Some of you may remember this thread from a few months ago. If not
here is the link to the original thread.
Not much has changed between us other than he has put up a fence
between us only and not on the other side of his property. There is
still a permit from the city attached to his garage showing he hasn't
had it inspected by the city. The fence is made of sectional pieces
and looks like crap since there is no smooth topline across the top.
It looks like he did his best to make it somewhat level but since the
ground isn't level there are gaps at the bottom and jagged edge at the
I am sure he is not finished since the nails he used to hold the fence
up are not driven all the way flush with the wood. The problem is the
nailheads stick out 1/2 inch towards my yard and are a hazard as far as
I'm concerned. I have children that play in the yard and one of them
is a three-year-old. So far no one has been hurt by these nailheads
but I think they are dangerous.
Since this neighbor hates my guts and won't talk to me what do you
suggest I do about this potential hazard?
Is this fence on his claim or your purchased property line, what is your
states minimum time for an adverse possession claim, how long has he
lived there, you may have lost the land already unless you know all the
Two pieces of advice:
1. You can't control other people. Banty's Life Fact of Life #1: Other people
are not required to act in your interests.
So, do what you *can* control, which is on the line of bushes, your own fence,
2. You can make a shorter link:
I would do one of these things (probably the second) -- (1) Call the city
and see if there any codes for fences. If so, ask to have it inspected for
danger to your children -- but be prepared for still more unpleasantness
since you say your neighbor already hates you. (2) Build your own fence
back-to-back to his fence. Make sure it is on your own property, and have
the "nice" side facing you. Incidentally, I had a cedar fence (all four
sides) installed in my backyard, and my yard also has a number of uneven
areas. In addition, there is a considerable slope. However, the fence
looks nice and is completely straight across the top. The man who built is
strung a line of cord at the height he wanted, then cut any boards that
would be too high (cutting the bottom edge). He also placed a sort of "kick
plate" along the bottom edge to hide any "rough" areas.
The trouble with planting bushes is that the OP described a concern that his
children (including a 3-year-old) could be injured on the nails that
protrude on "their" side of the fence. It takes a considerable amount of
time for bushes to grow to the height and "shrubbiness" to keep children
completely away from a fence. It can also be just as costly to buy shrubs
of the type needed for camouflage as it would cost to build a fence to line
up with the existing fence.
I'd hammer the protruding nails down (bending them down) and proceed with the
bushes. There are a lot of things in nature which stick out from stuff; I don't
think after simple measures to bend them down they'd be particularly hazardous.
If the fence is on the neighbor's land, can you legally bend down the nails?
For example, in some jurisdictions you could cut limbs from a tree that
extended over your property but could not cut any portion that is on the
"other" person's land. The OP talked about bad relationship, so I wonder
how far his neighbor would be willing to go if the fence is tampered with
(thinking about lawsuit here). Yes, I'm "stretching" a bit because this
would be done for safety, but it sounds like there are already some pretty
unpleasant reactions. Incidentally, if the OP *does* take steps simply to
eliminate the sharp ends, would it work better to simply cut off the sharp
These are nailheads, not the tips. The fence is not finished but
hasn't been worked on in months. It looks to me like he put up the
privacy fence sectional pieces with the intention of possibly taking
them down again or possibly adjusting them again. Each eight-foot
sectional piece is being held up by only four nails that have not been
driven in completely.
If some of you remember the bad blood began between us when I mowed
over a dead bush on the edge of his property that prevented me from
getting behind a bunch of other bushes. I made the mistake and tried
to make up for it but he wouldn't accept any of my amends or the
replacement bush I bought. It died from neglect. So since I created
the problem by touching something on his land I don't think it would
help if I started banging the nailheads in and starting the whole thing
over. Leaving a note for him is useless since he hasn't responded to
any other notes I left for him. Calling the inspector is a possibility
but the building permit is still visible so it doesn't look like he's
finished. I have considered taking pictures of the nailheads with
blood dripping from them and mailing it to him with a hospital bill or
something like that but that would be just completely wrong. My last
option is to walk up to his door and tell him directly, but I can
visualize his response if he ever answers the door.
Okay, thanks. I was picturing the nailheads on *his* side (not yours). You
did say nailheads in your original message, but I didn't pick up on that.
Oddly, doesn't this mean that he stood on your property while building the
fence (unless I am still misunderstanding)?
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