Neighbors Trees Ruining My Property

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  #1  
Old 01-11-08, 10:44 AM
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Neighbors Trees Ruining My Property

There are two large silver maple trees that sit on the west side of my house, but on my neighbors property. They are approx. 65 feet tall and are about 7 feet away from my house. The roots from these trees have lifted my sidewalk going up to the front porch, ruined my sewer line and most recently, one of the limbs came crashing down and destroyed my freshly painted awning. The homeowner is a landlord. I have spoken to him 5 or 6 times about the trees and expressed I would like to get them removed. I have even gotten several estimates for their removal. Of course, the landlord is reluctant to have them removed. I realize that I can get the limbs on my property taken down, but is there anything I can do to have him remove the trees? Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-11-08, 11:05 AM
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If you can prove that his trees are damaging your concrete and sewer then you may get him to have to pay up. But the limbs are normally your problem unless they are obviously dead or touching your home/structure.
 
  #3  
Old 01-11-08, 11:24 AM
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Uplifting of sidewalk and damage to foundation of your home or other damage to your property by a neighbor's tree is encroachment. The tree owner should be required to remove the tree. While laws vary from state to state, I believe that in every state property owners have the right to trim overhanging branches and invading roots from neighbor's trees.

You have given notice to the neighbor "5 or 6 times" verbally. Take photos of the damage to the property. Send a certified letter to the neighbor, indicating the number of times you have given notice and request removal of the trees within 30 days. Announce that you will be proceeding with the root removal to the property line if the tree is not removed. Include photos. Keep a copy of the letter, the certified letter receipts, and photos for your file.

If you prune the roots to the property line, this will be a temporary solution. The roots will return.

It is a known fact that maple trees have invasive root systems. The silver maple is not a desirable landscape tree because of its aggressive roots that can do damage to homes, clog drains, and uplift sidewalks, driveways, and fences. Its branches are weak and can fall and damage structures. Please note that in the event of damage to your property during a storm, this is usually considered an act of God and the neighbor will likely not be held responsible.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 03:06 PM
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I would not send a letter to the homeowner. you've discussed the subject with him several times and apparently he's opted to ignore you. I would spend a few dollars to have a lawyer send him a letter.

In my area limbs and roots on your property are yours to deal with. I would start cuttin roots on YOUR property. Hopefully if you cut enough the offending trees will die.
 
  #5  
Old 01-13-08, 07:59 AM
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A letter from a lawyer would certainly be more impressive than a letter from you. The letter is necessary to have documentation that you have attempted to reasonably deal with the problem. Take pictures of damage and pictures of the trees and property line for further documentation. Make two copies, one for you and an extra just in case you have to get an attorney or go to court. Should trees die and/or neighbor takes you to court, you have documentation of your due diligence.
 
  #6  
Old 01-13-08, 12:28 PM
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Good advice. Documentation is important. If you decide to write a letter make sure you include the fact that you have tried to resolve the problem and they have ignored you.

If you decide to get legal advice, explore the possibility of recovering damages from your neighbor. Even if you have no intention of suing for damages, mentioning it as a possibilty may get your neighbors attention and put them on notice that you are being damaged and unless they act you will hold them accountable.
 
  #7  
Old 01-15-08, 04:46 AM
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Also, be aware that anything you do to the tree on your side of the line that has the potential to cause it to die or fall (like cutting roots), you need to inform your neighbor prior to doing so. Failure to do so could, under some states laws, make you just as liable for damage to HIS property should the tree fall on his structures.


Do it in writing. As said before... document, document, document.
 
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