What to do if my neighbor’s huge trees pose a safety hazard and property damage?

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What to do if my neighbor’s huge trees pose a safety hazard and property damage?

My neighbor has several huge redwoods near our property line and close to my dwelling. One of the trees is leaning precariously toward my house. The trees continuously drop large amounts of leaves and debris over my roof, requiring constant gutter cleaning and repair. What is his/my responsibility a) now, b) if a tree falls on my house, c) if a tree falls on my house during an earthquake? Also, some of the huge roots have crossed into my property line and are threatening my house foundation. If I cut their roots on my side, the tall trees will surely fall on my house. What to do?

Asked on August 14, 2011 California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In California, you have the right to prune a neighbor's tree as to all parts that overhang your property so long as the work done does not harm the tree. The problem that you have is that the tree in and of itself seems to be a danger to your property.

Have you spoken with the neighbor about your concerns? If not, you should and offer to have the tree removed at your own cost. If the neighbor refuses to remove the tree, you really do not have much recourse against the neighbor at this time.

One option is to see if some governmental entity would consider the tree a danger/nuisance and require its removal.

You should advise your homeowner's insurance carrier about the situation and make sure there is adequate cost of replacement insurance for your home if the neighbor's tree falls upon it.

Good luck.

 


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