Legal Question in Real Estate Law in New York

Spite Fence and Encroachment

The owner of the house adjoining my home installed a ''spite fence'' and his black iron fence is over the property line. I want him to move his fence off of my property, take down the spite fence and install a proper fence. The fence is made of plywood and broken fence pieces with large nails sticking out facing my property. It is dangerous and an eyesore. What laws mould I move under to have his fence removed and also to have him move his fence off of my property.

Asked on 6/11/04, 3:46 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Lawrence Simon Law Offices of Lawrence M. Simon

Re: Spite Fence and Encroachment

The easiest thing would be to take pictures and take a trip to your local building department. A permit is required for a fence in most municipalities, and that involves pre and post permit inspections, none of which likely took place. Plus, the building department will be familiar with the local zoning rules and local ordinances.

Good luck.

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Answered on 6/11/04, 4:44 pm

Robert R. Groezinger GroezingerLaw P.C.

Re: Spite Fence and Encroachment

In NYC, call the Building Department. In Brooklyn, here is the number:

BROOKLYN: 210 Joralemon St., 8th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201-3715

Tel: (718) 802-3675 TTY: (718) 803-4330

Speak with them, not about the encroachment, but about the fence, its structure and appearance.

Good Luck


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Answered on 6/11/04, 5:28 pm
Walter LeVine Walter D. LeVine, Esq.

Re: Spite Fence and Encroachment

You have 2 avenues of recourse. If you have a survey which can definately establish the fence encroaches, you can demand he remove it. If he refuses, you can sue for its removal claiming the encroachment and trespass on your property. You should also check to see if your community has both a fence ordinance (many communities have these, which limits the look and types of fences that can be erected; most require the ugly side to face inward)and a requirement for issuance of a permit. If your community has one or both of these, take pictures and report the violations to the proper authorities, who should enforce the municipal requirements.

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Answered on 6/11/04, 5:45 pm

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