Knowing all of the relevant laws and bylaws regarding your neighbours can help prevent potential conflict and disputes. What are the Ontario neighbour laws that you should know? This article will outline important bylaws governing you and your neighbours. From fence height to surveillance cameras to safety concerns, this article will cover it all. Want to know more about property bylaws and home security? Contact the experts at Jay360 now!
Everything You Need To Know: Ontario Neighbour Laws
Unfortunately, neighbour disputes are not unheard of, and can often escalate beyond what anyone anticipated. In one case outlined by Nelligan.ca, a battle over the placement of a detached garage ended up costing $70,000 in legal fees (source). Most often, neighbour disputes can be easily settled with kind words and compromise. However, that is not always the case. That’s why understanding Ontario neighbour laws is so important. Following bylaw guidelines and regulations can save you a major headache, and maybe even money!
Ontario Fencing Bylaws
Fencing is one of the biggest problems between neighbours. So-called “ugly” fences offending passersby, improper fence height, and fences placed over property lines are some of the most common problems. A quick search online will show you how prevalent this is all across Ontario. In March 2017, DurhamRegion.ca reported that an Ajax woman was looking at $50,000 in court fees due to a fencing dispute. According to reports, her fence was eight feet high, while the local bylaw limits fence height to six feet.
Understanding fencing bylaws before installing a fence can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees and hours of frustration. Most Ontario fencing bylaws follow similar guidelines. However, to find the specifics for your area, you will need to look at your city, town, or municipality’s bylaws.
- Waterloo – Fencing Bylaw
- Guelph – Fencing Bylaw
- County of Brant – Fencing Bylaw
- Hamilton – Fencing Bylaw
- Oakville – Fence and Pool Fence Bylaw
Didn’t See Your City/Town Listed Above?
Ontario Surveillance Camera Bylaws
As personal surveillance cameras become more and more common, so do neighbour disputes about them. Neighbours often feel uncomfortable if it appears a neighbour’s camera is pointing towards their home. In March 2017, TheRecord.com reported an ongoing neighbour dispute in the Waterloo region regarding fencing as well as the positioning of surveillance cameras. The court case lasted 8 and a half days and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Because residential surveillance cameras are still relatively new, some regions do not currently have bylaws surrounding their use. If your region does not have camera bylaws, there are general tips to help prevent accidental invasion of privacy and neighbour conflict:
- Talk to your neighbours – tell them about your security cameras and explain why you chose to install them. This will help eliminate suspicions and fears that you may be spying on them.
- Point cameras away from neighbours – try your best to position your camera so it only points towards your property. Ideally, none of your neighbour’s property will be seen on your camera.
- Compromise – if your neighbours feel uncomfortable, try your best to compromise with a level head. Be calm, polite, and listen to their concerns before reacting.
Surveillance Camera Bylaws
- City of Hamilton – Surveillance Camera Bylaws
- City of Burlington – Bylaw Number 108-2002
- Town of Halton Hills – Bylaw 2003-0079
- Town of Milton – Bylaw Number 30-2003
Does Your Region Have Camera Bylaws? Find Out Now!
Entering Neighbour’s Property Bylaws
Generally, it is best to stay off of your neighbour’s property unless otherwise agreed upon. In Ontario, there are laws regulating trespassing. These laws are very specific and govern what exactly counts as trespassing. There are even different rules regarding trespassing at night vs during the day. Trespassing laws in Ontario are made up of tort law, provincial legislation, and criminal law. These laws apply to everyone in Ontario (source).
There is also a recently passed bylaw in Toronto called Right-Of-Entry. This bylaw allows neighbours to apply for a permit. This permit allows individuals to go onto neighbour’s land for the purpose of repairing or altering existing structures that can only be accessed by a neighbouring property. The alterations and repairs can only be made to structures that the permit holder owns.
Want To Know More About Trespassing Laws?
How To Avoid Neighbour Disputes
Not all neighbour disputes end in huge court cases and thousands of dollars in legal fees. Still, even minor neighbour disputes can take an emotional toll on those involved. Here are some tips to help avoid disputes over fences, cameras, property lines, and everything else in between.
- Communicate – As mentioned above, communication is always the right first step! If you have a concern, or suspect your neighbour may have a concern, talk about it. It is best to talk things out in the early stages of a problem before it escalates to a full-blown conflict.
- Know The Bylaws – Knowing the bylaws of your area, and knowing that you are in compliance with them, will help prevent conflict. If everything on your property is up to code, you will likely run into little to no problems with your neighbours.
- Know Your Property – Do you know exactly where your property begins and ends? Most people aren’t aware of the precise boundary lines. Keep a handy record of your property details and know your boundary lines. This will not only prevent problems, but also ensure you are not taken advantage of.
- Keep Trees/Bushes Trimmed – Your neighbours should not have to deal with your trees or bushes. If you notice your trees/bushes are over the property line, trim them so they are only on your proprety. Your neighbours can request you maintain your trees or bushes and keep them off their property, but whatever else you do with your plants on your property is up to you.
Contact The Security Experts At Jay360 Today!
After reading the bylaws, are you concerned about surveillance camera placement? Worried about neighbour disputes? Jay360 looks at helping you position your security system not only for an optimized security profile, but also for bylaw compliance!
Ensure you have the right tools for the job when safeguarding your premise with the right security advisor for peace of mind and privacy.
You can rely on the knowledge and experience of Jay 360 to provide you with the best home security solutions. Digital or analog, we have you covered. We will recommend only the security products that meet your specific needs and budget.
Neighbour with dog image source: Lars Plougmann from Flickr.com (image cropped and brightened)