Profile picture for teresalouise

I recently bought a house in California where the house next door is extremely close. At the time o

I recently bought a house in California where the house next door is extremely close.  At the time of purchase the relator stated current building code would not permit houses so close  at the present. 

since the purchase another buyer bought the house and turned it into a rental.  The sound coming from the other house is now unbearable.  Is there any requirement by law that we both need to address this issue through home improvement or do I just have to grin and bear it. 
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
August 31 2009 - Richmond
We think we've answered this question for you!
  • Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.
 
 

Answers (1)

Well, it's a rare day when I get to wear both of my two favorite hats when answering a question! First let me try on the "real estate broker" hat...

When you buy a property in California,  documents, etc. are generally set up such that you are buying that property on an "as-is" basis. That was not always the case, but (again, generally) that is curently true. You also had some time period in the normal California Association of Realtors "offer" agreement, with which you were to do your inspections (otherwise known as "discovery"), etc. During that time, you could have gone to the building department, etc. to determine anything you wanted about the proximity of the neighbor, or any other concern you had for that matter... (as long as you didn't wave any red flags about them!); simply investigated any issue relating to the property. The assumption is that you became satisfied with all of those issues, and you bought the property anyway. Unfortunate if you did not do proper investigation, but you likely had those timeframes in any agreement.

Now, the other "designer" hat...

If there exists an illegal condition which is not documented as a "variance" or an "existing non-conforming" condition whereby the city has allowed through whatever process a setback which is not the normal - there may be something you can do about it. Not only is it potentially a nuisance, but it may be dangerous... if a fire were to start in the other persons property, as an example, the close proximity to your home may create a situation where the fire spreads. At the minimum there should be some mitigating efforts to prevent that from happening... fire retardant materials, exterior fire sprinklers, firewalls, etc. that might would stop a fire from spreading.

You can go the city and ask to see the permits on the house next door. If the area is unpermitted, then you'll have several options, including trying to negotiate with your neighbor, or if no resolution can be achieved, then perhaps filing a complaint will be the only answer. If it is permitted, I would then ask the building official if he feels the condition is safe (your definition of close and mine may be different!) and to code. If you just can't seem to win this battle, then I'd consider making some effort to prevent the fire spread issue on your own property. As far as the privacy matters, visuals you might be able to mitigate, sound is tougher... especially when the height of the fence you might build is likely limited by code... and you need mass to stop sound, pretty bushes won't help at all.

There is one other option of course... call your local realtor and move!
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
August 31 2009
 
Related Questions
HOW MUCH INTERIOR PAINT IS NEEDED TO PAINT A 2000 SQ. FT. HOME
Profile picture for Martins Construction
Latest answer by Martins Construction
December 30 2011 | 4 answers
Are there any gov. grants available to get a new roof on my house? repairs also?
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Latest answer by wetdawgs
March 19 2010 | 3 answers
I recently bought a house in California where the house next door is extremely close. At the time o
Profile picture for Jim Ventura
Latest answer by Jim Ventura
August 31 2009 | 1 answers
Be A Good Neighbor

Zillow Advice depends on each member to keep it a safe, fun, and positive place. If you see abuse, flag it. More on our Good Neighbor Policy.

Homes for Sale
  1. 782 Yuba St, Richmond, CA Home For Sale
    782 Yuba St, Richmond, CA 94805

     For Sale: $385,000

    • Beds: 2
    • Sqft: 741
    • Baths: 1.0
    • Lot: 5999
  2. 4247 Jana Vista Rd, El Sobrante, CA Home For Sale
    4247 Jana Vista Rd, El Sobrante, CA 94803

     For Sale: $389,000

    • Beds: 2
    • Sqft: 1064
    • Baths: 2.0
    • Lot: 4999
  3. 2297 Highlands Rd, San Pablo, CA Home For Sale
    2297 Highlands Rd, San Pablo, CA 94806

     For Sale: $369,999

    • Beds: 3
    • Sqft: 1236
    • Baths: 2.0
    • Lot: 5998
 
 
 
Sign in with Google