How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

My neighbour has a flowering cherry Tree that roots are

Resolved Question:

My neighbour has a flowering cherry Tree that roots are damaging his and my fence the roots are damaging the concrete posts .Also I have the sewage pipes to the close near me under my patio which I believe are being damaged by the tree as my patio is being lifted . I have spoken to my neighbour and he says I can trim the tree my side which I have done but it enhances his garden so won't do anything about it . A fortnight ago he put the house up for sale was wondering what my rights are could you please advise . Thanks
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

I am sorry to read of the above. May I confirm with you how you know the tree roots from the Cherry tree are the cause of the damage? I assume it will be because this is the only candidate in the vicinity but could you confirm for the avoidance of doubt? May I also ask in what way the sewage pipes are being damaged - or is this just a concern at this point?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
that is true you can see the roots under the fence and how they are pushing the concrete posts . At this point it's only a concern on the sewage pipes but I don't want to be liable for this as was not sure if I didn't do something about it I might be liable
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No I don't wish to make telephone call just want some advise thanks
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. The person on whose land a tree is growing can be liable for damage caused to someone elses property. They will not necessarily always be liable - for example if a neighbouring landowner notices damage being caused but chooses to say nothing and then much later after damage is much worse due to time, seeks to make a claim. He may be restricted in the amount he can claim because he allowed so much time to go by without raising the issue. However from what you say that does not appear to apply here.

Providing you raise the issue in good time with the neighbour he is liable for damage that the roots cause. In terms of how you may wish to proceed, if possible you would wish to avoid raising the matter as a formal dispute as both you and perhaps more importantly for him, he, would have to declare a formal dispute to any future buyer which can potentially impact property values at least in the short term. His selling the property may give you an oppotunity to use that is leverage as a means to avoid having to go to court.

You may consider speaking to him again and advising him that you have sought some legal clarification on the point and have confirmed he will be liable for any damage caused to your property as a result of the roots and you would prefer to resolve the matter amicably if possible as you do not wish to hamper his sale. You may consider aksing him to retain an arborilogical consultant to prepare a report on what work can be carried out to the tree to prevent the root damage accelerating without chopping the tree down if he is keen to keep it. This may or may not be possible. Alternatively he may consider retaining a tree surgeon to cut down the tree which would almost certainly be cheaper than the above but would obviously have a more marked impact on his property.

You could go on to advise him that unfortunately unless you are able to come to immediate terms on the issue you will have to raise the issue formally as a dispute as you have no desire to start off relations with any new neighbour with an ongoing dispute. You may advise that if he forces you to do this you will have to copy in the agents to notify them of the dispute which will then have to be disclosed to any buyer. Hopefully this approach will convince him to take action without the need for court.

If not, then your first step is to serve notice on him of the issue and copy in his estate agents. You can advise that unless you receive substantive proposals within 7 days you will obtain an arbirological report yourself to confirm the damage being caused and then seek a court order requiring him to remedy the damage by taking the steps recommended in your report and to claim costs for your arbirological report and any damage that has been caused to your property.

If you are forced to go to court to claim such damages then you can apply using the following form and for an order that he carries out the actions recommended by the above report.

https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n208-eng.pdf

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you so much for your prompt reply and the advise just clearin up what my rights are and what I am now faced with abd what I have to do much appreciated I don't like confrontations but feel in this case I must get it right as you say I don't want to fall out with the new neighbours before they have moved in .thankyou once again
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

A pleasure. Yes as you say whatever the fallout at least he will be gone in a number of months hopefully so it will not be a long term issue. Much better that than starting off on a negative foot with new neighbours as you say. Sales often give opportunity for leverage for resolving issues which have been simmering for some time so striking a this time is likely to give you an advantage as he is liklely to be exercised that you do not do anything to hamper his sale.

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating to rate my service to you today. I am very grateful to receive any feedback.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Where abouts do I rate you as cannot see it on the website but would give you 9out of 10 for a very quick reply which for something I have been worrying about for some time so thankyou
Expert:  Joshua replied 1 month ago.

There should be some stars you can click on but please do not trouble yourself if it is not obvious. I am grateful for the feedback in any event.

Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you