Am I responsible for a tree that was accidentally planted on neighbor’s property 20 years ago?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I responsible for a tree that was accidentally planted on neighbor’s property 20 years ago?

My neighbor had a land survey approximately 1 year ago and cut down the tree today. My neighbor replaced his septic system approximately 2 years ago and the outlet is near tree. Am I responsible for any damages the tree may have caused to his septic system? He knew the tree was there.

Asked on May 6, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not. The tree was obvious and known to your neighbor: therefore, if he chose to place the septic system or its outlet near a known "hazard" (something that could affect the system), he, not you, is responsible for any consequences. The law requires people to take responsibility for what they knowingly do.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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