“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”: Common Property Issues Between Neighbors
The property line between two neighbors always has the potential to create conflict. Neighbors often have different ideas about how they want their yards to look, and sometimes the neighbors do not even know where the property line exactly lies. Communication between neighbors can break down, and conflicts can become inflamed to include more issues than simply the location of the lot line. Continue reading for a brief introduction to a few common issues that sometimes arise between neighbors.
One of the most common issues between neighbors is uncertainty about exactly where the boundary between properties actually lies. If neighbors are not sure where the property line is, or one neighbor suspects the other has extended their use over the property line, a survey should be conducted. This is especially important for neighbors thinking of installing a fence or other privacy screens like trees and bushes. A survey that indicates the precise boundary between two pieces of property will allow both neighbors to confine their yard improvements to their own side of the property line. This survey can prevent conflicts from arising in the future. If you are thinking of purchasing a property with neighbors, it is usually a good idea to have a professional survey performed before you make an offer to purchase. This will alert you to any neighbors who may be encroaching on the property you might buy. It will also help you understand where the boundaries of the property lie so you can conform your use of the property to those boundaries.
Other common issues between neighbors are trees and plants that are planted on a neighboring property, but that have branches hanging over your property. It can be difficult to talk about an overhanging tree with your neighbor because your neighbor does not experience the negative effects of the overhang. In Wisconsin, in general if your neighbor’s tree or plant hangs over onto your property, you are allowed to trim the parts of the branch or plant that is above your property. However, if you choose to trim a neighboring branch that hangs over your property, you must not cause unreasonable injury to the tree or plant. Of course, the most polite thing to do, is to seek your neighbor’s permission before trimming any branches.
Now that you know a few common issues between neighbors, you may have other questions about your own situation. Legal blog posts can serve as an introduction to legal topics, but they should never be considered legal advice. Contact an attorney at Kelly & Brand, Attorneys at Law, LLC for sound legal advice precisely tailored to your unique circumstances.