What to do about neighbors fence restricting driveway

Our rental house and the neighbor each had driveways about 8′ wide that touch at the side lot line and goes past the side of the house to a garage in the back yard of each house.

The neighbor is putting up a solid fence on their drive at their lot line from the garage to about 15′ from the curb and then chain link almost to the curb. This leaves only about 8′ between our house and the fence to get into the garage. This makes it extremely difficult for tenants (or prospective tenants) to access the garage with any vehicle other than compact or smaller.

The neighbor doesn’t care because their house is small and has about 12 feet to the lot line and also had room to widen their drive to 9 feet.

Has anyone found a solution for a situation like this?

There are a number of developments built like this in the 50’s like in the area near Kenwood school where rentals are common.

Post your comments and ideas below!


4 thoughts on “What to do about neighbors fence restricting driveway”

  1. If there is a continuous use of a driveway that extends partially onto an adjacent lot, then there may be a case for a “prescriptive easement.” This is similar to “adverse possession,” which you may have heard of before. However, establishing a prescriptive easement to the extent that it can prevent the neighbor from installing a fence blocking the driveway will require court action. This is ordinarily done by a boundary dispute action. As you might imagine, farmers fight about fences and boundaries frequently, so there is a lot of material on this subject. Look here for more information: http://www.calt.iastate.edu/resources/fence. The law would generally be the same in-town.

  2. It sounds like your tenants over the years have teed off your neighbor enough times that he has come up with this solution to stop some of it. Legally, if he has gotten a permit, and conformed to all the city codes regarding fences (and it sounds like he has ), there is nothing you can do about it. Owners of property in most of C.R. have the right to put privacy fences right up to the lot line on their property. Some developments in newer areas have covenants that do not allow fences at all. Unfortunately, your future T”s are just going to have to live with it. The only other possible solution, is hire your own servayor for $300-$400 to make sure the fence is not on your property.

  3. First, I would check with the city to see if there is a minimum set back for erecting a fence in this situation. If you feel they are within their right to do so, you might offer to sign a long term lease with your neighbor for a 2 feet strip of land along the driveway so you will have easier access to your garage. Another possibility is offer to buy their home.

  4. Unfortunately these developements were built with the driveway for each home runing parallel and touching each other right along the lot line. I located the lot pins so the lot line is where the driveways meet. Apparently the builders did not consider that a homeowner would ever think of putting a fence on their driveway at the lot line and so far I have not found any restriction in the covenants. The city said it apparently met code and would not coment if the fence was a good idea. If you have the larger 960 sq ft homes in the neighborhood the fence renders the drive nearly useless except for small vehicles. The 760 or 860 sq ft homes are shorter and generally have space to get past the house and even put in a wider drive. I once suggested to a neighbor on the same street who has the exact same driveway setup that I might put up a similar fence if I ever bought their neighbors smaller home and I got a very hostile reaction.

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