The roots of a tree grow toward the things that sustain it: oxygen, moisture and nutrients. Q: I live in a single-family house, adjacent to a large condo in Roslyn, N.Y. A big tree on the condo’s property has roots encroaching onto my property. In addition, intentionally damaging a tree is a crime in some states and can result in arrest, jail, fines, and other penalties. Do I have to compensate my neighbors for damages caused by the spreading roots of a tree on my land? Our office has handled similar cases in the past and the owner of the tree is liable for the damage caused by its roots or other out-growths. Log in or register to join the conversation., Tree roots pushing up driveway - What To Do, Plan ahead to avoid tree root damage to driveways. (Assuming the tree is healthy and in good condition, and there are no issues with the actual foundations of your house). I'm not bothered about damages for this driveway and I don't want to have to seek them in future. Say you want a new drive, but that is pointless with the tree in place. If the amount of damage is more substantial than the damage that trimming back the roots would do to the tree, it’s Lucy’s right to have her neighbor remove them. Coverage for replacement of trees following a claim would fall under the landscaping section of your policy. Does she have a case? For example, on a driveway, if it's not possible to exclude the root area of the tree as mentioned above, you can lay a cellular grid to contain a free draining base for the drive, which prevents compaction to the roots, and use permeable paving to maintain aeration / water penetration. 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… I just moved in a year ago and obviously this has been an issue way before I moved in and I had no idea about it. Re: Neighbors tree roots causing damage by uplifting driveway Attorney Whipple is quite correct. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. In practical terms, so much depends on what species of tree it is. Firstly - speak to your insurance company firs, even if you don't intend to claim now - if it gets messy you dont want to have nullified your insurance. I've worked on housing developments where it has been possible to build not only drives, but houses, in quite close proximity to large trees. The council chap said there was no chance of removing a TPO. Check the table below to find out if there’s a Kentucky criminal statute on causing intentional damage to a tree. Please feel free to contact our office at (626) 578-0708 or through our website at Rules in Subdivisions. Neighbor's tree roots are damaging my driveway and drain pipe. Therefore take photos, showing the problem, the damage, explain he is liable but offer a compromise solution to the problem if it is resolved amicably and quickly. If they are having to pay for any remedial work that has to be carried out then their legal departments will pursue your neighbour through the courts for any costs. Different trees have different root systems, so one tree may cause damage from a short distance away while another tree may have an extensive root system and cause damage from further away. It is a shame relations are hostile. What should I do? His insurance is probably not going to cover this as he obviously hasn't maintained the tree. Some trees can be valued at more than $4,000. The roots are large and you can clearly see where they grow under my driveway. We bought our house 3 years ago, and since we bought the house I've noticed our driveway has cracked considerably, and visible roots can be seen through the lawn area - in fact roots are lifting my (adjoining) neighbours drive. That should be your starting point. My Neighbor’s Tree Roots Damaged My Driveway. (get names, times of call to them etc), In general terms however, to be successful you need to willing to compromise, discuss, and solve the problem before taking court action. And because other people often use your … Councils can be happy to sit on their hands on these matters, so they need a good push in order to see sense. Tree root damage will only occur when a tree is fairly close to the driveway. The roots have caused cracks & in places have raised the cement as much as 5 inches. If you intentionally cut down or prune a tree and it is later discovered that the tree was on your neighbor’s property, you can be ordered by a court to pay the value of the tree plus up to three times the value of the tree in punitive damages. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass, even though the tree roots will be encroaching on the neighbouring land. The roots have been damaging my concrete driveway and the foundation of my house. And those roots can cause some dangerous problems. If it's one that will only get bigger and more damaging, then it is clearly inappropriate for the site. My neighbour replaced his drain pipes, taking water from his gutter to a soakaway. 