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My neighbor has a dead tree hanging over my property. Is…

Customer Question
My neighbor has a...

My neighbor has a dead tree hanging over my property. Is there anything I can do to force them to cut down before it totally fall on my property, ie house, cars, etc.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

SC

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

I have sent my neightbor a letter about the trees, notified code enforcement and talked directly to neighbor

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I feel very threaten by the tree. I am afraid to be in the back yard and fear daily that my cars will be damage by the tree when it eventually fall. My neighbor has had another tree fall about 2 years ago which fell on my car and house. I endured the financial damage with my insurance company. I desperately want to avoid this situation again.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
10/5/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 8 months ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,582
Experience: Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. This is a textbook situation of a tree limb trespassing unto your property from that of a neighbor. Every state has its own version of the doctrine. South Carolina shares its doctrine with , possibly because they have both developed from the same original "old style" common law of the colonies. According to Jones v. Wagner, 624 A. 2d 166 - Pa: Superior Court 1993:

"First, an aggrieved landowner is entitled to exercise a self-help remedy by either trimming or lopping off the branches to the extent his property is encroached. Second, if the landowner has incurred reasonable expenses in the course of exercising a self-help remedy, he may recoup those expenses from the trespasser. Third, he may, on a trespass theory, seek equitable relief compelling the trespassing neighbor to remove the trees to the extent of the encroachment and seek appropriate incidental and consequential damages."

So:

1) You can utilize self-help, you can hold them to reasonable expenses with this; and if you need to have someone else do it, you can hold them to the reasonable expenses of hiring a contractor; or

2) You can go to court, get a judgment for the reasonable expenses AHEAD of time, and then do it;

- the choice is yours.

Of course, a demand letter threatening to do this and hold them legally responsible unless they cut it themselves may work.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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