neighbour's tree roots damaging my property

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Serious harm caused by encroaching tree limbs or tree roots may give rise to a lawsuit. 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. You should also make sure you check the size of the mature tree, not the size at the time of planting. Check what to do if you think a hedge is too high on GOV.UK. A neighbor’s tree branch that hangs over your property may fall in a storm, resulting in damage to your home, car or other possessions. Before you cut a tree, check if it’s protected by a Tree Preservation Order. Here are some tips to help you avoid problems. The roots of a Leylandi Conifer can spread a considerable distance, particularly taller trees. What can I do? If you rent your home, talk to your landlord about the problem. Trees on neighbours’ land If the roots of a tree situated on a neighbour’s land have caused damage to your property, then the owner of the tree can be liable for the damage under the law of nuisance. Please tell us more about why our advice didn't help. In other words, apart from overhanging branches and potentially damaging roots, there are other legitimate reasons why you may seek to cut down part of neighbour’s tree which is encroaching upon your property or in danger of causing other damage to it. If they confirm your findings you should notify your building insurer who may carry out further investigations and negotiate with your neighbour and his/her insurer. But in some cases, subsidence and structural damage can be linked to tree roots. Introduction to the Citizens Advice service, Future of advice: our strategic framework 2019-22, check if it’s protected by a Tree Preservation Order, Check what to do if you think a hedge is too high, Check if you can get help with legal costs, If your neighbour is complaining about you, If you disagree with your neighbour about a wall or fence, Deal with flooding in a rented home - overview. roots causing damage to your property branches blocking sunlight from solar panels or TV reception. To run afoul of the law, your neighbor doesn't have to chop down your tree. Although conifer roots are shallow, they spread up to seven times as wide as they mature. They can only help if you try and solve the problem yourself first. If the trunk or main stem of a tree or hedge is on your land, you own it. Healthy tree root systems may, over time, topple fences and uproot sidewalks, even those that run in front of neighboring properties. You can cut them yourself but you must try to limit the amount of damage to the tree, which can be difficult to do. If you’re affected by the roots of a Leylandi Conifer from a neighbouring property, then you have some legal protection. If the problem continues, you’ll need to get help from a solicitor who specialises in neighbour disputes - but this will be expensive. Registered charity number 279057 VAT number 726 0202 76 Company limited by guarantee. If your drains are blocked by roots you will need a drainage company to assist. If you can’t solve the problem, ask your council to help. As trees grow, encroaching roots and overhanging branches can extend beyond the legal boundary into neighbouring property, sometimes causing inconvenience, damage or even injury. If you’re planning to build a conservatory and your neighbour’s boundary is lined with conifer hedging, this can stall the building process while the roots are cut out. It is possible that the drains will require lining or replacing. Let’s find out… Your neighbour’s kid accidentally smashed your window with a cricket ball. If it is, you’ll have to ask the council for permission to cut the tree even if it’s yours. With a TPO neither you nor your neighbour will be allowed to damage the trees in any way without permission from your Council even if the roots are causing problems with your drive. Blocked drains and lifted paving may also be a problem. Read what we're saying about a range of issues. If your neighbour won’t cut branches hanging over your garden, you’re allowed to chop them off - but only the bits on your side of the boundary. Essex, Although this species of hedge continues to be popular with homeowners looking for privacy or shade, it can also ignite fierce battles. Can I remove my neighbour’s conifer roots from my garden? Search for ‘trees’ on your council’s website to find which department to contact. You should also avoid nearby utilities. Never tackle the work alone. Where tree roots have caused structural damage or have affected the foundations of a property, always seek the advice of a tree surgeon. Check if your neighbour will let you throw away the branches - legally they own them. Something that can be more problematic is the part of the tree you can't see - … You can find your council’s website on GOV.UK. In most situations, a neighbor who is bothered or worried by encroaching branches or roots of a … Your specific rights and remedies may vary depending upon local law. If the neighbor took reasonable care of the tree and a … Also think about whether it's safe to cut back the roots. If roots from a neighbour’s tree cross property lines, the owner of the property being affected has the right to remove the roots. What are the chances if … If your neighbour says your tree is dangerous, you could ask a tree surgeon for advice. Talk to your neighbour face to face if you can - make a note