But before you buy and plant one, there are some things to consider. Some types of trees may not be allowed because they grow too big or they’re considered invasive. Is there anything I can do about unbearable smells coming from the neighbouring apartment? When you and your neighbour have a disagreement about a tree, what you can do depends on who owns the tree, as well as what your local tree bylaws say. That's right, even if the tree is rooted in your neighbor's yard, if it crashes onto your property, it's your problem. In that instance, the tree owner would be required to remove the offending tree. You can put any agreement you reach in a letter to your neighbour. If your neighbour tells you they’re concerned about the health of one of your trees, and the risk of harm it poses, you have to decide what to do. Dealing with boundary disputes. a fine for breaking a local bylaw (if there is one), most of the strata owners agree to the change at an annual or special general meeting, or. And with this in mind, it becomes clear that the responsibility for maintenance or damage caused by overgrowth lies with the owner. Is this true? 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. A neighbour’s tree causing damage to your property can be a source of conflict. Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Damage? Best tree on the block. Are they responsible for the damages? Read more about cookies here. Mediation is quicker and much less expensive than taking legal action. Ted Doucette and Daina Parent were neighbours in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. But if some of the base is on the property line, you and your neighbour jointly own the tree. If a neighbour’s child damages your property as a result of playing a ball game then, as it is trespass for the ball to cross your boundary, your neighbour would be liable to financially compensate you for the damage the ball caused. Tree Law in Ontario. But what you can do is express concern that his or her tree is at risk of damaging your property the next time a big storm rolls around. Take a look at this diagram from the city of Vancouver website. Municipal bylaws will often set out the number, size, and type of replacement trees, as well as where on the property they can be planted. In such a case, the strata corporation could cut down trees on common property. What if my neighbour’s tree branches or roots damage my property? ... you can do what you like to the trees on your property. Just like you wouldn’t go onto your neighbor’s property to tidy up any of their other property, the same goes for their tree. The threshold is typically a tree trunk diameter of 10 to 20 cm or larger, as measured at 1.4 m above the ground. You might have received one when you bought your home. There might be a fence or hedge or some other physical barrier between the two yards. You may have a problem with a tree that belongs to the municipality. For more information, visit www.jacquesrobert.com. (Learn about embedding content.). it is at least 60ft high and my garden is constantly covered in needles. The next issue of The Ottawa Sun Headline News will soon be in your inbox. Learn how to deal with a neighbour’s untidy premises and other neighbourhood nuisances. The actual cost will depend on the property size, location, history, and other factors. Most people assume that they are liable since it is their tree. No! That depends entirely on the circumstances. Answer: NO (Ontario). Some municipalities have rules about the types of trees you’re allowed to plant on your property. The cost of a land survey may range from about $500 to $800. What to do if a neighbour's tree is affecting you. (This means they don’t occur naturally in BC, and can end up causing ecological damage and costing a lot of money to deal with. For example, say you’re worried about the condition of a tree in your neighbour’s yard, as it’s leaning far to one side and a large branch is hanging over your property. There are a couple of other sorry-looking trees in my neighbour’s garden. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass despite the fact that the tree roots will … To get ready for the conversation, think about the outcome you’re seeking. For example, you may believe something your neighbour did doesn’t follow local bylaws, such as rules about cutting down a tree or planting a replacement tree. And with this in mind, it becomes clear that the responsibility for maintenance or damage caused by overgrowth lies with the owner. An exception to this, attorney Steve Goldman with The Goldman Firm said, is … Your neighbour owns and is responsible for maintaining it, including any branches that hang over onto your property. On November 30, 1991, Janet’s tree snapped off in a wind storm. The per­son mak­ing the claim must be the own­er or occu­pi­er of the land that adjoins the land on which the tree or hedge is sit­u­at­ed. QUESTION 1: My neighbour claims that s/he can automatically cut down a tree growing across the property line without my consent.Is this true? (What this content licensing means.) Two situations typically arise. Only the roots that are actually crossing the property line may be removed, and they can’t be removed in such a way as may kill the tree. If you are suffering from the types of neighbors who make you want to move, look into the steps you can take to deal with horrible neighbors. Taking legal action against a neighbour will almost certainly strain your relationship — no small matter since you’re living side by side. Trees on neighbours’ land. It is his, and his complaint seems suspiciously reinforced by the reputation that precedes him. Disputes over trees, branches, and roots can hopefully be avoided by good communication and cooperation between neighbours. We apologize, but this video has failed to load. You don’t need to get your neighbour’s permission (but you can give them a friendly heads-up if you like). What can I do? Think of it, therefore, as a last resort. If your neighbour understands where you’re coming from, it can be easier to explore solutions together. Please try again. It’ll help you figure out where, literally, to draw the line between your and your neighbour’s properties. This information from People's Law School explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. For example, if you got a tree removal permit and have to plant a replacement tree, your municipality may have a list of tree types you can choose from. In the letter to your neighbour: We have a short template letter that can help you get started. Some people like to plant trees near or on the property line for privacy. Do I have to pay for any of this? Privacy. Again the same principle applies to roots. How far may depend, in part, on the tree’s eventual height and diameter. If you’re wanting to plant a tree, start by explaining why you want it where you want it. After receiving your complaint, the municipality may inspect the problem. Neither you nor your arborist may go onto a neighbor’s property or destroy the tree. But if the trimming seriously injures your tree, your neighbor will be liable to you for the damage done. Our shared fence is falling apart. 