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Falling out with your neighbours over tree disputes can be difficult however, with a bit of communication and consideration on both sides of the fence they can generally be resolved amicably.  Solar panels shaded by branches, trees dropping debris in pools, and trees obstructing access are often the cause of hostility as well as concerns about tree safety. Homeowners are responsible for the safety of trees located on their property. You could be liable for the branches that overhang your neighbour’s property.

You should remove any trees that are diseased or deemed unsafe.  If that tree falls and damages your neighbour’s property you could be found liable.

What are your options if you have a tree dispute with your neighbour?

You may be liable if your tree falls on a neighbour’s property.

  • If your neighbour’s tree hangs over your property you are entitled to prune the branches overhanging your place but first you must check the tree isn’t protected.
  • You can’t go onto your neighbour’s property without their permission to undertake any tree work.
  • Trees over 12m high or trees with a canopy of 12m or trees with a trunk circumference over 1.5m are protected in the ACT. These trees are called Regulated Trees and require approval for pruning and removal. Before you begin pruning any Regulated Tree you will need to consult a qualified arborist and may need to complete a Tree Damaging Activity Form.
  • If you are unsure about the status of your tree a qualified arborist can advise you whether any tree in your garden qualifies as a Regulated Tree.
  • You should make sure your arborist is insured and qualified for the job and has public liability insurance.
  • If your neighbour refuses to trim back or remove a dangerous tree you can send a legal letter requesting action.
  • As a final step you can take your neighbour to court.  The court will generally order overhanging branches are pruned and dangerous or unstable trees are removed.   If the tree has caused damage to your property you may be able to claim damages.
  • If a tree is in sound condition but falls over or drops limbs because of a weather event it is considered an act of god.

For further information about your rights regarding trees visit: Transport Canberra & City Services

 

 

 

Tree disputes between neighbours can be difficult however, with a bit of communication and consideration on both sides of the fence they can often be resolved.  Mostly speaking overhanging branches shading solar panels, dropping debris in pools, and obstructing access are the cause of neighbourly hostility.  Neighbours sometimes have concerns about tree safety and stability which should be taken seriously. Homeowners are responsible for the safety of trees located on their property and you could be liable for the branches that overhang your neighbour’s property.

If you have a tree that is diseased or deemed to be unsafe you should have it removed.  If that tree falls and damages your neighbour’s property you could be found liable.

What are your options if you have a tree dispute with your neighbour?

You may be liable if your tree falls on a neighbour’s property.

  • If your neighbour’s tree hangs over your property you are entitled to prune the branches overhanging your place. First you must check the tree isn’t protected.
  • You can’t go onto your neighbour’s property without their permission to undertake any tree work.
  • Trees over 12m high or trees with a canopy of 12m or trees with a trunk circumference over 1.5m are protected in the ACT. These trees require approval for pruning and removal.
  • Before any work is commended you will need a tree survey and report by a qualified arborist.  Additionally you will need to complete a Tree Damaging Activity Form.
  • Make sure your arborist is insured and qualified for the job and has public liability insurance.
  • If your neighbour refuses to trim back or remove a dangerous tree you can send a legal letter requesting action.
  • As a final step you can take your neighbour to court.  The court will generally order overhanging branches are pruned and dangerous or unstable trees are removed.   If the tree has caused damage to your property you may be able to claim damages.
  • If a tree is in sound condition but falls over or drops limbs because of a weather event it is considered an act of god.

For further information about your rights regarding trees visit: Transport Canberra & City Services