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Options for people in dispute with neighbors

People who are purchasing a home in California might worry about what neighbors could do to surrounding property that either blocks their view or makes it unpleasant in some other way. A homeowner in such a situation might have several options.

The homeowners' association or a local ordinance might prohibit some types of activity. However, it might be best to speak to a neighbor and try to resolve the issue before turning to a legal solution. Another option is purchasing an easement from the neighbor although this needs to be done before the damage happens. With an easement, a person would have an interest in the neighbor's land without owning it. The neighbor would be prohibited from doing anything that interfered with the easement holder's enjoyment of the land unless this provision created an unreasonable burden upon the neighbor. An easement might be specifically prepared to ensure that a view is not blocked. These are complex documents that might be best prepared by an attorney.

If there is no easement and an ordinance or other regulation does not cover the situation, a person might attempt to demonstrate a malicious action on the neighbor's part. This might include building a fence or planting a tree with the intention of blocking the view. However, malice in these situations may be difficult to prove.

A neighbor dispute of this nature can be stressful and complex. A person seeking an easement or another legal solution might want to discuss the situation with an attorney. Legal counsel could outline the homeowner's rights and suggest solutions.

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