Sometimes a tree on one person’s property has roots that extend so far that they damage a fence on the adjacent property. Thus it is important to exercise reasonable care before cutting any tree roots and seek professional advice for anything but the most minor work. Where this can be proven you could be compelled through court action to ‘abate the nuisance’, which may include removal of the tree … App. 2.1 Tree disputes vary in character and complexity because of ecological and interpersonal factors. For a tree owner, a tree might provide shade, privacy, support for wildlife and amenity to their property. If that has happened, your neighbor could be required to remove the tree. That's right, even if the tree is rooted in your neighbor's yard, if it crashes onto your property, it's your problem. Domestic tree owners defending tree root subsidence claims commonly argue that they are not liable because the damage was not reasonably foreseeable to them – i.e. You must tell your neighbour in advance if a tree surgeon needs to go on their land. In the opposite case—a tree from your yard causes damage to the property next door—it’s up to your neighbor to put in a claim with his or her insurer. 18. Even if the neighbors construct a fence or boundary over the middle of the tree, the entire tree still belongs to both neighbors in common. The following list of safe tree distances is a list referring to the potential damage from their roots to the foundations of your property which may cause subsidence. If the tree encroaches onto the neighbor's property, the neighbor may sue to make the owner cut the branches, even if no damage has been done. More on Homeowners Insurance There is of course another danger of large trees near to your property which is from impact damage to your property (or persons in the property or garden) following a violent storm. What is the best way to deal with this? Not only can tree roots directly damage underground structures but also, in altering the water content of the surrounding soil resulting in ground instability and subsidence, they may indirectly damage property on the surface. The branches and roots are technically the property of the tree owner and can be placed back over the fence, taking care not to cause any damage. Liability for damage. In most cases this is the only help that is provided by the law, even when damage from a tree is substantial. The property owner who suffers damage should file a claim with their homeowners insurance company. Preventing you getting in and out of your property … Party wall damage due to building works. Fast-forwarding to Canada in the 20th century, I came across a 1976 case involving damages caused by a neighbour's tree roots on Beemer Ave., in Mississauga. In particular, the location of the subject tree relative to the property in question, whether the tree is a particularly thirsty species, and its overall height. Nuisance claims often include: Tree root damage. The neighbour one day had a company come in an chop down the tree and remove it over the next day while we were at work. Use … Duty of neighbours in tree root subsidence cases. If you intentionally cut down or prune a tree and it is later discovered that the tree was on your neighbor’s property, you can be ordered by a court to pay the value of the tree plus up to three times the value of the tree in punitive damages. tree belongs to both neighbors in common as long as the point at which the tree grows out of the ground lies on both sides of a property line. An insurance claim sets in motion a series of legal events in which it is determined who is to pay for the damage from the fallen tree. The neighbour cannot go onto the tree owner's land and cannot remove any part of the root or branch that is not on his or her property. Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. The tree was 99% on our property but the trunk did protrude slightly onto the neighbours property. 1, April 4, 2016). Ongoing water leaks. But there are several more subtle ways in which a tree can damage a neighbor’s property or real estate. The recent case of Khan & Harrow Council & Another  (Ramsey J handed down his judgment on 3 September 2013), which concerned damage caused to a property by tree roots, considered when a person will be liable for damage caused by roots from trees on their land. However, for a neighbour, the same tree may become a cause for concern if it is likely to damage their property or cause harm to its occupants. If this cannot be done, then the neighbor should bring a legal action against the tree’s owner for nuisance which could compel him to trim or even remove the tree and repair any damage. they were unaware of the risks that their trees posed and they could not have foreseen that their trees would cause subsidence damage to a neighbouring property. So for example, if by reason of cutting through your neighbour's tree roots, the tree is weakened and falls over, you would be liable for any damage it causes. You can cut them yourself but you must try to limit the amount of damage to the tree, which can be difficult to do. The contractor charged over $12K to completely replace the line from the street to the house. Introduction. Allowing tree roots to encroach on your neighbour’s land constitutes common law, private nuisance. 