These ordinances are very specific, so if you live in one of the few cities that has one, you need to research the law to determine if … When your neighbor's tree blots out the sun, can you force them to take it down? If it's your tree that totals your neighbor's car, for example, you certainly aren't to blame for something beyond your control but you still may be held liable. An exception to this, attorney Steve Goldman with The Goldman Firm said, is … My neighbor's tree looks like it's going to fall on my house any day now. Neighbors and Trees. As mentioned in prior Articles, California law is clear that a neighbor has to act “reasonably” in trying to stop actual or potential damage from a neighbor’s trees. Some cities have ordinances that prohibit maintaining any dangerous condition -- including a hazardous tree -- on private property. These ordinances allow you to sue your neighbor to force your neighbor to remove a tree (or the branches of a tree) that is blocking your scenic view. Learn about whether you could trim tree branches that extend to your property, whether you may eat the fruit off branches hanging on your property, and more. If I have more questions about the trees on my property or my neighbor's property, what should I do next? It is always best to check if there are any local laws about cutting a neighbor’s trees, but generally, most state and local laws permit you to prune parts of your neighbor’s tree that cross the property line into your side without asking your neighbor. Click here for frequently asked questions to help you deal with troublesome trees on or near your property. A "nuisance" as defined by Nevada law includes any structure that obstructs the free use of the property of your neighbor or interferes with your neighbor's "comfortable enjoyment of life or property." You may not go onto the neighbor's property or destroy the tree. Tree Trimming. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. does substantial damage to the neighbor's property, or. A neighbor may sue only if the tree is "noxious," in other words if it both causes actual damage and is inherently dangerous or poisonous. Most of a big tree hangs over my yard, but the trunk is on the neighbor's property. You can trim back branches to your property line, but that may not solve the problem if you're worried about the whole tree coming down. The city of Las Vegas Code Enforcement Division is proud to announce the addition of Neighborhood Assistance Program. Check out the details in Neighbor Law: Fences, Tress, Boundaries & Noise, by attorney Cora Jordan and attorney Emilt Doskow (Nolo). 1159, has charged ISA Certified Arborists with the authority to advise residential tree owners about the potential risk their tree(s) pose to people and/or property prior to pruning or removal. Under Texas property laws, if a tree falls from natural causes (lightning, storms, water) the property owner of the place where a tree has fallen is responsible for removing the tree. Your neighbor. These are referred to as "boundary trees" and may be removed only with the consent of all parties involved. How about splitting the cost? A collection of common questions about tree and view ordinances. My Neighbor Cut Down My Tree - Damages. What should I do? Copyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. 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. There may, however, be different laws in different cities and states. In every state, a common-law right exists that allows a property owner to cut the branches and roots of a neighboring tree that is invading their property. If the trunk of a tree is located in your neighbor’s yard, but branches extend onto your property, the neighbor is the legal owner of the tree. In some cases a neighbor's tree may actually block a view of something unpleasant -- such as a garbage collection site or freeway -- and the cutting down of trees may also cause friction. If you’re breaking the law by refusing to trim your tree, the results may be more than a bad relationship with your neighbor; you may find yourself in court if your neighbors sue you for interfering with the use and enjoyment of their property. That's right, even if the tree is rooted in your neighbor's yard, if it crashes onto your property, it's your problem. A landowner has the right to trim encroaching tree branches up … View ordinances typically allow a person who has lost his or her view to sue the neighbor who’s responsible. A guide to resolving a tree dispute with your neighbors. If the trunk stands partly on the land of two or more people, it is called a boundary tree, and in most cases it belongs to all the property owners. A common question asked of our lawyers in Charleston is whether a person has the right to cut a neighbor’s tree branches that hang over their property line. To avoid an unpleasant dispute (or your neighbor trimming your tree on their own—and possibly botching the job), talk with your neighbors and find out exactly how much tree trimming would do the trick. Search, Property Rights: My Neighbor is a Nuisance, Trees a certain distance away from your property line may be exempt, Trees that are owned by the city may be exempt. Under case law, the tree owner can also, recover for the damage caused to the aesthetic value of the tree. The stereotypical tree dispute is a case of nuisance, where branches or roots from one neighbor’s tree extend into another neighbor’s property. This section contains information and resources relating to trees and neighbors, including laws and information on what you can do to protect the enjoyment of your land. In almost every state, a person who intentionally injures someone else's tree is liable to the owner for two or three times the amount of actual monetary loss. If the trunk stands partly on the land of two or more people, it is called a boundary tree, and in most cases it belongs to all the property owners. In most situations, a neighbor who is bothered or worried by encroaching branches or roots of a healthy tree won't be able to successfully sue the tree owner. The legal theory is that the dangerous tree is a "nuisance" because it is unreasonable for the owner to keep it and it interferes with your use and enjoyment of your property. Includes information on spite fences, boundary trees, obstruction of views, invading branches and more. Do I have to compensate my neighbors for damages caused by the spreading roots of a tree on my land? Microsoft Edge. Regions and neighborhoods boasting exceptional views, from coastal California to Central Park in New York City, typically have view ordinances in place to protect those views from obstruction. What a person’s rights and obligations are as they pertain to their trees or the trees of the neighbors depends upon state law. Overgrown trees can block a neighbor’s view, hang over a neighbor’s fence, or pose a risk of injury. