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  • Writer's pictureLuke T

Neighbors tree a problem?

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

Ever been curious as to the law around who is responsible when a neighbors tree encroaches on to your property? This blog should help with answering some common questions. We recommend to first consult your neighbour before doing any work on their trees, however if you have a particularly tricky or ignorant neighbour then here are your rights around trimming the problem trees.

Can i trim back branches and roots that are overhanging my property?

- Yes. but only to the boundary line. any further than this and you are technically trespassing.

What if the encroaching branches or roots have caused damage to my property?

- Once you have removed the branches or roots causing the damage, you can go to the Disputes Tribunal or District Court to reclaim the cost of doing the work and repairing the damage to your property.

You can also apply to the District Court for an order to have the tree removed or trimmed and the damage repaired, and for the neighbour to pay the cost (see next question).

What can I do if a neighbours tree is dangerous or blocking out the view or light?

- Like all issues with neighbours, it’s best to talk to your neighbour first to see if you can work out a solution. If that doesn’t work, you can apply to the District Court for them to order your neighbour to trim or remove the tree at their cost. In this context, “tree” here includes any kind of shrub or plant.

Can i pick overhanging fruit or flowers from a neighbors tree?

- No. Even though they may be hanging over your boundary, they are still the property of your neighbor and this can be considered theft. It pays to be friendly with your neighbors though as most people wouldn't mind you picking the fruit that is overhanging your property, and a good neighbor should even keep their trees and shrubs trimmed back for you.

Hopefully this has helped answer some questions, leave a comment if you have a query that we may be able to help with.

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