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. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. On the other hand, a property owner is responsible for the health and maintenance of the trees on their property. tap here to see other videos from our team. branches … It can, but only in certain circumstances. (See “What you should know” above for an explanation of these concepts.) Ted and Janet were neighbours. That’s trespassing, and your neighbour would have a legal claim against you. A welcome email is on its way. 2. See our full disclaimer. In doing so, the homeowner may not enter the neighbour’s land to trim branches without permission. ), Check your municipality’s local bylaws in case there are rules about where you can plant a tree in your yard. In this instance, have a chat with your neighbour about whether they’d be willing to work with you to maintain the tree, or cut back any part of it that encroaches on your property yourself. Your municipality is responsible for inspecting and maintaining trees on public property. Your neighbour the one cutting down the tree would be considered negligent and responsible for the damage. If you're looking for advice specific to your situation, there are options for free or low-cost help. A question we get asked all the time is: What can I do about a neighbor’s tree damaging my property? Many have experience with housing issues and can help with negotiation, writing letters, filling out forms, and more. If your claim falls between $5,000 and $35,000, you can bring a legal action in Small Claims Court. Legal advocates are among several options for free legal help; others include pro bono services and legal clinics. They can mark property boundaries, keep pets or children safe, offer privacy, or limit unwanted guests. What happens if a neighbour’s tree falls on your property? If the neighbor took reasonable care of the tree and a … If you do, you’ll be breaking local bylaws. 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. But in Ontario what happens is this. During a late November windstorm in 1991, a 60-foot poplar in Parent’s … These include the type of tree and where to plant it. We were told by a tree arborist, that in our area (Mississauga) if the limbs of a neighbour’s tree is hanging over our property, we have a right to trim it (within reason as not damage the tree). If your neighbour owns the tree, you can ask them to prune the tree’s branches or dig up its roots. Every first-year law student learns about the case of Rylands vs. Fletcher, a decision of … Nip it in the bud. They can mark property boundaries, keep pets or children safe, offer privacy, or limit unwanted guests. 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. You can ask that they (at their cost) hire a professional arborist to do the work, but they don’t have to; they can choose to do it themselves. The Urban Tree Conservation By-law (s.5) states that “No person shall injure or destroy a tree or cause the injury or destruction of a tree unless a tree permit has been issued by the General Manager to permit the injury or destruction.” A tree permit will be required in all cases unless it falls into one of the exceptions. For example, https://www.example.ca. Also, FortisBC recommends you “click, call or check before you dig”: contact BC 1 Call to find out if there are any buried utility pipes or lines. Call 1-877-656-1300 (toll-free)Visit website. If your neighbor or someone else cuts down, removes, or hurts a tree on your property without your permission, that person is required to compensate you (the tree owner) for your loss. my next door neighbour has a huge tree whose branches or more in my garden than theirs. If you do go onto a neighbor’s property or harm the tree, you could be liable for double or triple the value of the tree! Clean air. If you don’t have a land survey, you can consult a land surveyor and have a land survey done. There might be a tree on public property next to your property that poses a hazard or is causing damage. Trees beautify and benefit the environment. If the tree is a jointly owned boundary tree, you and your neighbour have to agree on what is to be done with it. 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… This is faster and less complicated than suing in the British Columbia Supreme Court. A week later, the main tenant gave me two weeks notice to leave. Invite your neighbour to talk about options that will work for both of you. The tree/hedge must be on the land adjoin­ing the affect­ed neighbour’s prop­er­ty. It also maintains a searchable list of land surveyors. You may immediately think that if it wasn’t your fault, it isn’t your problem. I had a tree in my backyard I loved, 100 feet tall and it had to be 100 years old. You could also start a court action before a dangerous tree or branch falls to require your neighbour to remove it. And it can help preserve a good neighbourly relationship. You can also hire a registered BC land surveyor to come to the property and identify the property line. If you’re unable to resolve the matter directly with your neighbour, consider mediation. Usually this will be a case of a homeowner’s enjoyment of their property being affected by branches or roots crossing into their lot from the neighbour’s yard. Start by talking to your neighbour and asking them to check if their insurance will cover the damage. If you have issues with a neighbour’s tree — for example, it overhangs your property — explain your concerns and ask for their thoughts. Basically, if the trunk and visible roots are wholly on your neighbour’s property, your neighbour owns the tree. This distance will depend on the type of tree. It's important to keep in mind that specifics of such a situation may vary legally according to state, so you should check with local statutes, as well as with your homeowner's insurance, before you take any action. But they can also lead to tensions and conflicts. Often, a tree removal permit will require a property owner to plant one or two “replacement” trees for every tree that’s cut down. