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“My neighbors tree is damaging my fence. The roots have grown under the fence and have pushed the fence over. The branches of the tree have grown against the back of the fence and I can’t have the fence repaired without the neighbor removing or trimming the tree first. I am not on speaking terms with my neighbor but I do not want to cause a problem.”

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Trees and their location can often cause much disagreement between neighbors. Problems such as overshadowing, privacy, damage from roots or falling branches can cause issues between neighbors.

                Tree disputes and fencing     Tree damages fence     Tree shadows my backyard   

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Where both neighbors agree to rectification of the problem and an agreement on costs can be reached there is no problem.

Sometimes where a tree is located on the boundary, both owners are equally responsible for the tree and any damage it may cause.

If a tree planted by your neighbor has grown and now threatens to damage property or fencing, you must write to your neighbor informing them of the situation, and request the tree be removed and replaced with a smaller more suitable tree.

If your neighbors trees have grown and are now blocking or threatening your views you should first speak with your neighbors and see if you can reach an agreement on height. The plant would then be trimmed and maintained to this height by the owners of the trees. If no agreement can be reached your best action will be through your local government office.

In the event your property is shared with an owners corporation, managing agents, apartments, villas, townhouses or commercial structures, it is best to advise the registered owners in writing, of the works or rectification work required and any costs involved. If you are not on speaking terms with your neighbor, or the home is tenanted, a well drafted letter informing them of your intentions should be sent to the owners registered address prior to any works.

If your neighbors tree branches overhang your yard you have the rights to trim the branches (at the boundary fence line). The branches belong to the owner of the tree. Place the branches in the owners yard for them to dispose of. It is advisable to speak to your neighbor first stating your intentions. Failing this you can send them a well drafted letter stating your intentions and their responsibilities.

If you have suffered property or fence damage caused from a tree, or a falling tree, a property insurance claim should be lodged by the owner of the tree. Before removing any trees always check with your local government for approval prior to any work.

To help with your negotiations we have drafted a collection of ‘Letters To Serve Your Neighbors RE: TREES’. Print the letters you require for notification, costs and works completed to avoid expensive and stressful neighbor disputes.

If your fence requires replacement you need to send a letter to your neighbor notifying them of your intentions, their responsibilities in regards to access and payment of their share. 

To help with your negotiations we have drafted a collection of ‘Letters To Serve Your Neighbors RE: FENCING’. Print the letters you require for notification, costs and works completed and claim your share of the cost from your neighbor.

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