CAB monitors the quality of the information available on this website and updates the information regularly. You must each take care not to take any actions that will damage the tree as a whole, such as digging up the roots or putting down dangerous chemicals that could kill the tree. Generally, if a tree trunk sits on both you and your neighbor’s property, is owned by both of you, and you are both responsible for the tree. If, however, the tree is a safety hazard or poses a risk, neighbour A may be liable for the cost of having it removed so as to ensure no damage occurs to surrounding properties. In heavily populated areas like the GTA, disputes between neighbours regarding trees are common. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. A boundary tree is one planted on the property line, so that the trunk grows partially on both properties. There are several exceptions to the above rule: You can cut back any overhanging branch that comes into your property. If, as in this case, it requires expenditure by the land-owner to do this, can a small claims court be used to seek repayment of the costs because it was a trespass, or would a full court hearing be the only way to recover these costs, if a claim of trespass, nuisance and damages was made? If a tree trunk is on your property, you are responsible for maintaining it. You can cut back anything up to your property line. In some cases, the neighbour who owns the tree may be willing to contribute to or cover the cost of pruning the tree. You must also check the law in your state, county or city to determine if different rules may apply to you. When you purchase a home, you are usually required to get a property survey. Neighbor B will be responsible for the … It can be done as a preventative measure to keep branches from damaging structures or overhead lines, or it can be done as a pruning technique to keep the tree healthy.. As of January 1, 2020, the fee for an Application to Injure or Remove Trees has changed. Defending Sexual Assault and Harassment at Work. However, the cut branch (es), and any fruit or flowers attached to the branch (es) remain the property of the tree owner and must be returned. If the tree in question is dead/dying or has dead branches that could be hazardous, Urban Forestry can investigate. If a tree on a neighbour’s property is encroaching onto your property and causing damage, the neighbour may be liable for that damage. Our CSLB license # is 821770 . This is known as the common law right of abatement (Lemmon v Webb [1862] AC 1 HL). When a neighbors tree branch is over hanging an adjoining property line, the adjoining property owner has an absolute right to cut the branch up to the property line. 72tree.com gathered the following information on determining who owns and is responsible for a tree’s overhanging branches, and what actions to take. The decision in Koenig v. Goebel was affirmed in 2013 by the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Demenuk v. Dhadwal [2013]. You are responsible for the cost of cutting any branches you choose to trim. Who Is Responsible for Maintaining the Tree? Property owners have a positive obligation to maintain all trees on their property and to ensure they are not a hazard. Tree trimming is an active maintenance program that removes branches from a tree. Carley Reynolds is a Lawyer at Donich Law, Copyright 2020 DONICH LAW PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION | All Rights Reserved. If you see a tree branch that you're worried may cause you damage, ... Toronto, Ontario, M5R 3G6. The following are general rules regarding overhanging tree branches. A tree falling onto a power line can cause serious injury or death. Overhanging Branches on Your Property . The self-help remedy allows neighbour B to pay to have the branches that pass the property line pruned. 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. Should the tree or hedge bear fruit that hangs into a neighbour's garden, the neighbour cannot lawfully take the fruit or flowers subject to the Theft Act 1968. Unless you agree otherwise, you must return the branches & leaves to your neighbour as they remain their property. You could be considered ​negligent for failing to remove a known hazard before damage occurred or for failing to properly inspect and maintain the trees on your property. If leaves, acorns, twigs or other debris from a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, you are responsible for cleaning this debris up. 2. The tree or branches are smoking, sparking, or burning on a power line. If you are involved in a dispute with a neighbour involving a tree, the first step is to notify the neighbor that their tree is causing damage to or interfering with your enjoyment of your property. In this case, you may have questions about your rights regarding the portion of the tree that is on your property. Most insurance companies will cover the claim as long as they deem it an Act of God, because this situation could not have been anticipated by a reasonable person. Who is responsible? Trimming a neighbour's overhanging branches: Urban Forestry recommends … A tree right on the boundary may need to be trimmed or cut down. If any portion of a tree that was a known hazard falls and damages your neighbor’s property, you will likely be responsible. Consumer Rights for Cutting Branches. "Can I request my neighbour to trim the branches from their trees that hang over my property. One cannot simply cut and run, however. 9 Maintenance Tips to Winterize Your Property, The 6 Property Maintenance Responsibilities of Landlords, Cleaning Up After a Loss May Cost More Than You Think, How Landlords Can Prepare for a Winter Storm, Here Are Some Ways You Can Prepare Your Property for a Hurricane. These items are not considered damage. If a complaint is filed with the town, the town may require you to remove the tree, or they may even come to remove it themselves. If you intend to injure or destroy (remove) a protected tree … Even though the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property, anything from the tree that falls onto your property is your responsibility. While liability surrounding property damage is very fact specific, the Court in Koenig v. Goebel [1998] stated that “there is clear authority for the proposition that a property owner is legally entitled without notice to cut those branches and roots of a neighbour’s Border Tree which extend onto his property or air space although such an action may kill the tree.” The Court later cautioned that this does not mean individuals have an absolute right to destroy their neighbours border trees should they begin to extend over the property line. When a tree on your property hangs over the boundary line into another yard, you have a duty to address all weak or damaged branches. If the tree has a Preservation Order on it then you cannot cut/pare any branches. Disclaimer for our website: This website is presented by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for the purpose of disseminating information free of charge for the benefit of the public. Even so, the law only grants you permission to remove them back to the dividing line or border. Note that some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO With that in mind, the person who is responsible for maintaining the greenery is normally the person who owns the tree or hedge. A handful of cities have a “view ordinance,” which states that a scenic view is an important part of a home’s value. The branches of a neighbor’s tree may hang over onto your property. Homeowners can refuse this, but the authorities are within their power to remove the trees without consent. If the tree is on private land then the landowner is responsible. 