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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: CA Real Estate
Satisfied Customers: 165
Experience:  I have nearly three decades of legal experience, including Real Estate Law, and have held a Real Estate Broker's License.
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My neighbors tree has several large branches, that are

Customer Question

My neighbors tree has several large branches, that are broken, and about to crush the roof of my home. She refuses to prune the tree, or allow me to access the property to remove the bro***** *****mbs.I need to have these branches removed immediately, and do not feel I should have to burden the expense, as she has neglected taking care of a very old and ill tree.Is there any law for me to enter the property and have the limbs removed. Or is there a formidable letter I can send her that puts her in the place of responsibility, case law etc..I do not have homeowners insurance to cover this type of catastrophic loss. I only can afford fire ins.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: CA Real Estate
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Good evening. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Are the branches which need trimming on your side of the property line?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they are on my side of the property, however, they are 40 feet up, and they are not accessible from my property.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is no access for a crane or cherry picker.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Common law allows you to trim back any branches crossing onto your property. Unfortunately, the law does not allow you to trespass on your neighbor's land to do so.

You can sue for nuisance to compel the trimming by your neighbor. Additionally, you can try contacting the county or municipality. Some have tree departments which will send an inspector out to examine the tree and cite the owner if it appears hazardous. The owner will be require to trim the tree or face fines.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
none of that is going to happen here. I live in San Mateo County. The land of Sue, don't be a good neighbor.I want to be a good neighbor, I need to inform my neighbors that there "dying tree" is going to destroy my property.I do not have Homeowners ins to cover the damage.So, how do I position a letter informing them of the liability?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

As a good neighbor, you are trying to resolve this without involving the courts or the authorities. Once they are put on notice of the problem they can be held liable on a negligence claim for any damage you incur if the tree falls.

Let them know that if they would allow you access you would be happy to take care of the problem and remove only the branches encroaching over your property line.

It is to her benefit to allow this to avoid exposure to tens of thousands of dollars of potential liability.