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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38910
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired (mostly)
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Nieghbor has a 40 foot palm tree right on the fence. The palm

Customer Question

nieghbor has a 40 foot palm tree right on the fence. The palm has never been maintained. I have had to dodge palm fons when there is a gust of wind. They refuse to get the palm trimmed because this is a rental property and they are cheep. what can i do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Hello, What you are describing is called, "private nuisance." You can sue the neighbor in small claims court for the costs associated with the clean up of your property, and for the invasion of your property rights. You could even hire someone to enter your neighbor's property and trim the tree, and sue for that cost. The problem is that doing so could cause a physical altercation, and that could get you and your neighbor arrested for a breach of the peace. Also, someone could get hurt or even killed. People are unusually protective of their property rights. Of course, if the property is rented, then the tenants probably wouldn't care if a tree trimmer were to show up and trim the tree. They would probably assume that the landlord hired the worker, and just let it go at that. After which, you could sue for the actual costs. Or, you can get a quote to trim the tree, and sue for the cost of having it trimmed. There is another problem associated with small claims court that I must explain. The small claims judge can only award money. The court cannot force the neighbor to trim the tree, or to permit you to hire someone to do so. In order to get that type of enforcement (termed, "injunctive relief"), you must sue in Superior Court, and that means a lawyer and substantial costs. You may want to consider hiring a lawyer to send the landlord a letter threatening legal action if you cannot reach a settlement of the matter. Sometimes, a letter signed by an attorney can motivate settlement, especially when the neighbor becomes aware that he/she may suffer large legal expenses, and has no chance of prevailing. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using!

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