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. And Louise B refers to trees in the plural. You cannot touch a tree that belongs to your neighbor, but you can remove portions that sit over your property, such as tree branches. Thanks. It is best to reach an amicable agreement. With due regard to your profession, WillDB, I don't think that all trees are equally valuable, let alone extremely valuable. I very much doubt that most garden trees have a TPO. The owner of that tree, in this case the … If my neighbor's tree branches hang over my yard, can I trim them? You'll never have good relations with him, and that as I know, is better than confrontation. Basically, it depends on how much harm the tree roots are causing. I am told the only way to remove one is to find an issue such as structural damage to the house. I then googled it, and saw the small leafless tree in the garden became a huge oak in summer, completely shading the house. It save you instigating court action and all the hassle that goes with it. If the branches or roots of a neighbor’s tree have crept over to your property, you have a right to prune the tree back to the property line. It'll be an expensive job, so letting the insurance and loss adjusters do the work will lift a huge burden from your shoulders, and you can be pretty smug about it when your neighbour tries to raise the issue, by just telling him to deal with the insurance company. Portland, OR. No grass will grow in area. Trees can also shed all sorts of debris onto neighboring roofs, cars, and people. Trees that will make 40 feet high are clearly not wanted between the front drives of a row of suburban semis. Shallow root systems often reflect insufficient watering or compacted soil further beneath the surface. The roots have been damaging my concrete drivew Cleanup The owner of a fallen tree is responsible for the cleanup and any damages caused by the tree. If they have grown under the driveway, the driveway is now a part of its structural integrity. However, if you hurt the neighbor’s tree, you may be found liable for costly damages. Substantial root growth above ground. It had a TPO so I withdrew the offer. And there is no point in trying to plead ignorance, you would still be prosecuted. If Kentucky does not have such a law, general Kentucky criminal statutes, such as those related to theft or property damage, may still apply. Neighbors sycamore tree is large and less than 2 feet from lot line. 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. Roots grow gradually, so the damage they do can be equally gradual. (he removes the tree, you'll do your drive). What is the tree and how big? When roots spread at shallow depths, they will find their way under asphalt, sidewalks, and yes, driveways. Furthermore, some trees are protected under Florida law such as mangrove trees. I'd want to know what these trees are before commenting further on possible solutions. If the neighbor took reasonable care of the tree and a … Hello, We bought this house a few years ago and the driveway showed signs of the roots from the neighbour's boundary trees lifting it. There is also a gap appearing between the floor and the skirting board in the bay window. And I dug up the holly trees whose roots had destroyed his drains. How much does it cost to resurface a driveway. 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. No legal expense, no arguing, happy neighbours. If the roots of neighbor’s row of backyard trees next to your fence have invaded your property, causing damage to your hardscape, and/or threatening your home’s foundation, suit in court for injunctive relief may be effective to force them to remove their offending trees, and to grind down the stumps to kill the roots, thereby solving your problem, and stopping the loss of your home’s market value. However, the law only allows tree trimming and tree cutting up to the property line. When Tree Roots Burrow Under Your Sidewalk or Driveway. There is a good chance that there is and this will have a huge impact on the issue. 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. My neighbor keeps threatening me that she will sue me for a new driveway because a tree in my back yard is breaking up hers up. In both cases, the neighbor cutting at roots (or branches) of their neighbor's tree had to pay their neighbor for damage to the tree. If there is any way the tree can be retained without causing further damage to property, I would want to explore that first. Some homeowners have trouble with their tree roots when they grow under their sidewalks, driveways, patios, and other shallow, concrete structures. Tree Roots Under the Driveway — Roots provide structural integrity to a tree. 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. A: A tree that spreads its roots onto a neighboring property, damaging the foundation of someone elseâ s home, is a nuisance. Q: I live in a single-family house, adjacent to a large condo in Roslyn, N.Y. A big tree on the condo’s property has roots encroaching onto my property. Louise, the best thing you can do is leave it in the hands of the insurance company. The above sounds good. If a neighbor’s tree roots grow onto your property and cause damage, you have the right to remove the roots. Roots damaged our driveway 20+ feet away. Replacement of a Tree After a Claim . Since 2008 my neighbor's tree roots have caused my cement walkways and driveway to crack and raise. It was a lovely tree adding to the area, but lighting the garden. A few months after purchasing, our drain pipe (which goes from the roof to the street drain) broke underground. You do have the right to cut roots on your land, but if that causes the tree to fall or kills it, you might be liable. BUT discuss with your insurance company first - they may want to take the action and you don't want to make a move without their okay. As the concrete cracks and buckles, pieces of it will stick up and create a tripping hazard. But if the opposite is true, she just has to deal with it. Roto rooter came out and scoped it only to find that the pipe was broken several