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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 110413
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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My neighbor let his tree get overgrown in his backyard and

Customer Question

My neighbor let his tree get overgrown in his backyard and it intertwined in the fence and the fence began breaking and leaning towards my yard. I found out who the owner is and the renters were not the owners, and I spoke with him and asked him to trim his tree on his side and informed him it's splitting the fence. I had kept trimming his tree off my side but the weight from the tree is where the fence broke and fell over. Once that section fell it was a domino effect and it pulled the rest of the fence down which is now leaning on my house. Am I obligated to go half on fence repairs. I initially agreed but now I'm ticked because he has me doing all the leg work and no interest in doing anything himself and his tree caused the mess. The other side of my fence and back side of my fence is still standing. The homes are 20 years old.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The question would be who owns the actual fence, is it on his property or your property or exactly on the property line?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's on the property line, but the tree is on his side and now is growing back bushy and wild again but the fence is still down 2 months later.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
His renters dogs keep coming in my backyard and coming around to my bedroom side of the house barking. It's a problem since these new tenants moved in with their dogs and the barking. Everyone seems to think the barking will stop when the fence goes up. My kids can't keep their windows open on the fence side in 100 degree weather because the dogs are barking off and on all night.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If the fence is on the property line, even if it is his tree that caused it, you can force him to pay 1/2 of the cost of replacing the fence or you can put a whole new fence up all on your property. Unfortunately, in general the law is when a neighbor's tree causes damage to property, the laws are not overly favorable in holding the owner of the tree liable for damage to neighboring property because it is considered natural cause. Now, if you can show that he knew the tree was a hazard, which is possible given the condition you described, then you can actually file suit against him in court to force him to pay the costs of all the damage since he knew the tree was hazardous and he failed to take action to stop it from causing damage and it would be on that basis you could seek to have the court hold him liable.

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