How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37853
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Neighbors trees are all dying and they overhang over my house

This answer was rated:

Neighbors' trees are all dying and they overhang over my house and garage roof.

My tree cutter has sent them letters asking to cut the trees before they fall on my property. HAVE FALLING BRANCHES AND A LOT OF LEAVES RIGHT IN BACK OF MY HOUSE AND GETTING a lot of carpenter ants and mold in some spots.
Have had a few fall in the past and I was told to send them a letter that they would be liable as an act of negligence but they still claim that it would be an act of God and they are not responsible. I never sent the letter because of fear of retaliation from them. I'm willing to pay for it for my peace of mind and safety but we need legal advice to be able to cut over the property line.
I am seventy-eight years old and a widow and I would like to enjoy my home a few more years without the constant mess from all the fallout.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
I am sorry to hear you are having this problem with a difficult neighbor...
From a purely legal perspective, any branches that overhang the vertical property line are considered a trespass to property and you have the legal right to trim them back to the property line. The caveat is that you have to do so in such a way that it doesn't kill the underlying tree or you can be held liable for its value and removal.
But if the trees are diseased and dying, you can get an arborist to give you a letter stating so that you can send along with a certified letter to neighbor telling them that the trees have been examined and are a hazardous condition and dangerous. If they then fall or cause any damage to your property, you can hold them lialbe because by delivering the letter, you are putting them on notice of the dangerous condition and they are being negligent in not removing them.
Another approach you might consider is suing them for "private nuisance". A private nuisance is an interference with a person's enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes that landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation.
If you were to provide evidence of the limbs and leaves falling along with the ants due to the trees being diseased and dying, you can seek injunctive action from a judge to order them to remove the trees under threat of contempt of court.
A less direct approach would be to pay a local attorney to send a demand letter threatening to sue them for nuisance and property damage if they don't remove the trees that are dead or dying. Sometimes when a person gets a letter from an attorney, it will "encourage" them to take action to avoid being dragged into court where they will lose.
Barrister and 4 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you