Q: My neighbors do not want to give me access to their fenced in yard to perform maintenance on my house, gutters etc. They also have a dog house against my house and have attached a fence against it to make a “pen” to house their pit bulls. Is there a city ordinance against all of this? What city bureau would I contact?

A: Many cities have ordinances that regulate the ability of homeowners to use adjacent lands to maintain their homes. In your case, it’s in the neighborhood’s best interest that you should be able to maintain your home. If you can only do that by obtaining access through your neighbor’s yard, you may have a right under your city ordinances to have limited access for that purpose.

You should call the city and find out what agency you can talk to determine whether you have that right or not. You might find that your local alderman’s office or other local municipal governmental office may have information available for you.

In some towns and cities, you can now go to that town or city’s website and research your question.

After you have done some of this research, if you still have not found your answer, you might have to ask a good contractor in your area the question or ask a real estate attorney. The contractor might have experience with this issue, having fixed buildings and homes in your area. That contractor might even be able to quote you the law that allows neighbors to have limited access on other people’s property to make repairs to their own properties.

The attorney might have that information as well for you.

Read more about bad neighbors, like when a rotten neighbor disagrees about a fence