What can I do if my garage is being damaged from roots of a neighbor’s tree?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do if my garage is being damaged from roots of a neighbor’s tree?

We are looking for an expert on real estate law. We have a situation where a

neighbor’s tree is growing into and causing significant damage to our detached

garage. We have already contacted arborists / tree surgeons to understand whether we could simply cut the tree roots, however the garage butts up right to the property line and cutting roots would not be possible without compromising the tree. We have talked with the township, homeowners insurance, arborists as well as contractors to try to understand the best path forward to complete repairs. At this point we are being told that the trees need to be cut down in order for us to initiate repairs. We have been trying to work with the neighbor but they are not cooperative.

Asked on November 13, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the neighbor has knowledge or notice (i.e. has been made aware) of the damage but refuses to correct it, you could sue them for the cost to repair the damage that their tree is causing your garage. People are liable when they, or things under their control, cause damage to other's property and they have knowledge that the damage is occuring. You may also be able to sue for an seek a court order requiring that they cut down the tree, to prevent further damage. Suing for a court order (not just money) is procedurally more complex--retain an attorney to help you if you intend to do that.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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