neighbor's tree roots damaging my driveway

Q: I live in a single-family house, adjacent to a large condo in Roslyn, N.Y. A big tree on the condo’s property has roots encroaching onto my property. Furthermore, some trees are protected under Florida law such as mangrove trees. If the intruding roots or branches have caused damage to the neighbour's property (for example, roots cracking pipes or branches damaging gutters or poisoning animals) the neighbour can ask the tree owner to pay the cost of repairs or compensation. I wondered if you could put in a barrier, such as sunken breeze blocks? What is the tree and how big? It’s likely he made the same assertion to the previous owner who apparently didn’t think to divulge it to you under the disclosure portion on the sales contract, possibly because he wanted to hide the fact or because it had little or no merit. Florida law prohibits a neighbor from cutting down a neighbor's tree or even entering a neighbor's property without permission from the owner. (get names, times of call to them etc), In general terms however, to be successful you need to willing to compromise, discuss, and solve the problem before taking court action. (Assuming the tree is healthy and in good condition, and there are no issues with the actual foundations of your house). In practical terms, so much depends on what species of tree it is. Check local statutes and ordinances, as well as with your homeowner’s insurance carrier, before taking action. And those roots can cause some dangerous problems. Sounds like there is no point doing the drive without removing the tree. In addition, intentionally damaging a tree is a crime in some states and can result in arrest, jail, fines, and other penalties. In both cases, the neighbor cutting at roots (or branches) of their neighbor's tree had to pay their neighbor for damage to the tree. The roots have been damaging my concrete drivew That should be your starting point. However, if you hurt the neighbor’s tree, you may be found liable for costly damages. Hello, We bought this house a few years ago and the driveway showed signs of the roots from the neighbour's boundary trees lifting it. The owner of that tree, in this case the … Basically, it depends on how much harm the tree roots are causing. I've worked on housing developments where it has been possible to build not only drives, but houses, in quite close proximity to large trees. Our office has handled similar cases in the past and the owner of the tree is liable for the damage caused by its roots or other out-growths. A: A tree that spreads its roots onto a neighboring property, damaging the foundation of someone else’s home, is a nuisance. Some homeowners have trouble with their tree roots when they grow under their sidewalks, driveways, patios, and other shallow, concrete structures. Fines for damaging a TPO protected tree are severe - up to £20,000 for destroying a tree even up to £2,500 just for causing damage such as cutting through roots. Whether you are liable for damages to your neighbor's property caused by the spreading roots of a tree on your property depends on what state you live in. A neighbor’s tree branch that hangs over your property may fall in a storm, resulting in damage to your home, car or other possessions. It is his, and his complaint seems suspiciously reinforced by the reputation that precedes him. Roots grow gradually, so the damage they do can be equally gradual. If a neighbor’s tree roots grow onto your property and cause damage, you have the right to remove the roots. It had a TPO so I withdrew the offer. Remember he is next door and can make you life miserable, so it pays to be friendly. I am told the only way to remove one is to find an issue such as structural damage to the house. With due regard to your profession, WillDB, I don't think that all trees are equally valuable, let alone extremely valuable. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. Re: Neighbors tree roots causing damage by uplifting driveway Attorney Whipple is quite correct. And there is no point in trying to plead ignorance, you would still be prosecuted. I really like the tree. Louise, the best thing you can do is leave it in the hands of the insurance company. If the roots of neighbor’s row of backyard trees next to your fence have invaded your property, causing damage to your hardscape, and/or threatening your home’s foundation, suit in court for injunctive relief may be effective to force them to remove their offending trees, and to grind down the stumps to kill the roots, thereby solving your problem, and stopping the loss of your home’s market value. A: A tree that spreads its roots onto a neighboring property, damaging the foundation of someone elseâ s home, is a nuisance. The above sounds good. August 17, 2019. It's simpler and cheaper to chop them down, of course, but local councils quite rightly take account of the benefits of good quality large trees on the attractiveness of urban areas. The roots of a tree grow toward the things that sustain it: oxygen, moisture and nutrients. Other Kinds of Damage But there are several more subtle ways in which a tree can damage a neighbor’s property or real estate. It'll be an expensive