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Red in Chicago
04-28-2007, 10:59 PM
Does anyone know the rules on fencing these in your yard? When I got my fence installed in the backyard a few years ago, I went ahead and kept the cable boxes in my yard. I didn't want to make the yard look smaller by keeping them outside of the fenced in area. I have two gates, one of which is locked and the other one only looks locked, but it really isn't so the cable company can get in the yard whenever they need to. Long story short, I want to lock both gates going forward, but don't think I can as long as the boxes are in my fenced in yard. I'm seriously thinking about having the fence moved in a few feet so their boxes are no longer in my yard. Anyone know how much open space is required around the box? I seem to recall 5' or 10', but not really sure. Is this a question for the city or the cable company?

pedro
04-28-2007, 11:03 PM
Is this a question for the city or the cable company?

I would think both. The city should be able to tell you what the law is and what your rights are. The cable company is more likely to just tell you whatever is best for them.

cincinnati chili
04-29-2007, 01:17 AM
Wouldn't the cable company require an easement to "get in the yard whenever they need to?" Did you or any of the prior owners in the chain of title grant one?

SeeinRed
04-29-2007, 11:55 AM
I'm a Cable Guy. It is required that we are able to access the box when we need to, but there is no real reason to unless there is a trouble call or install/upgrade. In both of those situations, you would probably be home so you could unlock the fence. But that is for the box on your house. If you are talking about the box that is an undergound tap outside your house, we would need access at all times. I'm not sure about the rules as far as fences go, but anything around the box is subject to damage because we will get to it any way we can. We have to. that is what supplies the surrounding houses. To be safe, call your cable company's customer service. Even if what they tell you is "what's best for them," I promise you it will save you time and trouble in the future.

Yachtzee
04-29-2007, 12:29 PM
Wouldn't the cable company require an easement to "get in the yard whenever they need to?" Did you or any of the prior owners in the chain of title grant one?

I would bet anything that they did, especially if the house itself has cable access. Cable companies don't put the expensive equipment in one of those green boxes in someone's yard if they don't have an easement. Imagine what you have to lose if you lose a trespass suit. If it's the kind of box I think it is, It would be wise to avoid doing anything to prevent unrestricted access to the box, because the cable company can and will do anything they need to do to get to the box.

I have one of those boxes in my yard, which has been someone obscured by landscaping. It's accessible, but if necessary, I understand that the cable company can cut the pushes around the box if they need to. My parents have one in their backyard. They actually have two fences, because my dog used to escape the yard by climbing on top of the box to jump the fence. So there is a chain link fence around the yard on 3 sides and a privacy fence across the back and then in front of the box. They have three gates, but keep each of them latched but unlocked so that the cable company can get back there. They've never had any issues.

Is there a reason why you need the gates locked? If so, I'd probably move the fence so that the box is outside it.

Red in Chicago
04-29-2007, 04:22 PM
Is there a reason why you need the gates locked? If so, I'd probably move the fence so that the box is outside it.

when i originally put the fence up, i never had the gates locked. i started locking one of them, when the neighbor kids came in my yard to get a ball or something...when they were done, they didn't close the gate all the way so that it latched...i have a dog to worry about, and it really ticked me off that they didn't come to the door before coming in the yard...

the cable box is the kind that services the neighboring houses...i've been the only owner in my house and never seen an easement that i recall, not that i ever paid attention to this...i guess i'll give the city and comcast a call tomorrow to see what the "rules" are...this should be fun:rolleyes:

thanks..

Yachtzee
04-29-2007, 04:42 PM
when i originally put the fence up, i never had the gates locked. i started locking one of them, when the neighbor kids came in my yard to get a ball or something...when they were done, they didn't close the gate all the way so that it latched...i have a dog to worry about, and it really ticked me off that they didn't come to the door before coming in the yard...

the cable box is the kind that services the neighboring houses...i've been the only owner in my house and never seen a easement...i guess i'll give the city and comcast a call tomorrow to see what the "rules" are...this should be fun:rolleyes:

thanks..

You would likely see an easement on your deed you got when the previous owners transfered title to you, or else your deed may say something like "subject to any right-of-ways or easements. . ." In that case, the easements may be recorded in a separate instrument recorded at the county recorder's office.

The old "neighbor kids/dog issue," eh? Having grown up with dogs that were notorious "runners," I understand your concern. Have you tried yelling at them to "get off your lawn?" ;)

cincinnati chili
04-29-2007, 06:24 PM
I know I brought it up, but the whole easement issue may be irrelevant if you want to continue to have cable into your house.

There might be something in your contract saying that you must give the cable company reasonable access in exchange for continued receipt of cable.

However, if you DON'T have cable, basic property law suggests that any utilties must have an easement to run lines on your property. Sometimes the government can FORCE people to grant this easement, for the public good, through an eminent domain taking. But nonetheless, if the cable company lacks authority to enter your property by either contract or by deed or statute, it is trespassing when it enteres without permission.