I recently heard a story about how one tiny section of the Uniform Construction Code became a big problem for a real estate developer facing an unreasonable neighbor. And, while we all know real estate development war stories involving disputes with neighbors, I’d wager you’ve not previously considered this particular section of the Code and the difficulties it could present for your client.

The section at issue is found at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.34, entitled Protection of Adjoining Properties. In short, it requires that when you are about to undertake construction, rehabilitation or demolition work that could potentially damage adjoining properties, you need to enter the adjoining properties to determine what measures are necessary to safeguard those properties before you can obtain a construction permit from the municipal construction official. And, while this might sound pretty straightforward, there is one important catch: you have to obtain written consent from the owners of the adjoining properties as to the safety measures to be implemented.

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