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. You still can’t go onto your neighbour's property without permission and cut it down. There was an error, please provide a valid email address. This online system encourages a collaborative approach to resolving disputes. Untidy Premises and Other Neighbourhood Nuisances, leaves, fruit, nuts or other debris fall from your neighbour’s tree onto your property, tree roots are a tripping hazard or cause damage to your yard, the foundation of your home, or part of your property (like a driveway), can’t enter your neighbour’s property without permission, can only prune or cut back the branches or roots that are on, shouldn’t cause any unnecessary damage to the tree. Even if there aren’t any, ask yourself: “What would a good neighbour do?” They’d probably plant the tree a reasonable distance from the property line. That way you may avoid costly repair bills and your neighbour may be more inclined to address the problem. 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. 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. 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. Trees give us all of these and more. 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. I live in a condo. Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Each of you has to get the other’s agreement before doing anything to the tree. Your neighbour’s tree may be upsetting you. Even if there aren’t any, there are general guidelines you should follow. If the burden is greater than the risk of harm, a court will probably not find that the neighbor had a duty to inspect the tree. A Neighbor's Tree Damaged My Property By John Stevens ... Courts weight the risk of harm against the burden of inspecting the tree for damage. This involves you and your neighbour meeting with a neutral third party who’ll work to help you reach an agreement. Have a tree close to your neighbour’s property? If you don't see it please check your junk folder. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. You can search the BC land title authority to see if a land survey is part of the public record for a property. Conflicts involving trees and neighbors are best resolved through communication, but there are laws covering these types of situations. 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. (See Nolo's articles on "Neighbors and Trees" for more on this.) Where the base of the tree lies is the determining factor of who owns the tree. If my neighbour cuts down a tree on his yard and it damages my property he pays right? Fences serve many purposes. But they can also cause disagreements, especially between neighbours. Trees planted on the boundary belong to both neighbour's equally. Learn how to deal with problems involving trees and neighbours. But if the tree is likely to injure you or cause damage to your property you can act without your neighbour's permissions. Whether you’re thinking of planting a tree or you’re concerned about a neighbour’s tree, the first step is to talk about it with your neighbour. They could give your neighbour a fine for violating local bylaws. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. If you do go onto a neighbor’s property or harm the tree, you could be liable for double or triple the value of the tree! Call 3-1-1, contact your local municipality directly, or check your local municipality’s website. These rules are typically in local bylaws. Neighbours may disagree about where a fence can be built, what type of fence to build, or who should bear the cost of building or repairing a fence. If the tree in question is dead/dying or has dead branches that could be hazardous , Urban Forestry can investigate. It was doing zero damage to their property as it was a vacant lot. If a tree falls into a neighbouring property, that property owner may be entitled to be reimbursed by the tree owner for the cost of removing the tree. There is a tree on my neighbour's property leaning on my property in Ottawa, Ontario. In this case, find out who’s responsible for enforcing the relevant bylaw. The owner can look for guidance in the strata’s bylaws and the Strata Property Act. If part of a tree trunk or part of any visible roots are growing across the property line, then it’s a boundary tree. Learn more about conflicts with neighbors, trees, property, real estate, property lines, damage, and other legal topics at FindLaw's Real Estate section. Janet owned a Lombardi Poplar tree that was 60 feet tall and was situate 5 feet from the boundary fence. If you prove your claim, you’ll usually get an order for compensation. For example, if your neighbour has pruned or removed overhanging branches past the property line, you could sue them for trespass. The destructive force of nature is something that any homeowner in Florida faces, from minor storms to full-scale hurricanes. The Town came and cut down half the tree to clear out the road. Both must agree before either one can trim the tree or cut it down. You may have to pay a fine or face a legal action. There may be bylaws where you live about where you can plant a tree in your yard. A tree with its trunk growing across a property line is considered shared-property and in normal circumstances should not be injured or destroyed without the neighbor’s consent. If the trunk of the tree is directly on the property line (a “boundary tree”), both you and your neighbors own the tree. If none of the steps above resolve the problem, it may be time to consider legal action. Of Vancouver website online system encourages a collaborative approach to resolving disputes your neighbour and a template for for! Work things out yourselves part, on the boundary belong to both neighbour 's tree.! 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