Sometimes a tree on one person’s property has roots that extend so far that they damage a fence on the adjacent property. Complaints to the adjacent property owner have resulted in the tree being cut down, but no removal of tree stump or tree roots causing the damage. Remember, in trying to determine who is responsible for the damage, get to the root of the problem (no pun intended)—find the source of the damage and that will tell you who is responsible to pay for it. In my previous article "Rooting for Trouble" (October 2012), I discussed the issue encroaching tree roots and the claims that arise as a result of damage caused by the roots. Workers cutting down tree … As the tree owner, there is a duty to ensure that trees are adequately trimmed for purposes of reducing injury, property damage, or death. Going to court is very expensive and can take a long time, so reaching a private agreement will avoid a lot of hassle. The roots of the tree grew too long and punctured the pipes underneath my house, causing sewage to overflow onto the first floor of my house and cause all sorts of damage to my house and furniture. California: Tree roots from a neighboring tree have damaged a block wall, gate and concrete at my moms house. However, you have the right to cut limbs or roots overhanging or extending into your property, but only to the property boundary. However, if the damage caused a secondary issue like your pipe bursting and water enters your home suddenly, then you might be … An example of gradual damage is when the roots of a tree grow into parts of your home or plumbing. Tree roots damage property next door . 24. Where the branch or root of a tree comes onto a … Who is responsible for the repair? Yes. For example, if you tried to cut the tree roots back yourself and you damaged the tree, or it made it unstable and in danger of falling over, you could be responsible for damaging the tree. In that instance, the HOA is responsible for repairing the damage the tree on the HOA's common area property caused. The roots of the pine tree extended into Patel's yard. We had to call a plumbing company, who charged us an arm and a leg to come out on short notice to fix the problem. The tree roots are part of your property. This is the sort of case that judges often mull over and they end up in law school text books as "the tree root case" that leaves everyone scratching their heads (no pun intended). Again, there is a process to go through to prove the cause of the damage, and the extent of that damage. Profile. Therefore, Patel hired a contractor to excavate along the length of his yard three feet deep. A majority of California cities adhere to the state policy, however not the City of Los Angeles, which forty years ago opted for a policy that made the City responsible for repairing sidewalks damaged by tree roots in city parkways. Or, even if it would harm the tree, if the damage they are doing to the neighbor’s property is substantial, then maybe the roots and tree need to go. If roots encroach under adjacent property, you can sever the roots but only if the roots are in fact causing damage and then only if done reasonably (which may mean by a professional). On Booska's land was a 30 to 40-year-old Monterey pine tree. Removing the tree roots up to the boundary line is a reasonable course of action. Liability for damage caused by tree roots. Over the weekend we had a bunch of friends over for a birthday party and the sewer line clogged up. What types of tree issues may interfere with enjoyment? Reveal number tel: (717) 393-3464 . Good evening. Can I apply if the tree which caused damage or injury has been removed? Posted on Apr 21, 2012 ; You should speak with an experience property law attorney for help with this matter. The damage where the roots of the tree have been growing into would not be covered because roots do not grow overnight, this is gradual damage. It’s always going to be better to try to negotiate a solution first. This excavation severed the roots of Booska’s tree. Since 1886, California caselaw has provided that a property owner is essentially strictly liable for damages caused by tree roots and branches that encroach on another’s land. Trees The law about neighbours' rights and responsibilities for trees is covered by the common law of nuisance. California tree law between neighbors requires a landowner be responsible for maintaining a tree's foliage in a hazard-free condition. View/privacy issues. Example: if a tree is on common area property and its roots grow into the patio of a homeowner causing damage, the responsibility lies with the association. Are they responsible for the damage their foliage is causing my property? If your neighbor doesn't remove the dangerous tree, and the tree does in fact cause damage, your neighbor can be held liable. No agreement to fix damage either. You will each be responsible for whatever portion of the tree is on your property. For instance, California Civil Code 833 and 834 states that trees whose trunks reside on the land of one owner belong to him or her exclusively, even if their roots or branches grow into the neighbor’s property. You must each take care not to take any actions that will damage the tree as a whole, such as digging up the roots or putting down dangerous chemicals that could kill the tree. In fact, you could even be considered responsible for its maintenance. From what I read on the legal aid website, if a tree is causing damage to your property, the landowner of which the tree is on, is responsible. You can speak to us (DSCV) about mediation. You may apply for compensation for damage to land or property even if the tree has been completely removed except if the tree-keeper has sold the land on which the tree was situated, since the damage was caused. High Court confirms relevant test when determining liability for tree root damage Khan v LBC: High Court confirms the relevant test when determining a tree owner's liability for tree root damage . Tree roots sometimes grow under the sidewalks, causing uneven pavement that can create trip-and-fall hazards. Legally, they have two duties: make reasonable inspections and take care to ensure the tree is safe. Under the law, park ownership and management is responsible for the repair and replacement of such driveways. We like our trees in California. Landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees on their property. Defendants Not Responsible for Damage to Neighbors’ Retaining Wall Caused by Roots of Tree They Did Not Plant By Betsy G. Ramos on April 27, 2016 in Blog , Liability with 0 Comments Plaintiff Edward Scannavino claimed that defendants Marie and Everett Walsh allowed the roots of trees on their property to damage a retaining wall between their properties. The patio area is only the HO's responsibility if the problem was not caused by an HOA issue...such as an HOA tree root that caused the damage. Some of the laws applying to trees are a bit surprising, like the fact that trees can also be a fence, and that property owners are responsible to fix the sidewalk along their property – even if a city tree causes the damage. As such, you cannot charge a neighbor for the removal of the tree roots that are causing property damage. It is well established law that an owner of land can be liable for damage caused by trees located on that owner’s land when the roots of those trees encroach upon the land of neighbouring properties. Other damage like roots cracking pipes, foundations or pathways is usually covered under property law. If a tree causes damage to a neighboring property, the person who owns the tree may be liable if the party who suffered the damage … 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. Updated Jan 29, 2019; Posted Sep 10, 2018 . Whether the issue is one of: (1) roots lifting driveways; (2) trees dropping debris; or (3) trees blocking views, it is important not to underestimate the complexities of the dispute before you decide to act. We live in an older part of Suisun City where there are a lot of big trees. The plants belong entirely to your neighbor. Q: Who’s responsible for tree root damage? If that has happened, your neighbor could be required to remove the tree. It generally does not matter whether the current property owner planted or maintained the trees. 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