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Fence/Communal Driveway QUEENS

Discussion in 'Other Ownership, Use & Privacy Issues' started by V. Martinez, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. V. Martinez

    V. Martinez Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Hello,

    So I live in Glendale, Queens (NY) in a 2 family house. This year, we began making renovations, including our garage, our fence, new windows, new AC units, etc. My neighbor is a homophobe, anytime we do anything, we randomly get 311 notices. Nothing we have done is illegal. All done properly and spoken with lawyers.

    Here's the situation; so we have a communal driveway, THAT IS NOT BEING USED BY EITHER SIDE HOUSES. So when we first moved inn, our neighbor closed off his backyard with a fence. His fence cuts off a quarter of his garage, way far from the property line. As far as I had looked up and asked the fence company employee, as long as it isn't on the property line, its fine, correct? So, the fence was just put up last week, beautifully done. The door is placed 2-4 inches AWAY from our property line, it does NOT extend down the driveway, just my fence door is there but it opens into our yard and it does not extend down the driveway. So I'm preparing for a bbq tomorrow and my neighbor comes out and tells us we have to take down our fence because its done incorrectly. Also, mind you, as stated before, my neighbor is a homophobe that has tried countless times to plant garbage, trash lids, and anything you can think of on our property. It's just myself and my wife and our young daughter, we stay indoors and barely go out. We bother nobody. So my question is, am I violating anything because of my fence? Again, it is 2-4 inches away from my property line, and the driveway is not nor has it ever been put to use..... I was told to get the house survey but my lawyer is away on vacation. Please help.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What in the world does homophobia have to do with anything?

    If it is truly a "communal driveway" in which you both have fully equal rights to it, then you can't just unilaterally put up a fence. Speak to your attorney when he returns...and don't take legal advice from the fence guy who's selling you a fence.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If you want to receive a correct answer to this question, I suggest you pose it to someone at the NYC Building Inspector's Office or a NYC Code Enforcement Officer (or whatever either is properly called in NYC).

    Generally speaking MOST real property or appurtenance improvements REQUIRE a building permit issued by the local building or code enforcement agency.

    Based upon your recitation of events, it is unclear if you obtained such a permit.

    If you didn't obtain the required permit(s), the person residing near you just might be correct.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Your neighbor can't require you to do a darn thing.
    Just smile and say, "Oh that's very interesting!", then continue to do whatever you want.

    If the time comes that you are required to do something you will know.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    What does this have to do with anything?

    I don't know what a 311 notice is, but did you get one as a result of posting on here? Do you get one every time you make a sandwich, go shopping or go to the bathroom? Or was your reference to doing "anything" gross hyperbole?

    Not sure what either of these statements exactly means, but I'm guessing it means that there's a driveway that is partly on your property and partly on your neighbor's property.

    I don't really understand exactly what this means, but your neighbor is free to erect whatever structures he wants on his property as long as they don't violate local zoning laws.

    How should we know? You told us a bunch of things about your neighbor's fence (and something about a door, but I'm not sure what building the door is attached to) but nothing about your fence.

    If you want to get a survey, call a surveyor, not a lawyer.

    What sort of help do you suppose anyone here can provide?

    You told us that your neighbor told you that you "have to take down our fence because its done incorrectly." When he told you that, did you just grunt and walk away? Did a conversation ensue? Did the neighbor explain why he thinks you "have to" do this? Did he explain what (if anything) he's going to do if you don't acquiesce to his desire that you remove the fence? It seems to me that you don't think very highly of your neighbor, so I'm wondering why you care what he says.
     
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear about your problem. The answer to your real estate problem is that it's not as simple as whether what you've built is solely on your property. It also depends upon what New York City code requires. You state that the fence was built after discussing it with lawyers - can you explain. What are the 311 notices you're receiving - are these complaints by your neighbor? What code violations are alleged?

    What the OP is talking about regarding 311 is the ability for New York City residents to obtain information and report problems of all kinds for remedy, which can include issues such as dangerous conditions on city streets, WiFi outages in local parks, etc.

    NYC311’s mission is to provide the public with quick, easy access to all New York City government services and information while offering the best customer service. We help Agencies improve service delivery by allowing them to focus on their core missions and manage their workload efficiently. We also provide insight to improve City government through accurate, consistent measurement and analysis of service delivery.

    Even if your fence is not in the community driveway area - which by definition is not yours to intrude upon. There are building codes which set forth how far from the property line you may build certain types of structures and of what type of material. Some of these deal with fire codes as well, what might be considered a fire hazard, restrict fire fighting efforts, etc.

    The only way we can discuss properly is to know exactly what the neighbor is alleging, e.g. what is the violation. If there is no basis for their claims and they are submitting false reports, you may have remedies.
     

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