Don’t grab the axe just yet. In some cases, neighbour B’s pruning of the tree’s branches or roots may damage the tree, causing it to die. Neighbour’s Tree Branches Causing Damage in Ontario? Please try again. The first thing you will need to do is check whether the tree is protected or subject to an environmental overlay. For example, it could be … Carley Reynolds is a Lawyer at Donich Law, Copyright 2020 DONICH LAW PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION | All Rights Reserved. You can cut back any overhanging branch that comes into your property. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. One cannot simply cut and run, however. Property owners have a positive obligation to maintain all trees on their property and to ensure they are not a hazard. what are your rights? For more information, visit www.jacquesrobert.com. 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. You can cut back anything up to your property … Distinctive trees are defined as having a diameter of 50 centimeters or greater at chest height. 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. The other option is the self-help remedy. If the owner of the tree is unwilling to cooperate however, they are legally unable to stop you from completing the pruning at your own expense. 9. Trees that start out on your property but grow over the boundary between your property and your neighbor’s property become the joint property of you and your neighbor under Washington state law. That will depend on several factors. This means that trees should be planted far enough from a neighbour’s property to avoid harming that property. An individual who intentionally kills their neighbour’s tree needlessly may face liability as a result. It’s important to try to maintain good relationships with your neighbours, so it’s always best to first talk to them about any problems you might have with the trees they’re growing. Such a tree is jointly owned by both neighbors and cannot be pruned or removed without permission from both parties. Instead of researching the issue, the day laborer was turned loose on the trees like Jason in Friday the 13th. And that depends on where the tree is relative to the property line (also known as the “boundary line”). blocked drains) in which case it is advisable to notify the tree owner in a letter. 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. A neighbour’s tree causing damage to your property can be a source of conflict. They can be prickly. 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. Whoever owns the tree is responsible for maintenance of the tree. One com­mon cause of neigh­bourly dis­putes that we seem to pro­vide a lot of advice about con­cerns the trees and hedges that can impact adjoin­ing prop­er­ties. Overhanging Branches on Your Property Even if the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property, you have the responsibility for cutting any branches that extend onto your property line. You cannot cut down the tree without getting the permission of your neighbor. If your property backs onto a road and has a problem with overhanging trees, it’s possible the Highways Agency might ask you to remove them. If a tree on a neighbour’s property is encroaching onto your property and causing damage, the neighbour may be liable for that damage. 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. The tree company said He cannot/just cut branches overhanging my property unless he cuts branches to balance the tree. There are some basic steps to take before you start trimming. As a result, determining who will pay to have a tree pruned is a civil matter. A tree may be planted by neighbors well within the bounds of their property, but over time, some of the branches can extend beyond the property line and into your yard. These “boundary trees” are regulated by the Ontario Forestry Act which makes it an offence to injure or destroy a tree growing on the boundary between adjoining lands without consent of the land owner. A tree with a base growing on the boundary between two properties is common property between the owners of the two properties. Log In Sign Up. In Ontario, the government does not regulate the pruning of trees on private property. What happens if my neighbour’s tree falls on my house? My neighbours apple tree is massive and is well over my fence line. A boundary tree is one planted on the property line, so that the trunk grows partially on both properties. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. So, your neighbour would need your permission to remove a tree along your property line so long as any part of the trunk is growing on the boundary line with your property. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings. Can I tell my neighbour to come over and sweep up the leaves from their overhanging tree? In some cases, the neighbour who owns the tree may be willing to contribute to or cover the cost of pruning the tree. Do my neighbour’s trees have to be a certain distance from my house? In the 2012 case of Rony v Costa, a property owner hired an unlicensed day laborer to trim limbs that crossed his property line from a neighboring tree. Read more about cookies here. 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. Disputes typically arise when the branches or roots of a tree on one neighbour’s property (neighbour A) begin encroaching onto their neighbour’s property (neighbour B), causing damage to or interfering with the enjoyment of neighbour B’s property. If the tree in question is dead/dying or has dead branches that could be hazardous, Urban Forestry can investigate. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited. 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 many cases, the fastest and easiest option to resolve a dispute of this nature is the self-help remedy. Neighbour A is under no obligation, however, to pay for trimming parts of the tree that are not on their property, unless those parts of the tree are unhealthy or pose a safety hazard. You may not go onto the neighbor's property or destroy the tree. Again, these laws can differ in each state, so be sure to look up the exact law in your area. But what rights do you have if your fences aren’t high enough to keep a neighbour’s trees out of your property … Posted by 3 years ago. This will only be necessary if the trees are blocking the road or causing obstruction. Participant Experts v. Litigation Experts. Cuttings and fruit belong to the tree owner. 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. All councils have a Tree Preservation Order which is a set of regulations about the trimming and removal of trees. By Scott Williams. However, the law does require property owners to behave as “good neighbours”. 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. 9. Archived. A welcome email is on its way. 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. Get a lot of questions re: neighbours simply cut and run, however is no guarantee that neighbour to... Case it is, you ’ ll need to do so before beginning in... Be liable for the cost of pruning the tree has branches that overhanging! Associate lawyer, Jacques Robert is an Ottawa real estate lawyer Conservation By-law the permission of neighbor. Or cut down the tree neighbour ’ s tree branches so they do n't become a nuisance to him base! 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