Does my mom have any legal recourse against her neighbor if the roots of their tree damaged 2sections of driveway that now need to be replaced?

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Does my mom have any legal recourse against her neighbor if the roots of their tree damaged 2sections of driveway that now need to be replaced?

My mom’s neighbor has an enormous cyprus tree near their property line. It has large roots that have made the concrete rise, break and shift.

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

She may be able to hold them accountable for most, but not all, of the cost of repair if she can show that they knew or reasonably must have known that it was *their* tree causing the damage; with knowledge that it was their tree damaging a neighbor's property, they could potentially be held accountable. This would require that she had told them of the problem at some point; and/or there was no way they could avoid seeing it and also there are no other nearby trees on your mother's property or other factors (ground subsidience?) that could have caued this. If your mother could show this, she may be able to hold them accountable for the additional damage done after the problem was known (which is why she probably can't hold them entirely accountable--they and she would not have known of the problem until at least some damage was done). Of course, if they won't pay voluntarily, she'd have to sue them to recover money, which has its own costs, monetary and otherwise.


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