Neighbors removed our bamboo

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Neighbors removed our bamboo

We had a large bunch of bamboo that that a neighbor removed without asking.
they removed an area of about 55′ x 23′- between 850-1200 sqft. They said it
was invasive to their backyard and they were under the impression that it was
maybe their property or who knows. We provided them with a copy of our survey
and they seemed surprised. They also have a fence 7 feet over the line on our
property that is being brought down by our ivy.

Can we ask that they pay for trees to replace that swath of bamboo?Can I ask
that they move the fence back? I want to stay agreeable but they seem to be
taking a lot of liberties with our yard.

Please let me know what you think the best plan ahead is.
Thank you

Asked on September 23, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The following indicates your rights, but bear in mind that if you and your neighbor do not work things voluntarily, you'd have to sue them in court to enforce your rights, incurring the costs of litigation (which cost you have to bear yourself; you cannot recover it from the other side). That said:
1) If their fence is provably on your property, you can force them to move it and restore any landscaping damaged in the process--no one else has the right to build or use your property.
2) You can force them to pay for the cost of replacing the bamboo they destroyed; you cannot force them to pay more than the replacement cost of the bamboo. So if trees would cost more than bamboo, you cannot get trees from them. (You could get the monetary value of the bamboo then supplement that with your own money to "upgrade" to some more expensive foliage.)

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 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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