If my neighbor’s tree is damaging my fence, what should I do?

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If my neighbor’s tree is damaging my fence, what should I do?

The tree has a single branch that pushes up against my tree. Can I legally tell him to cut the branch that is damaging the fence?

Asked on February 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You cannot legally force him to cut the branch except by going to court and seeking a court order (injunction) requiring him to do this. And if the branch is on his side of the fence, you cannot cut it yourself.

If you fence is damaged, he will liable for the repairs if he is on notice of the condition, since it is his property causing the damage. You should have a conversation with him in which you ask him to cut the branch and also make it clear to him that the branch is damaging your fence, to lay the groundwork for a later lawsuit, if necessary, to recover the cost of repairs.


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