Report subsidence to your building insurer. Formal legal advice should be sought in specific circumstances. Tree roots may potentially cause damage to built structures in two ways: Direct damage - damage can be caused by tree branches moving in the wind. Is this right?Answer: A tree is the There shouldn't be any reason to cut down a healthy tree whose roots are causing no problems. There is no legal right to poison encroaching roots. 2.16 Encroachment of branches or tree roots is the most common cause of tree-related impacts on neighbouring property that are reported in cases brought before a court. If tree roots are damaging or blocking your stormwater/sewer pipes, cracking your front fence or path it is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the infrastructure and services to their house. My question is: If I cut the roots and destabilise the tree, were it to fall down and damage other property, what would my liability for collateral damage be? A person can take action through the courts to obtain damages, or even an injunction, against the owner of the land on which the offending trees are located if the encroaching tree roots amounts to an unreasonable interference  with the use and enjoyment of that person’s land. The damage where the roots of the tree have been growing into would not be covered because roots do not grow overnight, this is gradual damage. There must be some demonstrated act or omission of negligence by Council. If you live in a conservation area or the trees that surround your property are protected, you may need council permission to trim before taking any action. What happens when your neighbour's tree and tree roots damage your property? If the tree is on private land then the landowner is responsible. A Council or Highways Agency may serve notice on the tree owner to require adequate clearance of hedges or trees encroaching onto pavements or roads. Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. A large maple tree is growing on his neighbour's property very close to the property line. The tree root has totally damaged my front fence (wooden) and has lifted the undersoil (with roots) to where the fence now is totally out of whack and not only that, the fence is now riddled with wood rot. Council of the City of Botany the NSW Supreme Court held that a council was liable in nuisance and in negligence for damage to private land caused by tree roots on council owned land. If your insurer advises you to remove a healthy, unobtrusive tree as a precaution and you refuse, you may be held responsible for the cost of any future damage. Understanding the factors involved in tree damage to buildings, including soil type and depth of foundations, will help both tree and house owners determine what action to take and when to get … Again, there is a process to go through to prove the cause of the damage, and the extent of that damage. In the Club’s situation referred to above, following representations made by our firm based on the decision made by the NSW Supreme Court in the Michos case, the local council agreed to reverse its original decision and removed the offending trees, thereby allowing the Club to proceed with the upgrading of its car park. The damage is obviously from the tree but the council says it's not its responsibility and I have to pay for repairs to my wall myself. Question: I've just bought an end-of-terrace house with a tree outside on the public path. Last year I had considerable damage to my property when two trees on a vacant and unattended lot next to the back of my property both had huge limbs fall onto my land, new fence and broke down part of a beautiful Ornamental Cherry tree. Khan v Kane is fact specific, and liability in that case was established on the basis of Mr Justice Ramsey concluding that it was reasonably foreseeable to a prudent landowner that the tree-roots of a 10 meter high cypress hedge located half a meter from the Khan’s property presented a real risk of damage due to the “ general risk, the location, size and condition of those trees”, including that “ they … No, only if the trees are growing on Council land. There are a number of things you can do if your neighbour’s tree is affecting you in this way; however, if possible you should always talk about a solution with your neighbour as a first step. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. Case study - Tree Root Damage. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. Tree roots will follow drains to exploit any condensation on the outside of the pipes and it is possible that, as they grow they may dislodge pipe joints, enter the drain and block it. Our firm recently acted for a Club faced with that issue when the local council refused to remove a number of trees on council property, the roots of which had caused damage to the Club’s car park and prevented the Club from upgrading the car park. They were also worried branches could damage their home. The little pergola over the courtyard is also dangerous as it too is wood rotted. Council land. However, if the damage caused a secondary issue like your pipe bursting and water enters your home suddenly, then you might be covered for the water damage . This is true, even if the tree or hedge is growing into your property boundaries. Roots or branches from Council trees can occasionally cause damage to fences, retaining walls, driveways and vehicles. 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