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. 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. How much does it cost to resurface a driveway. 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. 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. 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. Your home insurance policy may have limitations for … 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. Since 2008 my neighbor's tree roots have caused my cement walkways and driveway to crack and raise. My Camellia has cracked my paths. 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. 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. Causing damage to the tree, such as deliberately poisoning it, is an offence as I am sure you know. My Neighbor’s Tree Roots Damaged My Driveway. A: A tree that spreads its roots onto a neighboring property, damaging the foundation of someone elseâ s home, is a nuisance. It is a shame relations are hostile. With due regard to your profession, WillDB, I don't think that all trees are equally valuable, let alone extremely valuable. Check the table below to find out if there’s a Kentucky criminal statute on causing intentional damage to a tree. As the concrete cracks and buckles, pieces of it will stick up and create a tripping hazard. 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. 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. And because other people often use your … Portland, OR. It had a TPO so I withdrew the offer. A few months after purchasing, our drain pipe (which goes from the roof to the street drain) broke underground. It provides a barrier and decreases the stress levels to you personally. Remember he is next door and can make you life miserable, so it pays to be friendly. The roots of a tree grow toward the things that sustain it: oxygen, moisture and nutrients. August 17, 2019. Substantial root growth above ground. Things are very hostile between us already. However, if you hurt the neighbor’s tree, you may be found liable for costly damages. 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. But if the opposite is true, she just has to deal with it. 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. My neighbour replaced his drain pipes, taking water from his gutter to a soakaway. What is the tree and how big? Tree root damage will only occur when a tree is fairly close to the driveway. Other Kinds of Damage But there are several more subtle ways in which a tree can damage a neighbor’s property or real estate. 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. And there is no point in trying to plead ignorance, you would still be prosecuted. 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. In addition, intentionally damaging a tree is a crime in some states and can result in arrest, jail, fines, and other penalties. I then googled it, and saw the small leafless tree in the garden became a huge oak in summer, completely shading the house. You could write a polite, to the point letter, setting out the issue. With his permission I paid $500 to have his tree removed. It save you instigating court action and all the hassle that goes with it. If the neighbor took reasonable care of the tree and a … It is his, and his complaint seems suspiciously reinforced by the reputation that precedes him. If Kentucky does not have such a law, general Kentucky criminal statutes, such as those related to theft or property damage, may still apply. 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. In the Costa case, that was to the tune of $45,000. The council did not care that it was a forest tree in a small garden, blighting the house. Roto rooter came out and scoped it only to find that the pipe was broken several feet in. 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. Your specific rights and remedies may vary depending upon local law. No grass will grow in area. 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. Re: Neighbors tree roots causing damage by uplifting driveway Attorney Whipple is quite correct. If there is any way the tree can be retained without causing further damage to property, I would want to explore that first. I'm not bothered about damages for this driveway and I don't want to have to seek them in future. And Louise B refers to trees in the plural. Dandelions have pushed through the newly laid pavement tarmac. Tree Roots Under the Driveway — Roots provide structural integrity to a tree. And those roots can cause some dangerous problems. Does she have a case? 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. Neighbor's tree roots are damaging my driveway and drain pipe. carsguide.com.au, Tree roots pushing up driveway - What To Do, Plan ahead to avoid tree root damage to driveways. Check local statutes and ordinances, as well as with your homeowner’s insurance carrier, before taking action. 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… Potential damages costs for trees. The owner of that tree, in this case the … First thing to check is whether there is a TPO in place which covers the trees. Say you want a new drive, but that is pointless with the tree in place. Councils can be happy to sit on their hands on these matters, so they need a good push in order to see sense. Coverage for replacement of trees following a claim would fall under the landscaping section of your policy. I really like the tree. Doing it this way leaves you out of any direct confrontation with your neighbour. Roots damaged our driveway 20+ feet away. We bought the home in late 2015 and have a cordial relationship with the neghbors. Kidding aside, this really isn’t your problem. I wondered if you could put in a barrier, such as sunken breeze blocks? And I dug up the holly trees whose roots had destroyed his drains. I very much doubt that most garden trees have a TPO. Trees are extremely valuable and the tree in question was there before you moved in. You cannot touch a tree that belongs to your neighbor, but you can remove portions that sit over your property, such as tree branches. However, the law only allows tree trimming and tree cutting up to the property line. 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. There is also a gap appearing between the floor and the skirting board in the bay window. 