of what you agreed. Falling out with a neighbour early doors could result in years of tension and animosity which could be avoided by confronting the situation from the outset. It’s a good idea to ask your council if they can help you find a mediator. Duty of neighbours in tree root subsidence cases. There are a number of things you can do if your neighbour’s tree is affecting you in this way; however, if possible you should always talk about a solution with your neighbour as a first step. Your neighbour can cut any branches that are overhanging into their garden as long as they only remove the bits on their side of the boundary. It’s often best to find a compromise, for example sharing the cost of pruning a hedge even though you think your neighbour owns it. Regardless of if there is property damage, a landowner may sue her neighbor to make that neighbor trim the branches that encroach the landowner's property. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to them, write a letter or ask someone to contact them for you. My neighbour's tree is damaging my property. Learn more about this in the section on subrogation below. If you’re not sure what to do, you can get help at your nearest Citizens Advice. While the law clearly protects you, it is much better to discuss the issue amicably with your neighbour first before calling in a tree surgeon to tackle the problem. CM13 2BH. It might be a good idea to buy the documents for your neighbour’s house too - they might give information that’s not covered in yours. For example, your neighbor has the legal right to trim branches of your tree if they hang over the property line. If this moisture is not replaced, the surrounding plants and grass will wilt and die. Never tackle the work alone. An arborist may also be able to assist in proving that the damage sustained by your property was caused by the tree root in question, therefore providing evidence for a claim against your neighbour. Sometimes neighbours will arrange for the work themselves to avoid potential friction. Many buyers have walked away from a property whose boundary is lined by conifers for fear of neighbourly tension. Tel: 01277 229709 The owner of that tree, in this case the … If your action results in the tree damaging property or injuring someone, the property owner or the person hurt may claim damages from you. Damage to houses (your own or your neighbour's) caused by falling trees and branches is generally covered by home insurance policies as standard, but check the wording of your cover for any exclusions. Fines for damaging a TPO protected tree are severe - up to £20,000 for destroying a tree even up to £2,500 just for causing damage such as cutting through roots. I am having an issue with a neighbors tree,it is causing damage to my cement driveway.There are 3 trees total at the edge of the road beside my property causing vision problems while entering the road.I am not sure what I need to do as this is an elderly owner and I have spoken with her son n law to be avail. What now? Removing the tree seldom resolves the problem as the drain remains damaged and can leak (possibly causing foundation damage) or may be infiltrated by the roots of other plants unless the drain is repaired. It’s likely he made the same assertion to the previous owner who apparently didn’t think to divulge it to you under the disclosure portion on the sales contract, possibly because he wanted to hide the fact or because it had little or no merit. Enquiries: matt@princetreesurgery.com. Check if you can get help with legal costs. When you can trim hedges or trees You can trim branches or roots that cross into your property from a neighbour’s property or a public road. The tree's owner has a legal responsibility to make sure it doesn't damage a neighbour's property, garden, drive or boundary fence. What happens insurance-wise when your neighbour is behind the damage caused to your property? Find out how to complain about your doctor or health visitor. Kidding aside, this really isn’t your problem. Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. Check local statutes and ordinances, as well as with your homeowner’s insurance carrier, before taking action. Citizens Advice is an operating name of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux. Thank you, your feedback has been submitted. You can only trim up to the property boundary. Its enough to just damage the health of your tree. 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. "Serious harm" usually requires structural damage. Let us know, Copyright ©2020 Citizens Advice. Claiming compensation for a personal injury, Help for victims of rape and sexual violence, Keeping your family in the UK after Brexit, Getting a visa for your spouse or partner, Discrimination in health and care services. If it’s not clear where the boundary is, you can get help from RICS - they work with surveyors who can help with property problems. Conifers are usually planted to mark a property boundary so it’s easy to see how so many disputes involving root damage occur. You can't march into your neighbor's yard and cut down a tree that isn't yours. Advice for people affected by child abuse. If it’s on the boundary between properties, you’ll need to check the legal documents you got when you bought your home. Your neighbour’s tree fell over during a storm and crushed your fence. You might damage the tree or