Updated on June 14, 2018
It’s a classic problem for homeowners, especially homeowners in a densely populated area like Los Angeles – a new neighbor moves in next door and announces their plans to build a big new wall or fence between your properties. Often times the neighbor may want to build this fence on what you believe is your property; other times, the neighbor may be building on land that is, on paper at least, his property, but that you have been using for years and do not want to lose the use of now.
So what can you do if your neighbor decides to start building a wall or fence? Usually these situations can be worked out informally between neighbors, but if things escalate it may be worthwhile for you to seek help from an attorney (like the ones at Schorr Law) in obtaining a preliminary injunction. If you are successful, a preliminary injunction would prevent your neighbor from any new construction until the dispute is resolved.
In order to get a preliminary injunction, you have to prove to the court that (1) you are likely to win if the case goes to trial, and (2) that the harm to you if your neighbor builds the fence is greater than the harm to your neighbor in delaying construction. Luckily, in California the general rule is that it is better to maintain the status quo, so if the neighbor hasn’t built the fence yet you are more likely to have the judge on your side. To help your attorney in arguing on your behalf, it is helpful to take (preferably date-stamped) photos of the property at issue, especially photos that would help your attorney explain to the judge why building the fence would cause hardship. For example, if the neighbor wants to build a fence alongside your driveway, take photos showing how limiting the space next to your driveway would make use of your driveway difficult or impossible. Meanwhile, try, if you can, to keep things cordial with your neighbor – it never hurts to look like the rational party in front of the judge!
If you are looking for a real estate attorney in Los Angeles, Malibu, Central or Northern California, do not hesitate to contact Schorr Law. We represent clients all over the state of California. To see if you qualify for a free 30-minute consultation, please give us a call at (310) 954-1877, or text us at (323) 487-7533. You can also send us a message via email at [email protected] or use our contact for to send us one.