds to me like hub really didn't engage in anything that horrible (and sister is HARD on her hub). It really does sound like a case of a b**tchy neighbor trying to teach them a lesson, although sister is not sure why. She is frantic. She will have little enough $$$ when she divorces. She was counting on a good price for the house. It's a gorgeous house that they put a lot of work into...
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ahhhhhh..........the *itchy neighbor routine. I know it well.

    It was / is my mother. Never, never move in next door to her. Never. This is a warning.

    Growing up we had very nice neighbors on the one side. My Mom got it into her head that the wife had it "in" for her. After 14 yrs in the house we never did find out why. (probably Mom's own paranoia, nothing to do with the poor woman at all)

    Mom was gonna build such a fence, too keep the wife from being able to look into our yard and "judge" Mom and family. Well the eye sore died down to a chain link fence after much tado, and my stepdad doing some mighty fast fancy footwork. (he didn't want the fence either)

    So from a kid of one of those type of neighbors, I'm very sorry for your sis. But I'm even sorrier for this woman's kids who are baring the brunt, and I assure you they are, just as we kids did.

    This sort of thing is so stupid. I hope sis can get something done.

  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    If it's an exclusive neighborhood chances are there is a homeowner's association and most of them require approval before doing anything such as putting in a fence or wall or even major landscaping. In my last neighborhood, my neighbor across the street ended up with a 2 tons of dirt sitting in his driveway for 6 weeks because he didn't get pre-approval from the HOA and another neighbor (a busybody) complained and he had to halt everything until he got approval. Our neighborhood wasn't exclusive, but the HOA bylaws, or whatever they are called, said we couldn't have a privacy fence and no fences over 4 feet high and you still had to have pre-approval before doing it.

    If the neighbor is doing the work themselves, chance are also good that they didn't get permits, etc from the city. The city will put a halt to what they are doing, too, until that is taken care of.

    I'm so glad I live in the neighborhood I do now.
  9. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Well from the other side of the fence so to speak. I am getting ready to fence my yard. I wouldn't say it is for spite but some might. I can't stand all the people using my yard all the time. Now i am not saying anything against your sister and such but some of us really just get tired of neighbors abusing our yards.

  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The homeowner's assoc in any exclusive or ritzy area WILL have rules about fencing. Sis should call them tomorrow, as well as calling the zoning board. Chances are the HOA will not allow it, and many HOA's are VERY strict in enforcing their rules. Several here will sue you, and have won BIG settlements against people who ignored them. That is why we have a very loose HOA where we chose to live. It was on purpose.