Trees and Neighbours

It is fairly common at times for a neighbour’s tree to grow and for their branches to hang over the fence. The tree may:-
• cause branches to fall into the neighbour’s yard; or
• be fruit bearing and the fruits may fall into the neighbour’s yard; or
• cause damage to the neighbour’s property; or
• affect the neighbour’s tv reception, or
• the branches may cast too much shadow onto the neighbour’s dwelling; or
• have roots which cause problems to the neighbour’s plumbing
any or all of the above may lead to a dispute between neighbours.

What should I do?

It’s always best to try and resolve these types of issues between neighbours amicably. Try and politely talk to your neighbour about the concerns you have or how you would prefer the issue be addressed for it not to cause ongoing unhappiness. It may be helpful to have a third person involved in the matter to help the discussion move along in a positive way.

It is always best to maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbour. Having a healthy relationship with your neighbour will resolve any issue you may have quicker, cheaper and with much less stress than being involved in legal action.

If you cannot resolve the issues amicably with your neighbour, then the legal system provides a pathway to resolve the issues before QCAT (Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal). Talk to your lawyer to assist you in this regard.

What you are allowed to do
You can return the fallen branches or fruit from your neighbour’s tree back to the neighbour. Again, it is best to discuss with your neighbour how it would be best to return the fallen branches or fruit. Please make sure you comply with any applicable laws or orders in the manner branches or fruit are returned, and in a way which will maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbour.

If the issue is not resolved amicably between the parties and QCAT is ultimately asked to intervene by way of an order which is later not complied with, then the person which is in default of the order can be fined up to $100,000.00.

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