Real Estate Law
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My neighbors trees are encroaching over our fence and causing a nuisance to our backyard pool. I had to repace the pool pump last year due to this and asked them to trim the trees back to our property line with no result. Can I have the trees trimmed back and sue them for the cost ($550 bid) and any legal fees involved? Also if I can sue to recoup costs can the judgement be placed as a lien against their property if they refuse to pay? Our subdivision regs state that the costs associated with trimming tree will be paid by the trees owners in this situation but there is nobody to actually enforce regulation.
Hello,Thank you for the information and your question. It sounds as though your Subdivision Regulations may be more favorable than the general law is in Missouri for this issue. What I mean by that, is under Missouri law if a homeowner's tree limbs are encroaching on a neighbors property, then it is actually the neighbor who has the right and the duty to trim those limbs back to the property line if they want them removed as long as trimming them would not kill the tree or make it dangerously unstable. This would be at the cost of the neighbor, not the tree owner. However, it sounds like your association rules may have modified the general law where you live. If that is the case, then if you cannot work this out with your neighbor, then as long as you are following the rules you could have those limbs removed and then file suit in small claims court for the amount you paid for the removal. And yes, if they refused to pay the judgment, you could garnish their pay, bank account or place a judgment lien on their property. I would strongly recommend that you have a local attorney take a look at the association rules in light of the specific tree situation to make sure that they agree that the tree owner has a duty to trim the tree, then they may be able to contact the tree owner and get them to do this so that you don't have to take this on yourself. Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.