Who pays for the removal of a tree that encroaches onto a neighbor’s property?

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Who pays for the removal of a tree that encroaches onto a neighbor’s property?

Years ago before my husband died he planted a tree too far over our lotline onto the neighbor’s property. When the neighbors bought the property a survey was done so they knew that the tree was ours but on their property; all was fine. Now their insurance company wants the tree to come down as it falls over on their roof and mine also for that matter. While the tree is sentimental to me I will agree to have it cut down. However, which one of us pays for the removal of the tree?

Asked on October 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, since the tree has been required to be cut down (I hope this is by a court order of some sort), you would need to pay for the cost.  If the tree is touching both your roof and the neighbor's roof, it might be wise to have it cut but realize the neighbor has every right at their own cost to cut whatever portion of the tree cross their lot line.  Think of some branches coming over to the neighbor, the neighbor has the right to keep any fruit from that tree if it is a fruit tree but also has the responsibility to pay for costs to prune it back.  If, however, the tree must be cut down and pruning is simply insufficient, then it very well be you must pay for the removal.  


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