What are the property laws regarding tree removal?

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What are the property laws regarding tree removal?

My neighbor is wanting me to remove several trees on my property because they could one day fall and hit his house. All the trees are alive and have green leaves.

Asked on June 16, 2016 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless your trees are dead or dying and pose and immediate threat to your neighbor's property or they are currently causing damage to your neighbor's property (i.e. roots breaking up a foundation or dislodging a fence, etc.), then you are not required to take any action. In other words, you are not obligated to prevent damage that may possibly happen in the future. That having been said, landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees on their property. Legally, they have 2 duties: to make reasonable inspections, and to take care to ensure the tree is safe. Accordingly, if a reasonable inspection shows that the tree could be dangerous, you are responsible for its removal and, if you fail to do so, would be liable if the tree does in fact cause damage. 


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