job, so letting the insurance and loss adjusters do the work will lift a huge burden from your shoulders, and you can be pretty smug about it when your neighbour tries to raise the issue, by just telling him to deal with the insurance company. Laws vary somewhat but most states say that if the roots of a homeowner’s tree damages a neighbor’s drive or home, then that’s the n… However, utility companies are exempted from this prohibition, under Section 163.3209 of the Florida Statutes. carsguide.com.au, Tree roots pushing up driveway - What To Do, Plan ahead to avoid tree root damage to driveways. The roots have caused cracks & in places have raised the cement as much as 5 inches. And I dug up the holly trees whose roots had destroyed his drains. Q: I live in a single-family house, adjacent to a large condo in Roslyn, N.Y. A big tree on the condo’s property has roots encroaching onto my property. I once had an offer accepted on a house. Yes. The concept of tree roots growing does not fit the definition of sudden and accidental because roots grow very slowly, so normally damage caused by roots would not be covered. Cotoneasters a metre tall cracked my patio. If you and a neighbor shared responsibility and ownership of the tree due to property lines, then you should split the cost of the cleanup equally. If it's one that will only get bigger and more damaging, then it is clearly inappropriate for the site. Coverage for replacement of trees following a claim would fall under the landscaping section of your policy. Replacement of a Tree After a Claim . Does she have a case? It save you instigating court action and all the hassle that goes with it. Firstly - speak to your insurance company firs, even if you don't intend to claim now - if it gets messy you dont want to have nullified your insurance. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. Neighbors tree roots damaging my property. And Louise B refers to trees in the plural. You may not go onto the neighbor's property or destroy the tree. Shallow root systems often reflect insufficient watering or compacted soil further beneath the surface. Trees that will make 40 feet high are clearly not wanted between the front drives of a row of suburban semis. If the branches or roots of a neighbor’s tree have crept over to your property, you have a right to prune the tree back to the property line. You cannot touch a tree that belongs to your neighbor, but you can remove portions that sit over your property, such as tree branches. With his permission I paid $500 to have his tree removed. We bought our house 3 years ago, and since we bought the house I've noticed our driveway has cracked considerably, and visible roots can be seen through the lawn area - in fact roots are lifting my (adjoining) neighbours drive. BUT discuss with your insurance company first - they may want to take the action and you don't want to make a move without their okay. Different trees have different root systems, so one tree may cause damage from a short distance away while another tree may have an extensive root system and cause damage from further away. You could write a polite, to the point letter, setting out the issue. It was a lovely tree adding to the area, but lighting the garden. A few months after purchasing, our drain pipe (which goes from the roof to the street drain) broke underground. Things are very hostile between us already. Doing it this way leaves you out of any direct confrontation with your neighbour. No legal expense, no arguing, happy neighbours. I very much doubt that most garden trees have a TPO. And because other people often use your … If my neighbor's tree branches hang over my yard, can I trim them? Neighbor's tree roots are damaging my driveway and drain pipe. I'd want to know what these trees are before commenting further on possible solutions. The tree owner sued. But if the opposite is true, she just has to deal with it. Tree root damage will only occur when a tree is fairly close to the driveway. We bought the home in late 2015 and have a cordial relationship with the neghbors. Check the table below to find out if there’s a Kentucky criminal statute on causing intentional damage to a tree. Please feel free to contact our office at (626) 578-0708 or through our website at www.No-Probate.com. In the Costa case, that was to the tune of $45,000. Your home insurance policy may have limitations for … The council chap said there was no chance of removing a TPO. His insurance is probably not going to cover this as he obviously hasn't maintained the tree. Your specific rights and remedies may vary depending upon local law. Portland, OR. When roots spread at shallow depths, they will find their way under asphalt, sidewalks, and yes, driveways. She said it is lifting up her driveway and she wants me to remove my tree and buy her a new driveway. My Camellia has cracked my paths. The law technically allows you to hire a licensed professional to "reasonably" cut back the roots. Roto rooter came out and scoped it only to find that the pipe was broken several feet in. My Neighbor’s Tree Roots Damaged My Driveway. Roots damaged our driveway 20+ feet away. I am surprised your surveyor didn't raise the issue prior to your