If any limbs extend over the property line, they fall into that neighbor’s jurisdiction. Is the neighbor responsible? Situation 1. Landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees on their property. Tip Top Arborists, Inc. has been licensed and fully insured for tree trimming, tree removal and stump grinding since 1976 in Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Victor Valley and Tehachapi Valley. Plus, you likely will need a building permit to construct or replace a fence. … Illinois state law and local ordinances place the responsibility for maintenance of a boundary fence separating two properties on the owners that use the fence. Am I entitled to compensation? You can even get the municipality or utility company involved in certain situations. Branches of a large tree hang in your yard, but the trunk is planted in your neighbor’s yard. Copyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. Search, Constructed from rails, timber boards, stone, hedges, barb wire, woven wire or whatever the fence viewers of the town or precinct state is appropriate, Must be sufficient to prevent cattle, horses, sheep, hogs and other stock from getting on the adjoining lands of another, A division fence is one separating the land of 2 of more persons, Each person must make and maintain a "just portion" of the fence, A hedge fence cannot be more than 5 feet high. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. The Law on High Hedges, Trees and Overhanging Branches Garden related issues can be incredibly infuriating for neighbours and cause a great deal of tension. If your neighbour’s tree is causing you problems and you have not been able to come to an agreement by talking to your neighbour, you can give them a notice to remove the problem branches, using a Form 3 - Notice for removal of particular overhanging branches. Even though the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property, anything from the tree that falls onto your property is your responsibility. However, there are portions of the state's Fence Act that can impact those in residential neighborhoods. | Last updated December 01, 2017. Overhanging branches can cause conflict between neighbours and it's important to know what your rights are before you take any action or make a complaint. If, as in this case, it requires expenditure by the land-owner to do this, can a small claims court be used to seek repayment of the costs because it was a trespass, or would a full court hearing be the only way to recover these costs, if a claim of trespass, nuisance and damages was made? If an agreement can't be reached through discussion, you can get help from an experienced real estate attorney. Do I need to compensate them? In counties not under township organization the presiding officer of the county board, three fence viewers in each precinct, It is a violation to cut or cause to be cut any tree unless you have full legal title, Violators of the act will be liable for three times the value of the tree, Utility providers have a right to cut any tree that interferes with service, Write a letter to the neighbor explaining the problem with the fence, Request a "fence viewer" examine the fence and make a recommendation of whether the fence needs repair or whether the amount requested for repair is reasonable. Firefox, or Find an Illinois real estate attorney near you and take the first step toward resolving your dispute. Consumer Rights for Cutting Branches. You can, however, trim branches that hang over your yard. Roots from my tree have spread to the neighbors yard and are now causing them issues with their septic tank/structural damage/landscape/etc. Although there is not a state spite fence law, such cases can be addressed under nuisance law principles. 3. For example, tree branches can hang over a fence, dropping leaves in the neighbor's pool. Answer. The common law allows that land-owner the right to cut back the trespassing branches. If the entire trunk is in the other yard, the neighbor owns the tree. If it’s not protected, or you have a permit, you can cut back any leaves, branches or roots overhanging the boundary line. When it comes to overhanging tree branches in your yard, over your house, or along power lines that effect your home, you may have some say about what happens to that tree and its maintenance. If the tree is on private land then the landowner is responsible. Are you a legal professional? Note that some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO Situation 1. Branches of a large tree hang in your yard, but the trunk is planted in your neighbor’s yard. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. Written notices to remove overhanging branches. However, fences are commonplace in most urban areas and, unfortunately, so are disputes over fences and property lines. No claim needs to be made to the tree owner in these cases. There are some things to consider if you have a problem with a tree on a shared property line: Consequently, when a fence needs repair, both property owners must share the cost. In the process of construction/yard work/etc., my neighbor killed a tree on my side of the property line. When a tree on your property hangs over the boundary line into another yard, you have a duty to address all weak or damaged branches. The poor management of greenery can lead to disputes and hostile interactions between neighbours. The answer is likely a mixture of both. The law allows tree trimming up to the property line, nothing further. If the entire trunk is in the other yard, the neighbor owns the tree. When a neighbors tree branch is over hanging an adjoining property line, the adjoining property owner has an absolute right to cut the branch up to the property line. Leaves are a natural product, and no one can control where they go. Laws on Overhanging Tree Branches. This will only be necessary if the trees are blocking the road or causing obstruction. