The best tips to avoid disputes between neighbors.

You can have a nice chat with neighbors over the fence – but you can also fight incredibly with them. After all, you didn’t choose these people, but you still have to get along with them somehow. If you are unlucky with your neighbors, or even got into a serious argument, we explain some legal questions here.

The balcony design

In a rented apartment, the balcony can in principle be designed freely according to the tenant’s ideas. However, a few rules have to be observed. For example, flower boxes must always be attached to the inside of the balcony parapet. In any case, in such a way that they do not cause any damage if they fall. When watering, no water should run down the house wall or drip onto the balcony below. The balcony must not be overloaded. Large trees in heavy pots are not suitable for balconies, which are usually only designed for a certain weight. In addition, they may interfere with the neighbor’s view. The same applies to privacy screens, they may only be the same height as the balcony railing.

Border area between the plots

There is a lot of argument between neighbors because of the border area between two properties. There are detailed regulations for planting the border area with trees, hedges and bushes. However, the rules are very different depending on the federal state. In principle, however, the permissible distance to the border depends on the type of plant.

Trees at the property line

Trees that grow over the years to the neighboring property must be felled. The law regulates the conditions under which the tree must be felled. The neighbor is allowed to saw off branches that grow over the fence. Penetrating roots may also be removed. If you want to prevent this, you can put a root barrier film on your property.

However, the neighbor is only allowed to lend a hand if the use of his property is severely impaired by the tree. What exactly is meant by that gives rise to a dispute. Clogged gutters from leaf fall are another problem. The tree owner is responsible for this and bears the costs of removing it.

Buildings not permitted

In the state building regulations of the individual federal states, it is precisely specified which buildings may be built in which locations and at what height. Garden sheds, sheds and garages may not be built at will, but require approval from a certain size.

There are also precise regulations for the design of the property boundary. Before planning fences or plants, you should first find out what is allowed and what is not. Otherwise you may have to remove buildings or fences if the neighbor does not like them. Even with mutual consent, it is better to stick to the guidelines – after all, the neighboring house could be sold and the new neighbor could be less tolerant and demand the demolition of a black building.

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