Tree root damaged driveway

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Tree root damaged driveway

The owner has failed to maintain there tree which has cracked and damaged my driveway, to the point it’s going into my foundation. What can I do? If I cut all the roots up under my driveway and the tree dies, could my neighbor sue me?

Asked on April 3, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

State laws vary somewhat on this issue but most courts hold the view that if the roots of a homeowner's tree causes damage to a neighbor's property, then that's the neighbor's problem to deal with. And property owners in every state have the right to cut off branches or roots that have grown onto their property, in most cases this is the only help that is provided by the law (note: the property owner must first give notice to the tree owner that they will take such action). Also, a property owner who trims an encroaching tree can only trim up to the boundary line. Additionally, the property owner cannot cut the entire tree down, cannot destroy the structural integrity of the tree by improper trimming. That having been said, this might be considered encroachment, so your neighbor may be required to remove the tree. Again, laws on this kind of thing vary from state to state.


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