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can a neighbor just arbritraryly cut down shrubs, trees, ...

Resolved Question:

can a neighbor just arbritraryly cut down shrubs, trees, flowers etc.,that hang over unto thier property. keeping in mind that they do not obstruct anything as far as persons or sight.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
The neighbor has the right of "self-help" and can trim anything which overhangs onto their property line, regardless if it does not obstruct their view.

The neighbor cannot go beyond their property line. Further, the neighbor can be liable for negligence if their exercise of self-help has destroyed or damaged the rest of your trees, shrubs, flowers etc... So even though the neighbor can trim, the neighbor owes the owner a duty of care.

Here is a discussion of these rights for Massachusettes with law citation.

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