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.
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