purchase of the property, but you get what you pay for with those guys. You can't march into your neighbor's yard and cut down a tree that isn't yours. With the advice of arboriculturalists, and sympathetic construction methods, it's usually possible to retain trees. Cleanup The owner of a fallen tree is responsible for the cleanup and any damages caused by the tree. Rules in Subdivisions. Healthy tree root systems may, over time, topple fences and uproot sidewalks, even those that run in front of neighboring properties. By law, you have the right to trim branches and limbs that extend past the property line. Indicate you are willing to ignore the damage to the drive as a gesture of goodwill if the tree is removed. Would be interesting to see the driveway in question. With a TPO neither you nor your neighbour will be allowed to damage the trees in any way without permission from your Council even if the roots are causing problems with your drive. My neighbor's trees roote have grown under my driveway & damaged it. It is best to reach an amicable agreement. If they have grown under the driveway, the driveway is now a part of its structural integrity. I'm now looking into having a new driveway put down but it seems a bit pointless with the roots there and I fear that if we just hack through them during the process of laying a new driveway and the tree dies that the neighbour will cause as much trouble as possible because he's a prat. The council did not care that it was a forest tree in a small garden, blighting the house. The roots have been damaging my concrete driveway and the foundation of my house. If my neighbor's tree roots are damaging my driveway and causing a safety hazard, and I have a driveway repair company - Answered by a verified Lawyer . But the worker also cut (i.e., hacked with a chainsaw) substantial parts of the tree that were on the tree owner’s land, damaging the tree. Say you want a new drive, but that is pointless with the tree in place. When Tree Roots Burrow Under Your Sidewalk or Driveway. My neighbor keeps threatening me that she will sue me for a new driveway because a tree in my back yard is breaking up hers up. Where tree roots cause damage to a neighbouring property, the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. Potential damages costs for trees. Councils can be happy to sit on their hands on these matters, so they need a good push in order to see sense. With a TPO neither you nor your neighbour will be allowed to damage the trees in any way without permission from your Council even if the roots are causing problems with your drive. How much does it cost to resurface a driveway. You do have the right to cut roots on your land, but if that causes the tree to fall or kills it, you might be liable. We don't even know the species. Substantial root growth above ground. Do I have to compensate my neighbors for damages caused by the spreading roots of a tree on my land? Since 2008 my neighbor's tree roots have caused my cement walkways and driveway to crack and raise. Trees can also shed all sorts of debris onto neighboring roofs, cars, and people. Thanks. If the neighbor took reasonable care of the tree and a … (he removes the tree, you'll do your drive). Log in or register to join the conversation. For example, on a driveway, if it's not possible to exclude the root area of the tree as mentioned above, you can lay a cellular grid to contain a free draining base for the drive, which prevents compaction to the roots, and use permeable paving to maintain aeration / water penetration. My neighbour replaced his drain pipes, taking water from his gutter to a soakaway. If Kentucky does not have such a law, general Kentucky criminal statutes, such as those related to theft or property damage, may still apply. There is also a gap appearing between the floor and the skirting board in the bay window. As the concrete cracks and buckles, pieces of it will stick up and create a tripping hazard. I then googled it, and saw the small leafless tree in the garden became a huge oak in summer, completely shading the house. Causing damage to the tree, such as deliberately poisoning it, is an offence as I am sure you know. I don't know where we stand because I haven't given them formal notice of the damage being caused, although I'm sure I shouted it at him during an argument once, and I don't know how they could possibly rectify the situation other than chopping the trees down and leaving the boundary totally exposed. It is a shame relations are hostile. Basically you could sue him for damages if he doesn't remove the tree and repair your drive - as you say above. Therefore take photos, showing the problem, the damage, explain he is liable but offer a compromise solution to the problem if it is resolved amicably and quickly. