My neighbor is planning to put a swimming pool in their back yard that abuts our back yard. We planted a maple tree 10 years ago at the edge of our property line to provide shade for our patio. Some surface roots do extend into the neighbor's yard. I already had some limbs removed at their request for their future pool enclosure. Now they want to cut or grind out the tree roots before they put in their pool. This could harm our tree. What's the law here? Do they have the right to potentially harm our tree and who's liable if grinding the roots causes the tree to die or become unstable and fall over in a storm? Are we liable if our existing tree roots someday cause problems for their new pool?
Your neighbor does have the right to cut any tree roots that are encroaching onto their property. They are acknowledging the roots may be a future problem, but that may not protect you from liability. If the roots later damage the pool later you may end up in a situation of being liable. You are also responsible for the condition of the tree even if your neighbors harm it by cutting the roots, although there may be some negligence on their part too. While you probably didn't think of the trees growth ten years ago, you are encroaching on your neighbors' property.
This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at www.stagelaw.com.
Generally, your neighbor has the right to cut off or remove any portion of your tree that encroaches on your neighbor's property. If you are unsure of your rights, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in your area.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
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