How to Avoid Disputes with Neighbors on Fence Installation

Unless you live on a multi-acre lot, you have nearby neighbors. In Chicago and its many surrounding suburbs, most neighborhoods are dense, with neighboring homes on two or three sides of your home. The codes and regulations listed on the individual city pages of this website exist primarily to keep fences in those cities attractive and safe. They also are written to create a certain degree of uniformity in the appearance of neighborhoods. In many subdivisions, covenants and restrictions in HOA contracts are even more restrictive in the kinds of fences that can be built. There are excellent reasons for all of those rules and codes.

Fences are some of the most common sources of disputes between neighbors throughout the country. Every year, these disputes lead to lawsuits and arguments that can last for years. If you’re planning to add a fence to your property, it’s important to keep this in mind. There’s an old saying that says, “Good fences make good neighbors.” That’s true, but it could also be written as “Good neighbors build good fences.” Here are some ways to help ensure that the project you’re planning will help build good relationships with the people who own homes next to yours.

If All Efforts Fail, You Still Have a Right to Build Your Fence

It’s not always possible to come to an agreement with every neighbor. Unfortunately, you could encounter a situation where a neighboring property owner refuses to cooperate with you and continues to object to your plans. If that happens, you can still build your fence. However, you’ll have to follow the city codes to the letter and be absolutely certain that you don’t encroach on that neighbor’s property. In the worst case, you might have to move the fence to make sure you can complete the project without ever setting foot on the neighbor’s property. Wherever possible, try to avoid this situation and work patiently with neighbors to come to an agreement.