If my neighbor’s tree has a limb that is growing into the roof of my out-building, who is financially responsible for the removal of the limb?

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It would seem to be the neighbor who is responsible: his or her property is causing damage (or about to cause damage) to your property. Assuming  the neighbor is, or reasonably should be, aware of this--i.e. that its obvious and easily visible; that you have communicated the problem (preferably in writing) to the neighbor; etc.--if the neighbor does not address the problem, you would be entitled to either take action and charge the neighbor for the cost of cutting (though if the neighbor doesn't pay at  that point, you would have to sue, which may not be worthwhile) and/or sue the neighbor for the cost of repairing any damage done by the tree limb.

First, though, make sure you send written notice in some way you can prove delivery, and then give him/her an opportunity to take action; you should also probably take a series of time-stamped photographs.

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