feet in. Your specific rights and remedies may vary depending upon local law. I really like the tree. First thing to check is whether there is a TPO in place which covers the trees. You could write a polite, to the point letter, setting out the issue. Things are very hostile between us already. Would be interesting to see the driveway in question. You can't march into your neighbor's yard and cut down a tree that isn't yours. In the Costa case, that was to the tune of $45,000. Florida law prohibits a neighbor from cutting down a neighbor's tree or even entering a neighbor's property without permission from the owner. Your home insurance policy may have limitations for … I am surprised your surveyor didn't raise the issue prior to your purchase of the property, but you get what you pay for with those guys. If you and a neighbor shared responsibility and ownership of the tree due to property lines, then you should split the cost of the cleanup equally. I don't know where we stand because I haven't given them formal notice of the damage being caused, although I'm sure I shouted it at him during an argument once, and I don't know how they could possibly rectify the situation other than chopping the trees down and leaving the boundary totally exposed. It's simpler and cheaper to chop them down, of course, but local councils quite rightly take account of the benefits of good quality large trees on the attractiveness of urban areas. But the worker also cut (i.e., hacked with a chainsaw) substantial parts of the tree that were on the tree owner’s land, damaging the tree. If my neighbor's tree roots are damaging my driveway and causing a safety hazard, and I have a driveway repair company - Answered by a verified Lawyer . Causing damage to the tree, such as deliberately poisoning it, is an offence as I am sure you know. Remember he is next door and can make you life miserable, so it pays to be friendly. Trees are extremely valuable and the tree in question was there before you moved in. The council did not care that it was a forest tree in a small garden, blighting the house. Kidding aside, this really isn’t your problem. With the advice of arboriculturalists, and sympathetic construction methods, it's usually possible to retain trees. Indicate you are willing to ignore the damage to the drive as a gesture of goodwill if the tree is removed. If the intruding roots or branches have caused damage to the neighbour's property (for example, roots cracking pipes or branches damaging gutters or poisoning animals) the neighbour can ask the tree owner to pay the cost of repairs or compensation. 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. Healthy tree root systems may, over time, topple fences and uproot sidewalks, even those that run in front of neighboring properties. Dandelions have pushed through the newly laid pavement tarmac. The concept of tree roots growing does not fit the definition of sudden and accidental because roots grow very slowly, so normally damage caused by roots would not be covered. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. Check local statutes and ordinances, as well as with your homeowner’s insurance carrier, before taking action. My Camellia has cracked my paths. Basically you could sue him for damages if he doesn't remove the tree and repair your drive - as you say above. You may not go onto the neighbor's property or destroy the tree. However, utility companies are exempted from this prohibition, under Section 163.3209 of the Florida Statutes. The tree owner sued. Yes. August 17, 2019. She said it is lifting up her driveway and she wants me to remove my tree and buy her a new driveway. I once had an offer accepted on a house. 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. Potential damages costs for trees. Doing it this way leaves you out of any direct confrontation with your neighbour. My neighbor's trees roote have grown under my driveway & damaged it. It is his, and his complaint seems suspiciously reinforced by the reputation that precedes him. 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. With his permission I paid $500 to have his tree removed. Cotoneasters a metre tall cracked my patio. The law technically allows you to hire a licensed professional to "reasonably" cut back the roots. I wondered if you could put in a barrier, such as sunken breeze blocks? Other Kinds of Damage But there are several more subtle ways in which a tree can damage a neighbor’s property or real estate. By law, you have the right to trim branches and limbs that extend past the property line. We don't even know the species. A: A tree that spreads its roots onto a neighboring property, damaging the foundation of someone else’s home, is a nuisance. I looked into the legalities of it online and it basically says to let the neighbour know asap to give them time to rectify it and sue them for damages otherwise. I'm now looking into having a new driveway put down but it seems a bit pointless with the roots there and I fear that if we just hack through them during the process of laying a new driveway and the tree dies that the neighbour will cause as much trouble as possible because he's a prat. Neighbors tree roots damaging my property. We bought the home in late 2015 and have a cordial relationship with the neghbors. Sounds like there is no point doing the drive without removing the tree. It provides a barrier and decreases the stress levels to you personally.

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