161, 371 P.3d 544 (Div. Conflicts involving trees and neighbors are best resolved through communication, but there are laws covering these types of situations. If they refuse, then the neighbor should engage the services of a licensed arborist to trim the roots and branches is such a way as to reduce the property damage while not injuring the tree. Although the neighbor may claim that the occurrence was just a … The branches and roots are technically the property of the tree owner and can be placed back over the fence, taking care not to cause any damage. Question: There is an enormous tree in my next-door neighbour’s garden and its roots are running everywhere, like something from the Tomb Raider film. For this reason, you may not be able to charge a neighbor for its removal. When it comes to property damage from a neighbor's tree roots, the general rule is that any part of the tree encroaching onto your property is your responsibility, including maintenance. The only nuisance we ever had from this tree was regarding its leaves. I have tried talking to my neighbour about it but he just shrugs and says the tree has got “a TPO” on it and there is nothing he If a branch from a tree hangs over the property line in such a way that causes injury or damage to the neighbour, the owner of the tree is legally responsible for the damage or injury. In determining […] Noise. Hello, my next door neighbour has a tree growing about 5ft away from our houses on the other side of our fence growing rapidly, if it is left there it would definitely damage hers & my foundationsas were mid terrace, With its roots we do not speak as I find my neighbour unapproachable, I own my property while she is renting from the council is there anything I can do help very much appreciated. But in some cases, subsidence and structural damage can be linked to tree roots. I own a 3.5 story tree that is within 15 feet of the sewer line. Other Kinds of Damage. If the trunk of a tree is in your yard, but hurricane pushes a big branch through the neighbor’s window through no fault of yours, it is not your responsibility. If you suddenly discovered that your neighbor's tree had fallen onto your property, you probably asked yourself what caused the tree to fall, who is going to clean it up and who has to pay for the damage. Property owners in every state have the right to cut off branches and roots that stray into their property. If the invading roots or branches cause serious harm to the neighbor's property or threaten to do so, the neighbor may sue. Learn more about conflicts with neighbors, trees, property, real estate, property lines, damage, and other legal topics at FindLaw's Real Estate section. Background. Your neighbour is responsible for maintaining their hedges so they do not, for example, damage your property or grow too high. Understanding the factors involved in tree damage to buildings, including soil type and depth of foundations, will help both tree and house owners determine what action to take and when to get … Vogel and Crewe were neighbours and Crewe was of the opinion that a tree planted about two metres from the wall, separating the two properties, was the cause of all the problems on his property. Eugenie Mendez complained that the roots of 14 Lombardy poplar trees on the Palazzi property next door had ruined her lawn, rock garden and patio, and were threatening the septic tank, weeping tiles and foundations of her home. Last week my neighbor discovered damage to her sewer line. 19. Q. So it depends entirely on whose side of the property line the damage occurs. The message to tree owners, whose trees are adjacent to the boundary line with their neighbor, is that their neighbor can damage their trees so long as the damage takes place on the neighbor’s property. Act 1996 before work started. Tree roots may affect neighbouring land irrespective of whether the roots themselves encroach across the boundary of that land. According to him the tree’s root system was causing damage to the boundary wall and leaves from the tree were falling into his swimming pool and blocking his gutters and sewage system. It is definitely doing damage to my front wall and garage. Tree root damage. Roots from my neighbor’s tree have grown under the driveway of my house in Astoria, Queens, causing the asphalt to heave, buckle and crack. Some trees can be valued at more than $4,000. Mr and Mrs Khan owned a property in Stanmore, Middlesex. tree root damage to foundations. You are likely to be liable for other kinds of damage caused to your neighbours’ buildings, e.g. Blocked drains and lifted paving may also be a problem. Get specialist help from a tree surgeon if the roots of your neighbour’s tree are affecting your home and garden. 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