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Who is responsible

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Merlin, 24th Aug, 2005.

  1. Merlin

    Merlin Member

    Joined:
    23rd Aug, 2005
    Posts:
    8
    HI,

    If a tree on a neighbour’s property has a branch that extends over the fence of my property, can anyone tell me the following?

    1) Who does the branch "belong" to?

    2) If the branch is dangerous, who picks up the bill to have it removed?

    Thanks,

    M
     
  2. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

    Joined:
    16th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    1,885
    Location:
    Sydney
    Interestingly, I have just been through this very issue with one of my Qld properties, with my tree branches apparently damaging her aerial and proving to be a nuisance.
    The rules do differ, according to what state or territory your property is in, however, so if you could provide me with that information, I can help you out :)
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Member

    Joined:
    23rd Aug, 2005
    Posts:
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    HI Jacque,

    The area is North Ryde, NSW.

    Thanks,

    M
     
  4. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

    Joined:
    16th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    1,885
    Location:
    Sydney
    OK, according to the information I've gleaned from Ryde City Council:

    1) The tree branch still belongs to your neighbour, and you need to gain permission from your neighbour to prune this back to your boundary.
    If the tree is over 5m in height, however, you need to first obtain your neighbour's permission and then lodge what's called a Notice of Intent with the council. Once the Notice has been lodged with Council, a permit can only then be issued for the pruning of the overhanging branches back to the boundary line. You are not permitted to enter your neighbour's property to do this, unless you have their consent. Pruning work also cannot be carried out which is deemed to create a hazard or result in the death of a tree.

    And this should answer no 2 from the excellent NSW Lawlink site:

    2) Any roots, fruit, branches you remove from your neighbour’s tree remain your neighbour’s property. Legally you should return them. Don’t throw such things back over the fence as they should be placed neatly on an agreed site to stop any ill feeling between the parties.

    Councils prefer neighbours to sort out tree disputes, as they are fairly common, and the Lawlink site has this to say on this matter:

    What is the law regarding trees and plants intruding onto your property?
    According to the law, you own the airspace above your land and the earth beneath your land (subject to special government laws on airspace etc). However, dealing with a neighbour can lead to difficulties in deciding what should be done and who should pay for it. The law leaves it up to neighbours to work this out, giving some rights to those affected by problem trees but no clear responsibility to owners to pay for these costs.

    Hope this has been of some help to you :)
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Member

    Joined:
    23rd Aug, 2005
    Posts:
    8
    Thank you

    M