Can My Neighbor Block My View? (Do This to Stop Them)
Your view is an important part of your home – it’s one of the things that make your house feel like a home. So what happens if your neighbor’s new development is blocking your view? Can you do anything about it?
A neighbor is allowed to block your view if there is no view ordinance in place, and they are following all other community laws. However, it is illegal for a neighbor to block your view if you can prove they’re blocking it with malicious intent. You can then take legal action against them.
In this article, we will go over what is legal for your neighbor to do in regards to blocking your view, how you can protect your view, and if nothing else works – how you can sue your neighbor. So let’s begin, shall we!
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
You cannot always stop your neighbor from blocking your view, but if you believe they are building something against zoning laws, or simply out of spite– catch them in the act and report them with a video surveillance camera.
Here are the best surveillance cameras on Amazon:
1. ZEEPORTE SECURITY Security Camera: This is a wireless outdoor camera with rechargeable batteries. It can be mounted anywhere on your property to achieve the best view of the neighbors’ construction or planting.
2. REOLINK Solar Security Camera: Solar power helps keep this camera charged without having to take it down. The camera is on a swivel and can be moved wirelessly. And it has night vision.
3. Elemage Security Camera: This camera also has night vision. Plus, it’s rechargeable and it holds a charge for more than a month. It also has motion detectors that will turn on the camera with its senses if someone is there.
Is This Legal
It might seem wrong, but is it? In this section, we will discuss what can be illegal or against the area’s view ordinance. We will also discuss what you can do if it is legal. Let’s begin!
Can My Neighbor Block My View?
In most areas, there are no problems with a neighbor blocking another neighbor’s view. However, in some areas, there is already a view ordinance that prohibits your neighbor from blocking your view.
There also might be something wrong with what they are putting up to block your view. It could be a building that’s not allowed in your neighborhood.
And it might be a tree that is of a species that is not allowed in the area.
Can Someone Block Your View?
Typically, someone can block your view as long as they are not breaking any other rules. There are some areas that have view ordinances. Most of the time, view ordinances are in areas where the view is part of the property’s value.
Property view ordinances are usually in areas on a beach, lake, or mountains. Neighbors and neighborhoods have also put in place view easements.
These are agreements among neighbors, that one neighbor will block the view of another.
Can My Neighbor Legally Block My View?
Most of the time, your neighbor is not bound by a legal agreement or law that says they can’t place something in your view. It is possible that there is a view easement in place already that they signed. It is also possible that there is a view ordinance in place.
If there is not either, your neighbor could be putting up something that is against HomeOwners Association (HOA) standards.
Additionally, if they are putting up a tree or trees, check with the local authorities to see if the tree is allowed in the area.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor Keeps Parking in Your Spot
Is My Neighbor Allowed to Build Something that Blocks My View?
If your neighbor is purposefully blocking your view and has malicious intent, you may need a lawyer and see what can be done. It will work more in your favor if what they put up has no functional purpose for them.
You can also try going to the HOA and see what they can do for you. They might have a policy already in place. You can also ask for a view easement.
Also, try to talk with your neighbor and see if you can come to a compromise.
Can You Protect a View?
You can protect your view in some cases. Before you move in, ask about view ordinances, or if you can have a view easement, and ask the other neighbors if they want to do the same.
Another way to protect your view is to talk to your neighbor and find a compromise. For example, if they plant a tree, offer to pay for it to be pruned.
If the tree or structure is in the view of other neighbors as well, ask your neighbors to come with you when you talk to them.
Are Views Protected?
Views are sometimes protected by view ordinances or view easements, however not every area has this. Check with your local HOA and city to see if there are any rules or protection rights for views.
You can apply for a view easement if there isn’t anything in place yet.
Also, talk with your neighbors about starting something to put a policy in place, or simply go to the neighbor that is building or planting something that will obstruct your view, and talk to them about it.
If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, they may be willing to work something out with you so everyone is happy.
Are You Entitled to a View from Your Property?
You might be entitled to a view from your property if there is a view ordinance already in place, or if you and your neighbors have signed a view easement. You might also purchase a view easement.
If your neighbor does not want to agree to a view easement and wants to put up a structure, or plant a tree or trees that block your view, see if there’s anything illegal or against HOA policy with what they are putting up.
Can You Have an Easement of a View?
In some neighborhoods, they ask you to sign a view easement that other neighbors have also signed, but you can also purchase one and see if your neighbor or neighbors will agree to also sign an easement.
If one neighbor does not want to sign an easement, go to your other neighbors whose views may also be affected and see if they will go with you to talk to your neighbor.
You might also find that there is something against the code or the law with what they are putting up.
Can You Object to Loss of View?
In many areas, there is nothing in place that says a neighbor or business must notify you of your loss of view. Therefore, you cannot object. However, there may be a view ordinance in place, or you can try to obtain a view easement.
You can even instate a whole area to sign a view easement. This is simply a legal agreement that no one will place a structure or plant a tree that will obstruct anyone’s view.
Many neighborhoods also have rules in place for what structures and trees are acceptable.
You might also enjoy our post on How to Deal With Trespassing Neighbors
Does Anyone Own a View?
No one owns a view, but there may be a view ordinance in place that restricts neighbors and businesses from obstructing your view. You can also sign a view easement with your neighbor to agree not to put up anything that would obstruct the view.
On the flip side, there are Air Rights in place in some urban areas. This is the right to the space above your property or business land to develop tall structures.
If this is in place in your area, you might not have any rights to your view.
