Is my neighbor financially obligated to remove trees damaging our fence?

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Is my neighbor financially obligated to remove trees damaging our fence?

My neighbor has boundary trees on his
property that are growing onto my side of the
property. The trees are destroying our fence.
Does he have any financial obligation to
remove the trees?

Asked on February 12, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In most states, the law is that you can trim the tree or a root, without your neighbor's permission, as long as it is does not kill the tree. You can go to court in an attempt to force a joint action to remove the tree, assuming you do not need or obtain a permit. As to the damage to the joint fence, both property owners are responsible for maintaining it, unless the parties have agreed otherwise. Consequently, when a fence needs repair, both property owners must share the cost. That having been said, if your neighbor has been negligent regarding the treedamage to the fence, then they can be held solely responsible for its repair/replacement.


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