When you selected your Tennessee home or vacation home, you have considered several factors. If you live in an area surrounded by stunning landscape, view may have been one of them. So, if you hear word that your neighbor plans to build up or alter his or her property in such a way that would block your view, you may wonder if you have options. FindLaw explores ways in which you can retain your rights to an unencumbered view.
One of the first things you should do if you hear that a neighbor plans to block your view is to check your city’s ordinances. Some cities, especially those with great views of, say, the mountains or ocean, have specific ordinances designed to protect views. Though enforcing an ordinance may take some time, it may be your best course of action for retaining your view.
Another way you can preserve your view is by purchasing an easement. Though an easement does not grant you any ownership interest in a neighboring property, it does grant you nonpossessory interest. What this means is that, with an easement, you will have the right to use another’s land for a specific purpose. If you purchase an easement, it is imperative that you work with an attorney to draft it, as the language cannot leave any room for interpretation.
If you cannot use an ordinance or an easement to protect your view, you may be able to claim that your neighbor deliberately tried to block your view. For instance, if your neighbor planted a tree, built a fence or is responsible for some other obstruction designed to maliciously block your view, the city may order him or her to take the obstruction down. This is because obstructions placed or built out of spite are illegal.
You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.