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Situation 2. Only if those branches extend into your property line. Can I trim them without permission? Please try again. When a fence is built by a property owner whose primary motivation is spiteful or malicious it is commonly referred to as a spite fence. These items are not considered damage. Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name Who owns a tree that straddles a boundary line? Anyone who engages in the work so close to a property line without the neighbor’s permission is liable for compensating the tree owner if any damage is done. Neighbors' Responsibilities for a Common Fence. Duty and discretionary power of the highway authority In general, where tree branches or roots encroach onto neighbouring land, the owner of the neighbouring land has the right to cut back the encroaching branches to the boundary. Leaves from the neighbor’s tree consistently clog my gutters and fill my yard. This chart provides a summary of key Illinois laws relevant to property line and fence disputes. Those found in violation of this law will be required to pay the owner of the tree three times the overall worth of the tree before it was cut down. Disputes with neighbors can be difficult to resolve. The email address cannot be subscribed. Legally, they have two duties: make reasonable inspections and take care to ensure the tree is safe. Consequently, when a fence needs repair, both property owners must share the cost. Cities with fence ordinances include: Get Legal Assistance with Your Property Line Issue. A Council or Highways Agency may serve notice on the tree owner to require adequate clearance of hedges or trees encroaching onto pavements or roads. Part of the trunk is on my property, and part is on my neighbor’s. Such structure may also be addressed as being in violation of local ordinances, zoning codes, or homeowner's association regulations. Situation 2. If the tree has a Preservation Order on it then you cannot cut/pare any branches. Trees roots can also cause damage to sidewalks and nearby structures. You can cut back any overhanging branch that comes into your property. The responsibility of trimming trees near power lines is a serious one for utilities because the failure to keep trees and tree limbs away from power lines could result in injury or death due to electric shock or electrocution. A balancing test will be applied to weigh the negative effect on the aggrieved landowner's use and enjoyment of their property against the value of the structure to the fence owner. Quick Look: Illinois Property Line and Fence Laws. If the tree was already in need of pruning, and the damage could have been avoided, the neighbor can be found responsible for damages. Can I cut those branches to limit the amount of leaves? 1. If that fails you are almost certainly within your rights to clip it or snip it. Who is responsible for the tree? 2. Firstly, check with your local council, to see whether the tree is protected or subject to an environmental overlay. Overhanging Branches. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. This guide covers the factors that go into tree trimming (pruning) and will help you make a more informed decision about hiring a professional tree service. Can I cut it down, or at least trim the branches? However, if the trunk is on the property line, it’s known as a boundary tree, and all property owners involved share responsibility for what happens to it. Again, these laws can differ in each state, so be sure to look up the exact law in your area. Storm damage of a neighbor’s tree resulted in my property damage. If it is, you need a permit to cut it back. If a majority of the tree is overhanging their property and the council says it’s okay to remove the tree, then there is a good chance the disputes council with side with them. In counties under township organization, the board of trustees will serve as fence viewers in their respective towns. All rights reserved. The neighbor has the right to cut roots and trim trees that spread over the property line. ... You’re legally entitled to cut and remove any tree branches or roots that encroach over the boundary of … Branches of the neighbor’s tree hang in my yard. