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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102601
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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What can be done when a neighbor refuses to trim limbs and

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What can be done when a neighbor refuses to trim limbs and foliage protruding onto my property.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. This happens often, unfortunately. What state is this in, please?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Kansas City, Missouri

Thank you.

Apologies in advance for the momentary wait while I am typing out the answer...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'll hang on for the reply.

In cases where a neighbor's foliage and tree limbs (I am simply going to use the term 'foliage' for all) go unto one's property, one has the following resources:

One can use self help to immediately cut off any offending foliage that comes unto one's property. The second it does, it is trespass and nuisance and one can use self help to remove it. The self-help must be reasonable however, with an aim to avoid further damage to the neighbor's trees, etc, than necessary. One may cut to the edge of the property but not beyond. In addition, one can then seek reimbursement for any contract labor that was used for the self-help, provided that this was reasonable.

Court Order
In the alternative, one has the right to seek a court order confirming that the cutting would be allowed, reasonable, and necessary, and granting it. Likewise, the Court order can then allow for the reasonable reimbursement of the proposed work.

Often, a letter threatening a lawsuit will help and will work to have the neighbor agree to cut their own foliage to avoid liability. Let me know if you need a copy of a sample of such a letter.

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