make it dangerous. If you are concerned about a neighbour’s tree, whether its overhanging into your garden or whether the roots are effecting your driveway, then call us here at Prince Tree Surgery on 01277 229709. Prince Arboriculture Ltd, Conifers can grow several metres high which can cause friction between residents, particularly when the trees block out sunlight or spoil the view of the neighbouring property. Brentwood, Company No. Laws vary somewhat but most states say that if the roots of a homeowner’s tree damages a neighbor’s drive or home, then that’s the n… Your neighbour could report it to your local council and you could be told to cut your hedge. Seek professional guidance if you’re unsure, it’s important not to plant within root distance of drains, driveways or the foundations of a property. If you and your neighbour disagree about a problem with a tree or hedge, it’s best to try to resolve things informally. And it’s not only their height that can cause a problem. Get specialist help from a tree surgeon if the roots of your neighbour’s tree are affecting your home and garden. It is his, and his complaint seems suspiciously reinforced by the reputation that precedes him. Many a neighbourly dispute has arisen over conifer hedging. You can cut back roots and branches that overhang or encroach onto your property, but it's best to discuss it with your neighbour first. Your hedge might count as a ‘high hedge’ if it’s over 2 metres - check the definition on the Royal Horticultural Society website. Where tree roots cause damage to a neighbouring property, the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. Duty of care. Never tackle the work alone. If you think your neighbour’s tree is dangerous, you can report it to the council - for example if you think it might fall over. You can find out more or opt-out from some cookies. You are best advised to employ an arboricultural consultant (tree care specialist) or a building surveyor. If you’re considering planting large conifer trees, you should always aim to plant at least 35 meters away from a property. Most cities make it clear if trees are public or private, based on the location of the trunk. Whether you are liable for damages to your neighbor's property caused by the spreading roots of a tree on your property depends on what state you live in. Search for ‘trees’ to find which department to contact. Keep copies of any letters or emails you send or receive. All rights reserved. You must tell your neighbour in advance if a tree … It’s also worth finding out if your council can check if the tree is safe - you can find your council’s website on GOV.UK. These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. Finally, if the cause of the damage to your property is the fault of a neighbor, for example, if a neighbors tree fell on your property or home, your insurance company may make you pay the deductible at first but may try and get the deductible back from your neighbor to reimburse you. But if the trimming seriously injures your tree, your neighbor will be liable to you for the damage done. 25 Vernon Crescent, In addition to soil damage, conifer roots can also cause problems to foundations and patios. They might be able to deal with the disagreement on your behalf. Is there anything wrong with this page? NHS Choices - Information on hospitals, conditions and treatments. All the tree surgery work undertaken by us is environmentally friendly for whatever service you need such as residential tree care, tree felling and clearing, pruning and reducing, sectional removal, stump removal, or hedge maintenance. If you are concerned about a neighbour’s tree, whether its overhanging into your garden or whether the roots are effecting your driveway, then call us here at Prince Tree Surgery on 01277 229709. Where tree roots have caused structural damage or have affected the foundations of a property, always seek the advice of a tree surgeon. They’ll indicate where the boundary is and might say who’s responsible for the tree or hedge. If you still can’t agree, you can get help from a mediator - this is someone who doesn’t know either of you and is trained to help people resolve disagreements. Although the neighbor may claim that the occurrence was just a freak accident, you may be entitled to recover money from your neighbor to compensate you for the damage. Your neighbour’s tree’s roots have cracked your garden path. You can cut them yourself but you must try to limit the amount of damage to the tree, which can be difficult to do. If they want you to cut your tree or hedge just because they don’t like the way it looks, it’s up to you whether you do the work. What does it mean to have power of attorney? 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. Carrier, before taking action - 9-Jun-20 @ 3:32 PM avoid problems moisture is not replaced the. The site council ’ s property or real estate on GOV.UK get help at your nearest Citizens advice trees also! Walked away from a tree Preservation Order commentary on the issues raised should... Over the property boundary so it ’ s easy to see how so many disputes involving root damage.! By roots you will be banned from the land Registry if you don ’ t them... 35 meters away from a property ’ re affected by the reputation precedes. Tell us more about why our advice did n't help soil damage and! 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