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. The neighbour is refusing to cut the trees, and if my mother is to cut the trees, this will be in excess of £1000. However, the cut branch (es), and any fruit or flowers attached to the branch (es) remain the property of the tree owner and must be returned. If the tree is on the property line, both property owners share the value of the tree and are responsible for upkeep on their side of the boundary line. If the owner fails to have the work carried out, … Shrubs and trees etc overhanging the Public Highway . Who is responsible for the tree? If you are on the receiving end and the trees are on your property, then yes, your neighbour does have a case to remove any part of the tree overhanging their property. The problem is that the branches are coming over onto my mothers property, blocking light and signal, also allowing rats to climb into the attic. You may wonder whether there are laws prohibiting fences, or maybe all the neighbors just good friends? Situation 3. Courts have upheld that a homeowner’s tree rights extend indefinitely upward on his property line, and those rights are protected from invasion by an adjoining landowner. How you handle a problematic tree depends on where it's located. Two official Fence Viewers will define the portion of the fence to be built or maintained by each. Both sides often feel like they have a right to modify their property to suit their own personal needs. Google Chrome, Homeowners can refuse this, but the authorities are within their power to remove the trees without consent. This is known as the common law … If tree owners ensure their trees are safe with regular inspections and maintenance, uncomfortable issues are less likely to arise. If one party refuses to cooperate, the other party can do any of the following: Trees and shrubs can add value to your home, but they can also cause problems between neighbors. We recommend using Situation 1. If the neighbor regularly maintained the tree and the damage could not have been avoided, then it’s most likely ruled an Act of God. For example, in counties with less than one million residents and not within the corporate limits of any city in such county, when one land owner wants to fence their property, each owner of adjoining land must pay for and maintain the fence even when they do not want the fence installed. A drive through rural Illinois will reveal many neighborhoods without perimeter fences. Under the guidelines of the Illinois State Code Section 2, residents are not allowed to trim or cut another resident's tree without first obtaining the legal right to do so. Most fence-related issues are about the appearance, location, and height of the fence, and whether a homeowner overstepped the legal property line of an adjoining property. When you can't talk through your differences, it's helpful to understand your rights under Illinois property line and fence laws. You both own it. If your property backs onto a road and has a problem with overhanging trees, it’s possible the Highways Agency might ask you to remove them. No matter which side of the fence you're on, it's worth knowing where you stand legally. If leaves, acorns, twigs or other debris from a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, you are responsible for cleaning this debris up. Overhanging trees affecting telephone wires, this is affecting my self and a number of neighbours Hello Not sure if this is the correct forum to raise this, however there are a number of mature and very tall trees in the garden and area behind my property on Morecambe Street in Morecambe. Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. Our CSLB license # is 821770 . Situation 3. Situation 2. Even so, the law only grants you permission to remove them back to the dividing line or border. Who iss responsible for an overhanging tree? As discussed in our article on nuisance, property owners have certain duties to maintain and utilize their property so that it does not constitute a nuisance for either other property owners nearby or the public. The owner or occupier of a property has a legal responsibility (Highway Act 1980 s154) to ensure that the 'public highway' adjacent to a property is not obstructed by vegetation from their property. Your home may be your castle, but there is a growing list of agencies that have a say in what you can and cannot do to fence your property. Neighbors' Responsibilities for a Common Fence Illinois state law and local ordinances place the responsibility for maintenance of a boundary fence separating two properties on the owners that use the fence. However, if the trunk is on the property line, it’s known as a boundary tree, and all property owners involved share responsibility for what happens to it. Learn how, when, and how much to trim or prune your trees to maximize their health and beauty. And since you share ownership, you can’t cut it down without your neighbor’s permission. If a weak or … Visit our professional site », Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors If your neighbor doesn't remove the dangerous tree, and the tree does in fact cause damage, your neighbor can be held liable. The neighbours trees are well over the 2 metre threshold and there are several of them. Generally, if a tree trunk sits on both you and your neighbor’s property, is owned by both of you, and you are both responsible for the tree. If one does come up, and a discussion with the neighbor follows, and no action is taken, that neighbor can be held liable for any future damage. In addition to the State of Illinois, your right to have a fence and its general appearance are impacted by county and city laws, utility and wildlife easements, and any applicable homeowner association rules. A legal fence is defined as one that will sufficiently contain livestock on the land. Microsoft Edge. Ask your neighbour to cut the parts that overhang your land. Illinois' Fence Act was drafted to clarify issues common to those with large tracks of farmland or living in rural, unincorporated regions. Can not cut/pare any branches local ordinances, zoning codes, or homeowner 's association.... Branches to limit the amount of leaves maintenance, uncomfortable issues are less likely to arise a... 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