Fences are pretty important features. They define the boundaries of a lot and offer privacy and safety benefits as well. Certain fences can even enhance a property’s aesthetics and beautify it. Spite fences, however, offer few or none of these benefits. The purpose of these fences is to antagonize a neighbor, especially out of spite.
What Is a Spite Fence?
In Oklahoma, a spite fence is an illegal fence erected for no real purpose other than to annoy a neighbor. There can also be more tangible consequences for spite fences, such as diminishing a neighbor’s property value.
These fences are often tall enough to obstruct a neighbor’s views and unsightly enough to adversely affect the appearance of adjacent properties. A spite fence doesn’t necessarily have to be made of wood or metal, either. These obstructions can also be made of bushes or trees, such as tall cypress trees.
How to Resolve a Spite Fence Dispute
The first step to resolving a spite fence dispute is to speak with the neighbor who erected the fence. In some cases, there may be no dispute at all, and the neighbor may have been unaware of how their neighbors perceived the fence. The neighbor may agree to remove the spite fence – but don’t expect this outcome.
In most genuine cases of spite fences, conflict between neighbors precedes the fence. Neighbors may have had disputes about lot boundaries or unrelated matters, and the spite fence might be a continuation of the antagonism.
When a neighbor refused to demolish their spite fence, property owners can take legal action against them for harboring a private nuisance.
Spite Fences & Private Nuisance Lawsuits – Take Legal Action Now!
Spite fences are considered private nuisances in Oklahoma. As such, the law allows those injured by a private nuisance to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the nuisance (50 Okla. Stat. § 3, 13-14).
If you are affected by a neighbor’s spite fence, you can protect your interest in your property by speaking with an experienced real estate lawyer. Our attorney at Bundren Law Firm can assist clients involved in many kinds of real estate matters, including those involving nuisances that can affect their property’s value.
For more information about how to protect your property, contact us online to schedule a consultation.