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. In some cases a neighbor's tree may actually block a view of something unpleasant -- such as a garbage collection site or freeway … This article explains the law of nuisance and what you can do to stop a neighborhood nuisance. Other limitations to some view ordinances include the following: Click on a link below to learn more about legal issues pertaining to neighbors and trees, and remember that the best policy is to communicate with your neighbor before taking legal action. If a tree causes damage to a neighboring property, the person who owns the tree may be liable if the party who suffered the damage can prove negligence on behalf of the property owner. HOA Living. How to Find Local Ordinances and State Laws, Homeowners: Taxes, Improvements, and More. Under Texas law, even if your neighbor has the right to allow his tree limbs to hang over your property, you have the right to trim the leaves, and even cut the branches, if they pose a danger to your property or block your sunlight. If you are firmly opposed to trimming your tree—perhaps it screens your view of your neighbors’ unsightly back yard—check your local tree ordinance to make sure the law is on your side. With nearly 3,000 homeowners associations in Nevada, chances are, you live in a community governed by an HOA. And if a neighbor harms your tree, even unintentionally, they may be held liable for up to three times the replacement value. However, neighbors are not free to pick fruit from neighbors' trees even if it hangs over their property. If it’s not too much, and doesn’t affect the health or aesthetics of your tree, consider making the trim. As a unit owner within a Common-Interest Community, it is important that you are familiar with your rights and responsibilities under Nevada law and the governing documents of … Some property lines are actually defined by a tree or row of trees that sits right on the boundary. Some cities will even remove such a tree for the owner. Whose homeowners insurance company pays if your tree falls on your neighbor's house? If a tree encroaches on neighboring property, the neighbor may sue if the tree was planted, not "wild.". Generally, you can't force a neighbor to cut down a tree that may be blocking your view, unless there are prior agreements that apply to your property (such as an easement) or specific laws such as view ordinances. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. Name Our neighbor’s trees may often become troublesome, either because their branches block sunlight, yield unwanted pollen, acorns or leaves, or because they create a risk of injury or property damage. If you do harm the tree, you could be found liable for up to three times the value of the tree. A good place to start is the Legal Research area of Nolo's website. As for who owns any fruit from the tree, however, that's another matter. Copyright © 2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. You have the legal right to trim tree branches up to the property line. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Learn your rights and responsibilities regarding trees on neighboring properties A tree with a truck that straddles both properties is a boundary tree and both neighbors are responsible for it. If the invading roots or branches cause serious harm to the neighbor's property or threaten to do so, the neighbor may sue. If you love your tree, how about your having the roots cut back professionally so that the neighbors don't damage the tree if they exercise their right to trim back the roots to your property line? Neighbor law: fences, trees, boundaries, & noise , Nolo, 2020. Trees are a common dispute among neighbors. Be careful here, though. posted by Tom Baal on March 25, 2017 under FAQs. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Who owns the tree? Because of this, it is best practice to get a neighbor’s permission before removing any tree that sits on the property line. But you should hire a professional tree service to do the work , to assure a quality job that keeps your tree healthy and aesthetically pleasing. The Nolo book Neighbor Law, by Cora Jordan and Emily Doskow, provides extensive advice on tree-related law and liability issues involving invading branches, damage from an unsound tree, boundary trees, and more, including how mediation or small claims court can help resolve tree disputes. This article explains view ordinances, tree height restrictions, easements, deliberate actions, and what you can do. Yes. These ordinances usually are limited to trees or other landscape elements and require the person whose view was blocked to ask the property owner to remove or trim the tree first. All rights reserved. Am I entitled to compensation for the tree? But you may not go onto the neighbor's property or destroy the tree itself. Some cities have ordinances preventing neighbors from blocking the views of others. Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home. Requires free library card for access. recliners, appliances, tires, wood, mattresses, box springs, tree limbs, temporary shade structures and other items that are not intended for outdoor use. As a rule of thumb, the owner of the property where the trunk is located owns the tree. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. You can ask the court to order the owner to prune or remove the tree. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. While researching this note, dozens of friends and colleagues shared stories of problems they have had with neighbors and how they wished they could cut off offending branches. In these states, a case might be successful if the tree: In addition to finding out what the laws are in your state, there are lots of other questions for you to answer in getting to the roots of this dilemma. Trees are a common dispute among neighbors. ... consult lawyer that is familiar with aboriculture law. These penalties protect tree owners by providing harsh deterrents to would-be loggers. Your neighbor. You might also get help from a utility company, if the tree threatens its equipment. Are you a legal professional? The law holds that overhanging tree branches are a trespass. Firefox, or If you don't get help from these sources, and the neighbor refuses to take action, you can sue. However, the law only allows tree trimming and tree cutting up to the property line. Do you like these neighbors and want to keep a good relationship? If you have a tree that looks like it may fall onto your neighbor's yard or house, you are responsible for taking the steps necessary to alleviate those risks. Not in Massachusetts, National Law Review, February 8, 2019. If the tree is causing actual damage such as roots uplifting a deck or branches pushing down a fence, the owner can be … California tree law between neighbors requires a landowner be responsible for maintaining a tree's foliage in a hazard-free condition. Although this question seems simple, the answer isn’t because South Carolina has no law that authorizes you to cut your neighbor’s overhanging tree … “This theory of negligence means that you would need to have known about the weakness of the tree limb prior to it falling on your neighbor’s property and causing damage,” adds Bumgardner. 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