A hedge should be a boundary between homes and make a good fence, but it can be a significant cause of disputes between neighbors.
And this may be because, while a hedge can be pleasing and add character to a property, it may become ugly for a neighbor across the property line or unkempt when roots start to spread; or if the hedge becomes too high or overhanging into a neighbor’s yard, it can cause a lot of issues.
If you have disagreements with your neighbor about a problem tree or hedge, you should try to resolve it informally and amicably.
If you are living in a rental home, your landlord should be the first go-to for solving the problem and dealing with the disagreement on your behalf.
Still, can your insurance company pay out if a dispute with your neighbor leads to a claim?
If you find that your neighbors’ plants or boundary fence is overreaching and disturbing your own property, you may have to resist the temptation to prune or cut the trees or overhanging branches, but in California law, such circumstances can be a case against you for taking matters into your own hands.
What can you legally do if your neighbor’s hedge is too high – what are your rights? And what rights does your neighbor have? If a neighbor’s tree or hedge is growing over into your yard, you cannot force them to cut it back, but you have the right to remove overgrowing branches back over your own fence or the common boundary with the existing fence.
You can hold your neighbor liable when a tree they plant falls from their property over your shared property line or the dividing fence, provided that you have evidence to prove that they are aware that the tree was causing you trouble, but they refused the remedy the problem.
Fallen trees are one of the top neighbor disputes. So make sure to have good communication with your neighbor if you are in this situation when your tree damages your neighbors’ property or neighbor’s chain link fencing.
For instance, if there was a horrible wind storm that knocked your tree over into the neighbors’ roof, over the neighbor’s fence, or property lines, what will happen?
Technically that is something insurers consider an act of God. And no one would hold you responsible even though it is your tree because, under the law, the property owner in the house in question should have homeowners insurance coverage. Allegedly, that will take care of it, even if it’s a big deal, right?
In that situation, no one is to blame, but in some situations, minor details can change who has to pay. For example, if the neighbor’s tree were to fall on the house while the neighbor who owns the tree was trimming branches.
That would likely become the owner of the tree’s fault (failure to anticipate a problem). Also, if the tree owner showed negligence when maintaining the tree properly, they could be at fault.
A tree falling and damaging someone’s property can ruin a good relationship between neighbors. If all conditions are ideal, and it was an act of God, then it was not the owners’ fault, and the insurance from the damaged house should cover costs.
To keep a good relationship with your neighbor, it may be a good idea to offer to pay half or a little money to help cover the costs of repair or the costs of the deductible if it was your tree. But, legally, the fault may lie elsewhere.
Homeowners insurance usually covers a wide variety of probable losses to your house and not a business you have on your property in a separate facility.
Call Ehline Law Firm for a free consultation and legal help at (213) 596-9642. We are ready to provide you free legal advice to help you settle your dispute with your neighbor.