When someone says a house is abutting, it means it’s directly neighboring, that is, it’s adjacent to another property.
So, abutter’s rights are the rights an existing property have when a developer builds an adjoining property; or even when an existing adjacent property landowner decides to make renovations in his property. In both cases, they’d be infringing abutter’s rights if, for instance, they completely block the view from the adjoining property.
Among the abutter’s rights is the visibility at a distance by others – that is; its occupants should be able to see the outside street – the visual right of seeing light and feeling air (one wall can’t be “glued” to the neighbor’s), and many more.
Let’s take a look at an abutter’s rights infringement scenario:
Homeowner Sam lives in a house with nothing on its left side but 200 feet of grass that leads to a big pond. Developer Reed buys that space and wants to develop a few commercial establishments on it. It’s Sam’s abutter’s right to be notified of the proposal and be invited (along with other possible abutting properties) by Reed to a public hearing where the development plans will be fully discussed so Sam and others aren’t apart of any substantial changes that might incur because of this new development.
Real Estate Tip:
Have someone who knows abutter’s rights inside out and will fight for *your* rights! Find a real estate agent and make your life easier!