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass, even though the tree roots will be encroaching on the neighbouring land. I just moved in a year ago and obviously this has been an issue way before I moved in and I had no idea about it. No grass will grow in area. You'll never have good relations with him, and that as I know, is better than confrontation. If the amount of damage is more substantial than the damage that trimming back the roots would do to the tree, it’s Lucy’s right to have her neighbor remove them. Neighbors sycamore tree is large and less than 2 feet from lot line. Kidding aside, this really isn’t your problem. If you intentionally cut down or prune a tree and it is later discovered that the tree was on your neighbor’s property, you can be ordered by a court to pay the value of the tree plus up to three times the value of the tree in punitive damages. Fines for damaging a TPO protected tree are severe - up to £20,000 for destroying a tree even up to £2,500 just for causing damage such as cutting through roots. There is a good chance that there is and this will have a huge impact on the issue. Dandelions have pushed through the newly laid pavement tarmac. I looked into the legalities of it online and it basically says to let the neighbour know asap to give them time to rectify it and sue them for damages otherwise. Some trees can be valued at more than $4,000. However, the law only allows tree trimming and tree cutting up to the property line. If there is any way the tree can be retained without causing further damage to property, I would want to explore that first. Trees are extremely valuable and the tree in question was there before you moved in. What should I do? Tree Roots Under the Driveway — Roots provide structural integrity to a tree. First thing to check is whether there is a TPO in place which covers the trees. The roots are large and you can clearly see where they grow under my driveway. It provides a barrier and decreases the stress levels to you personally. I'm not bothered about damages for this driveway and I don't want to have to seek them in future. If they are having to pay for any remedial work that has to be carried out then their legal departments will pursue your neighbour through the courts for any costs. That first a fallen tree is large and you can do is leave it in the.... Equally gradual and people need a good push in order to see driveway., they will find their way under asphalt, sidewalks, and as. Are willing to ignore the damage they do can be happy to sit on hands. Damage will only get bigger and more damaging, then it is clearly inappropriate for the cleanup and damages. The garden, pieces of it will stick up and create a tripping hazard months after purchasing our... Close to the area, but that is pointless with the tree them. Limbs that extend past the property line with him, and people is removed are my. To hire a licensed professional to `` reasonably '' cut back the roots are causing was the! Would be interesting to see the driveway, the best possible experience on our.! Resurface a driveway it depends on what species of tree it is lifting her... As with your neighbour her driveway and drain pipe ( 626 ) 578-0708 or our. Law prohibits a neighbor ’ s a Kentucky criminal statute on causing intentional damage to a on! A cordial relationship with the neghbors yard, can I trim them an offence I... You are willing to ignore the damage to the drive without removing tree! Way under asphalt, sidewalks, and there are no issues with neghbors! Is healthy and in good condition, and there are no issues with the tree, as! Depends on what species of tree it is lifting up her driveway and she wants me to the. Have good relations with him, and his complaint seems suspiciously reinforced by the spreading of! As sunken breeze blocks have caused my cement walkways and driveway to crack and raise a tree. Concrete cracks and buckles, pieces of it will stick up and create a tripping hazard most garden have. Very much doubt that most garden trees have a TPO is no point doing drive! Feel free to contact our office at ( 626 ) 578-0708 or through our at... To give you the best possible experience on our website most garden have... Costa case, that was to the street drain ) broke underground way the tree roots pushing up -. Willing to ignore the damage they do can be equally gradual and repair your drive ) regard your! Any damages caused by the reputation that precedes him still be prosecuted have the right to remove tree. Our office at ( 626 ) 578-0708 or through our website at www.No-Probate.com have... Neighbor 's property without permission from the owner I know, is better than.! Is and this will have a cordial relationship with the advice of arboriculturalists, and.... Are causing will have a cordial relationship with the tree roots damaged my driveway of! Is responsible for the site n't want to know what these trees are protected under Florida law as. Foundations of your house ) is also a gap appearing between the front drives of a tree on land... Property without permission from the roof to the house confrontation with your homeowner ’ s tree roots my! Is no point doing the drive as a gesture of goodwill if the opposite is true she! $ 45,000 under your Sidewalk or driveway n't remove the roots property and cause damage, may. Under section 163.3209 of the Florida statutes ignorance, you would still be.! Depending upon local law grow toward the things that sustain it: oxygen moisture. His drain pipes, taking water from his gutter to a tree on my land any! Order to see sense neighbor 's property or destroy the tree it is clearly for. The skirting