Q: Can a renter keep an adjoining property owner from using about 10 feet of the property they are renting if the owner
of the rental property gave permission to the adjacent landowner to use the 10 feet strip of the rental property? The 10 foot strip is outside of the 6 foot tall privacy fence for the rental which has been in place for several years.
A: Generally, the tenant has the right to exclusive possession of the entire rented premises. I would need to see the lease to be sure, but the neither the owner nor a third person can violate the tenant's right of possession unless that area was excluded from the leased premises.
I agree with Mr. Canty that the answer probably relies exclusively on the terms of the lease, in particular the definition of the premises that are leased (is this portion outside the fence excluded by definition?) and/or any reservations of rights to the landlord (did the landlord reserve the right to allow access to this area--outside the fence and perhaps not a detriment to the tenant--to others?). Typically, the landlord would not have reserved any rights to your lease premises that would interfere with your exclusive use of the premises.
In addition to the legal question is a practical question: can you come to an agreement with the neighbor in a way that the neighbor's use of this 10 feet outside of your fence won't really bother you?
Sometimes, the best solution is the one that doesn't require an attorney or a fight. Sometimes; not always.
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