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My neighbors tree roots have grown through my main sewer line

Customer Question
causing my basement to flood...
my neighbors tree roots have grown through my main sewer line causing my basement to flood. The Roto Rooter man has been here and has confirmed that the neighbors tree roots are causing the issue with my sewer line. I have asked the neighbor to help resolve this matter and was told its not thier problem the tree was there when they bought the house. What can I do to resolve this issue?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
7/5/2015
Real Estate Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35,854
Experience: 30 years of real estate practice experience.
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Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I will do whatever I can to answer your question.
This is a common legal question, and the answer is that the tree owner is liable under trespass and private nuisance theories. Among the remedies are cutting the roots at the property line; there is a caveat that this must be done in a "non-negligent manner," which the courts did not further define, but probably would include avoiding killing the trees or causing them to be in danger of toppling in a high wind. Also, you can not trespass on your neighbor's property to do the trimming.
The best practical advice is to hire both a contractor to give you a dollar estimate for the damage done to date, and a licensed arborist to give you a written opinion that the trees caused the damage along with professional advice on what can be done "non-negligently" to prevent future damage.
Show all this to the neighbor, and ask for cooperation again, mentioning that you will have to sue if he/she does not correct the situation voluntarily.
I hope this is helpful. If you have more follow up questions please let me know. It is never a problem.
Thank you.
Loren
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Loren
Loren
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