Should I Contact a Lawyer if My Neighbor is Trying to Block My View?
Contacting your lawyer about your neighbor blocking your view should not be your first step, but if all else fails, then you can contact your lawyer. You should first go to your neighbor and see if there is a compromise you can make.
You can also check to see if there are any local view ordinances in place, or if your neighbor is willing to sign a view easement.
Also, see if any of your other neighbors are bothered by the disruption of view and go to your neighbor together.
How Can I Protect My View
You can protect your view by signing an easement along with your other neighbors. You can also become familiar with local view ordinances, or HOA policies to see what is and is not already allowed.
It is not illegal to obstruct someone’s view except when they do so with malicious intent and it serves them no purpose other than to hurt you.
You should talk to a lawyer if you believe malicious intent is involved.
What Can I Do if My Neighbor Starts to Block My View?
If your neighbor starts to block your view, first talk to your neighbor and see if you can come to a compromise. If that doesn’t work, look at the laws and policies already in place. Some areas have view ordinances that do not allow a view to be blocked.
Also, if they are building a structure, see if the structure goes against code in the neighborhood. If they start planting trees, see if the type of tree is allowed in the area.
There may be city ordinances in place that do not allow their plants or structure.
What is an Easement?
An easement is an agreement. A view easement is an agreement between neighbors and businesses to not put up a structure or plant trees and trellises that obstruct the view of other neighbors.
You can obtain an easement by simply going to your neighbor or neighbors and seeing if they will accept it for free. Or, you can purchase an easement.
If your neighbors refuse, then familiarize yourself with what plants and structures are not allowed in the area.
How Will an Easement Protect My View?
An easement will protect your view if a neighbor agrees to sign one with you. The easement is an agreement that neither one of you will put up a structure or plant that will obstruct the view. However, this only lasts for as long as that neighbor continues to live there.
If you don’t receive an easement, check with your local HOA and see if there are any policies against neighbors putting up structures, or if there are any city ordinances against the plants your neighbor is planting. Both could be against the law.
What is a View Ordinance?
A view ordinance is something the city, county, or community put in place so that no one can build anything without a permit if it obstructs the view. This is often the case around the ocean, lakes, state parks, and other areas known for their view.
If there isn’t a view ordinance in place, you can try to obtain a view easement.
Sometimes HOA has you and all homeowners in your area sign one when you buy a property, however, you can also start an easement in your area with your neighbors.
Can I Request a View Ordinance?
You can request a view ordinance to be placed in your area. Ask your local HOA, or a lawyer to find out the proper way to obtain a view ordinance. If it is not granted, you can also ask your neighbors to sign an easement.
Additionally, you can see if what your neighbors are putting up is against a code or standard in the area. Some trees are illegal to have in certain areas too.
However, if you find out they are doing something that’s against code, talk to them first.
How do I Know if I have a View Ordinance?
Check with your local government. You might find that information on the city or county’s website, but if not, contact your city’s administration. You can also ask your HOA, or the neighborhood community council.
The neighborhood community might have other policies and codes in place for the neighborhood. This can include what structures you can and cannot put up in your yard.
It might also include rules against certain additions to a house.
Can I Sue if a neighbor blocks my view?
If you have done all you can to see if your neighbor will take down the obstruction to your view, and you know there’s something not right with what they are doing, then you might want to sue. In this section, we discuss whether or not this is possible.
Can I Sue My Neighbor if They Block My View?
If your neighbor is doing something illegal while obstructing your view you can report them and sue them. However, if they’re not doing anything illegal, but you expect they are blocking the view with malicious intent, you can sue.
Suing your neighbor should be the last resort. Try speaking with your neighbor first. Then ask your other neighbors to speak to them too.
Remember, you will probably still be neighbors, after all, is said and done.
What Could I Sue My Neighbor for if They Block My View?
You can sue your neighbor for malicious intent and for blocking your view for no other purpose. If your neighbor is building something that has no use to them, especially if it’s something they know you will dislike, it’s malicious intent.
You can also report them for building something that’s against code. There are also lots of codes and regulations for growing trees, especially in the cities.
Check with your local government and HOA to see if there’s anything your neighbor is doing that’s against the law.
Is it Considered a Nuisance if My Neighbor Blocks My View?
In some cases, it is considered a nuisance if your neighbor blocks your view, and it can be grounds for eviction. However, homeowners do not have a right to their view and the area and air around them.
It is considered a nuisance if a neighbor builds something with malicious intent.
You can often report them if what they’re doing is also illegal or against HOA standards, but even if what they’re putting up isn’t wrong, it’s still malicious intent.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do About Your Neighbor’s Loud Generator
Can My Neighbor Block My Sunlight?
If your neighbor is blocking your sunlight, they may not be aware of it. First, ask them if they will take down the obstruction of the sunlight coming into your property. However, if they are blocking it with malicious intent, then you can sue.
Before you go through the process of suing, see if what they are putting up is against local ordinances or not in accordance with the community’s standards.
Talk to your city or county’s administration, or your HOA.
Can a Neighbor Stop You From Building?
You can stop a neighbor from building if what they are doing goes against the community’s standards. This can include detached structures and additions to their house. It might also go against the local view ordinance.
If there is nothing legally wrong with what they are building. Ask them if they will stop, or try to find a compromise.
Unfortunately, if they do not agree, then you don’t have a case, except if they are building it strictly with malicious intent.
We hope you are able to do something about your view while having a better relationship with your neighbor.
However, we know not all neighbors are friendly. If that’s the case, we hope this article gave you some tools to fight them, legally of course.