If my neighbor owns a fruit tree, and the branches hang over my property… In this case you must contact your local authority. Longman & Van Grack’s litigation attorneys consist of lawyers who have handled many different types property lawsuits, tree disputes, tree damage lawsuits in many courts throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. 10411 Motor City Drive This tree danger determination was new law in Virginia. Neighbors have the legal right to trim any hanging tree limb that crosses over their property line. It extends way over the property line, over your yard or even your house. Most trees have a replacement value of between $500 and $2500. 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. All the owners are responsible for caring for the tree, and one co-owner may not remove a healthy tree without the other owners' permission. In this situation, Maryland has adopted the “Massachusetts Rule” and D.C. has adopted a slightly modified version thereof. If it is found that the fence is on your property, you should take some action or risk losing ownership rights under the doctrine of adverse possession. The rights of a property owner when a neighbor’s tree, tree limb, or roots damages their property. Under Maryland law, there is no cause of action available to you for the cost of cleaning your gutters of the leaves which have fallen from your neighbor’s trees. 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. In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. Massachusett's Homeowners Rights on Trees Overhanging Property Lines. Your neighbors have a duty not to trespass on your property, and this may include overhanging tree branches or other plants extending from the neighbor’s property onto your property. Rules, Title 15, Chapter 500, This site offers legal information, not legal advice. Legal. If they decide the tree is likely to cause damage, they can take several courses of action. An injunction is a court order directing someone to do OR not to do a particular thing. In 1960, the highest court in Washington, DC stated in Dudley v. Meadowbrook, Inc.: We think the sound and practical rule is that liability in such cases is to be determined by the test of negligence and that a landowner should be held to the duty of common prudence in maintaining his property, including trees thereon, in such a way as to prevent injury to his neighbor’s property. Article from 2014. One of the most common issues homeowners face is when a tree's roots or branches extend over the property line onto a neighbor's adjoining property. In Cline v. Dunlora South, LLC, the court specifically stated “this Court has never recognized, nor do our precedents support, a ruling that a landowner owes a duty to protect travelers on an adjoining public roadway from natural conditions on his or her land.”. If the neighbor's tree is near the property line, but not actually crossing it, no trimming can take place by the other neighbor without first obtaining permission to do so. It is essential that you determine the location of your property line. That was the case for Phyllis J., a Davey blog reader from Arizona who wrote about a palm tree that sits on the corner of her lot. That's right, even if the tree is rooted in your neighbor's yard, if it crashes onto your property, it's your problem. As a storm approaches or yearly growth increases, are you prepared for what could happen with your trees? For legal advice, you should consult an attorney. What a person’s rights and obligations are as they pertain to their trees or the trees of the neighbors depends upon state law. Tree removal has been the subject of a lot recent legal and litigation discussion. Trees are a lovely thing -- until they become intrusive or hazardous. Then imagine your surveyor properly locates the boundary and you set up one of those rotating red lasers on the line. Overhanging Branches on Your Property. Trees located on a boundary line are considered joint property, and no single neighbor can decide to remove the tree. This will only be necessary if the trees are blocking the road or causing obstruction. This can require a survey, which could be expensive. 1988); Dudley v. Meadowbrook, Inc. 166 A.2d 743 (Md. Only if those branches extend into your property line. 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