If the city’s road renovation to install sidewalks tore out existing landscaping trees, bushes, sod, shells and irrigation, do they owe me any compensation?

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If the city’s road renovation to install sidewalks tore out existing landscaping trees, bushes, sod, shells and irrigation, do they owe me any compensation?

The city began a big project involving tearing up the existing road in front of my

property. They will be putting in a new road with sidewalks. I was informed this would be happening but it was not made at all clear that they would be using an easement on the front of my property. All the landscaping was removed and hundreds of dollars in bushes were thrown out. Also, the irrigation system was torn out and 2 palm trees were simply cut at about waist height. All of these could have simply been removed and transplanted. Do I have any recourse?

Asked on October 15, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue the city for any damage their renovation work caused to your landscaping and irrigation system: even when someone has a legal right to make repairs or renovations to their own property, they are NOT allowed to damage others' property and are liable, or financially responsible, for all damage they cause. Cities are not exempt from this rule. Note that there are extra procedural hurdles to suing a governmental unit, like a city; if they will not voluntarily compensation you, you may wish to hire an attorney to represent you.


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