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. The above sounds good. Do I have to compensate my neighbors for damages caused by the spreading roots of a tree on my land? Indicate you are willing to ignore the damage to the drive as a gesture of goodwill if the tree is removed. Basically, it depends on how much harm the tree roots are causing. I once had an offer accepted on a house. Please feel free to contact our office at (626) 578-0708 or through our website at www.No-Probate.com. 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. It is best to reach an amicable agreement. Healthy tree root systems may, over time, topple fences and uproot sidewalks, even those that run in front of neighboring properties. It was a lovely tree adding to the area, but lighting the garden. 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. Trees that will make 40 feet high are clearly not wanted between the front drives of a row of suburban semis. 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. 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. 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. Trees can also shed all sorts of debris onto neighboring roofs, cars, and people. When roots spread at shallow depths, they will find their way under asphalt, sidewalks, and yes, driveways. The law technically allows you to hire a licensed professional to "reasonably" cut back the roots. His insurance is probably not going to cover this as he obviously hasn't maintained the tree. You'll never have good relations with him, and that as I know, is better than confrontation. Replacement of a Tree After a Claim . Sounds like there is no point doing the drive without removing the tree. By law, you have the right to trim branches and limbs that extend past the property line. She said it is lifting up her driveway and she wants me to remove my tree and buy her a new driveway. If a neighbor’s tree roots grow onto your property and cause damage, you have the right to remove the roots. 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. 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. However, utility companies are exempted from this prohibition, under Section 163.3209 of the Florida Statutes. 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. Yes. We don't even know the species. 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. 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. Basically you could sue him for damages if he doesn't remove the tree and repair your drive - as you say above. 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. There is a good chance that there is and this will have a huge impact on the issue. Some homeowners have trouble with their tree roots when they grow under their sidewalks, driveways, patios, and other shallow, concrete structures. 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. You may not go onto the neighbor's property or destroy the tree. (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. 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. 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. 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. 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 . Florida law prohibits a neighbor from cutting down a neighbor's tree or even entering a neighbor's property without permission from the owner. Cleanup The owner of a fallen tree is responsible for the cleanup and any damages caused by the tree. With the advice of arboriculturalists, and sympathetic construction methods, it's usually possible to retain trees. If they have grown under the driveway, the driveway is now a part of its structural integrity. (he removes the tree, you'll do your drive). Cotoneasters a metre tall cracked my patio. 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. 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. What should I do? The roots have been damaging my concrete drivew Some trees can be valued at more than $4,000. 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. I'd want to know what these trees are before commenting further on possible solutions. If it's one that will only get bigger and more damaging, then it is clearly inappropriate for the site. Neighbors sycamore tree is large and less than 2 feet from lot line. (Assuming the tree is healthy and in good condition, and there are no issues with the actual foundations of your house). That should be your starting point. 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. 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. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. The roots have caused cracks & in places have raised the cement as much as 5 inches. I am told the only way to remove one is to find an issue such as structural damage to the house. Log in or register to join the conversation. The roots have been damaging my concrete driveway and the foundation of my house. Would be interesting to see the driveway in question. Rules in Subdivisions. If my neighbor's tree branches hang over my yard, can I trim them? In practical terms, so much depends on what species of tree it is. When Tree Roots Burrow Under Your Sidewalk or Driveway. The council chap said there was no chance of removing a TPO. Shallow root systems often reflect insufficient watering or compacted soil further beneath the surface. Furthermore, some trees are protected under Florida law such as mangrove trees. The roots are large and you can clearly see where they grow under my driveway. Louise, the best thing you can do is leave it in the hands of the insurance company. Neighbors tree roots damaging my property. A: A tree that spreads its roots onto a neighboring property, damaging the foundation of someone else’s home, is a nuisance. No legal expense, no arguing, happy neighbours. The tree owner sued. Roots grow gradually, so the damage they do can be equally gradual. My neighbor's trees roote have grown under my driveway & damaged it. You can't march into your neighbor's yard and cut down a tree that isn't yours. Thanks. , the driveway, the best possible experience on our website things sustain. 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