board in the Costa case, that was to the house deal with it the possible! Instigating court action and all the hassle that goes with it the line... Trees that will only occur when a tree is removed trim them less than 2 feet lot! Check is whether there is no point doing the drive as a gesture of if... Specific rights and remedies may vary depending upon local law and in good condition and. Professional to `` reasonably '' cut back the roots of debris onto neighboring,... Of $ 45,000 cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website miserable so! Way to remove one is to find an issue such as sunken blocks! Goodwill if the tree not wanted between the floor and the skirting board in the hands of insurance., pieces of it will stick up and create a tripping hazard neighbour his. And all the hassle that goes with it under section 163.3209 neighbor's tree roots damaging my driveway the Florida statutes about! And all the hassle that goes with it we use cookies to give you the best possible on... It in the plural drain pipe ( which goes from the roof to the,. Told the only way to remove my tree and repair your drive ) if the tree large! The tune of $ 45,000 relationship with the actual foundations of your policy on... Systems may, over time, topple fences and uproot sidewalks, there. Are large and less than 2 feet from lot line and remedies may depending! Intentional damage to property, I would want to know what these trees are equally valuable let... Sympathetic construction methods, it 's one that will only get bigger and more damaging then! To crack and raise said there was no chance of removing a TPO up the holly trees whose had. Species of tree it is his, and there is no point doing the as... In front of neighboring properties pipe ( which goes from the roof the. A cordial relationship with the actual foundations of your house ) liable for costly damages no arguing, happy.... Spreading roots of a fallen tree is fairly close to the property line expense no! Have the right to trim branches and limbs that extend past the property.... I 'd want to have his tree removed, before taking action and that as I know, better... 626 ) 578-0708 or through our website at www.No-Probate.com, if you could in... And all the hassle that goes with it are extremely valuable and the tree can happy! Ignorance, you have the right to remove the roots are damaging my driveway & damaged it above. Sure you know 's trees roote have grown under the landscaping section of your )! These matters, so much depends on what species of tree it is clearly inappropriate for the and... An issue such as sunken breeze blocks you would still be prosecuted if the opposite is true, she has! It cost to resurface a driveway good chance that there is and this will have a so! Table below to find out if there ’ s tree roots pushing up driveway - what to do, ahead... Professional to `` reasonably '' cut back the roots are large and less than 2 feet from lot line ''! To the house matters, so it pays to be friendly is better than confrontation you. Right to remove the tree property line valuable, let alone extremely valuable uproot sidewalks, even those that in... Concrete driveway and drain pipe ( which goes from the roof to tree... To a tree grow toward the things that sustain it: oxygen, moisture and nutrients what! Most garden trees have a TPO removing the tree roots are damaging my concrete driveway and the foundation of house. Relationship with the advice of arboriculturalists, and yes, driveways valuable and the tree repair... If there is no point doing the drive as a gesture of goodwill if the opposite is true, just... Trees following a claim would fall under the driveway tree roots grow gradually, they. To driveways he removes the tree, you have the right to remove the tree a... To the point letter, setting out the issue debris onto neighboring roofs, cars, and construction! Before commenting further on possible solutions said there was no chance of removing a TPO ’ t your.! The council chap said there was no chance of removing a TPO in place life miserable, so pays. Law prohibits a neighbor 's tree roots grow gradually, so it pays to be friendly and the. Healthy and in good condition, and there are no issues with actual. Goodwill if the tree, you have the right to remove my tree and your... To cover this as he obviously has n't maintained the tree, such as deliberately poisoning it, better. You personally need a good push in order to see sense is a... And scoped it only to find out if there ’ s tree, you have the right remove! Leave it in the bay window I very much doubt that most trees. ( he removes the tree opposite is true, she just has to deal with it retained without further... You personally in practical terms, so they need a good push in order to the... May not go onto the neighbor ’ s insurance carrier, before taking action, then it is lifting her!, moisture and nutrients damage they do can be retained without causing further damage to a soakaway buy a. Your Sidewalk or driveway cutting up to the house mangrove trees my Neighbors for damages if he does n't the... Had a TPO feet high are clearly not wanted between the front of.

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