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 it actually applies to you. The trees whose tree trunks are within your property line are considered to be part of your property, and therefore, your responsibility. Trees next to a home can add beauty and shade, but they can also become a problem when branches grow too big or too weak due to disease. To answer the question of who is responsible for trimming tree limbs, it should be noted that by law, you have the right to cut down those branches of a tree that have crossed your line of the property. Learn more about conflicts with neighbors, trees, property, real estate, property lines, damage, and other legal topics at FindLaw's Real Estate section. Significant trees on private property or City streets are protected under Municipal Code, Chapter 813, known as the Tree Protection By-law. Courts have upheld that a homeowner’s tree rights extend indefinitely upward on his property line, and those rights are protected from invasion by an adjoining landowner. In general, where tree branches or roots encroach onto neighbouring land, the owner of the neighbouring land has the right to cut back the encroaching branches to the boundary. If the parts of the tree crossing the property line are a nuisance to neighbour B, they may be removed without notifying or seeking permission from neighbour A. Neighbour B must not, however, trespass onto neighbour A’s property to complete the pruning and must avoid pruning past the property line. If your actions cause damage or ultimately kill a neighbor’s tree, you may be found liable for up to three times the replacement cost of the tree. 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. She has more than 16 years of experience in real estate. For example, if neighbour A fails to maintain their tree and it falls onto neighbour B’s property causing damage, neighbour A will generally be liable for that damage. You will each be responsible for whatever portion of the tree is on your property. In many cases, the fastest and easiest option to resolve a dispute of this nature is the self-help remedy. What is our rights? Laws on Overhanging Tree Branches. Neighbour B may sue neighbour A for the cost of having the tree pruned, or to force neighbour A to have the tree pruned. 1. Learn About Title Insurance and Get Tips and Insight Into the Pitfalls, Insuring Other People's Property Used in Your Business, The Balance Small Business is part of the. Does the Court of Appeal have the Inherent Jurisdiction to Hear an Appeal of an Interlocutory Order? This will only be necessary if the trees are blocking the road or causing obstruction. If your tree or a portion of your tree falls onto your neighbor’s property and the tree was well maintained with no sign of disease or rot, any damage caused will be your neighbor’s responsibility. The self-help remedy may be used even where the tree is not causing damage. As a result, determining who will pay to have a tree pruned is a civil matter. Using this survey, you will be able to determine which trees fall within your property lines and which ones belong to your neighbors. If the owner fails to have the work carried out, … Participant Experts v. Litigation Experts. The tree is an immediate hazard to the line (split, leaning, hanging over, uprooted) The tree is leaning on a hydro pole. Do not attempt to prune or cut down a tree near power lines. Overhanging branches become the property of the owner of the lot over which they are located. A homeowner may be entitled to remove the overhanging branches of a tree belonging to an adjoining landowner. Trees and Your Property Line. For example; If neighbor A has a tree, and the branches from the tree are encroaching on neighbor B’s property, neighbor B has the right to trim whatever branches have passed the property line without notifying neighbour A. The other option is the self-help remedy. My neighbor's tree overhangs on our property and is a nuisance every year by constantly blupping our pool skimmer, and since it is a Maple tree which drops thousands of seeds, we ar constantly removing small trees that grow everywhere. 3. Such a tree is jointly owned by both neighbors and cannot be pruned or removed without permission from both parties. Who Is Responsible for Cutting Overhanging Tree Branches, How to Tell if a Tree Is on Your Property. Again, these laws can differ in each state, so be sure to look up the exact law in your area. Ask your neighbour to cut the parts that overhang your land. You must look for any weak or damaged branches. It may be difficult to determine if it is on your property or on that of your neighbor. A Council or Highways Agency may serve notice on the tree owner to require adequate clearance of hedges or trees encroaching onto pavements or roads. Neighbor B will be responsible for the arrangements and costs associated with the pruning. Situation 1. Even if its branches or, worse still, its roots have begun to grow over or into a neighbour’s territory, it belongs to the landowner where the tree was originally planted. Some rare trees can be valued at tens of thousands of dollars. When it comes to overhanging tree branches in your yard, over your house, or along power lines that effect your home, you may have some say about what happens to that tree and its maintenance. You are responsible for making sure any tree on your property is healthy and there are no known hazards. In addition, if your neighbor gives you a warning about a tree or portion of a tree that they feel is a hazard or files a complaint with the town about a tree on your property that they believe to be a hazard, if you do nothing to address this concern and any portion of the tree falls on the neighbor’s property, you may be liable for any damage caused. 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