When you buy a home, you do so partially based on the view it offers you. But, when the view gets blocked thanks to your neighbour's trees growing up, what rights do you have? While court should be the last resort, here's an idea of what can you do if your neighbour's tree is blocking your view.
Talk to Your Neighbour
It may seem rather simple, but the first thing you must do is knock on your neighbour's door and discuss the issue with them. While some people may automatically be defensive when it comes to the idea of trimming or removing their trees, others may be sympathetic to your plight.
Print out copies of news articles, or state government information about your rights during a tree dispute so you and your neighbour are aware of local legal rights you both have in regards to the offending tree. If your neighbour refuses to discuss your request, then move onto the next stage of dispute resolution.
Remove Tree Growth Over Your Land
The next step is to follow your state government's guidelines about removing tree growth that is over your land. In Queensland, for example, the next step is to give your neighbour a 30-day written notice that you are going to remove the tree branches which are hanging over your property.
The Queensland Department Of Justice and Attorney-General even provides an online form where you can fill in the details of tree removal. After the thirty days is up, you can remove the offending branches yourself, or have a professional tree lopping service do it for you. Additionally, you can recover up to $300 worth of costs for having this removal done.
Tree services like Lucas Tree Services can assist or answer any questions you have.
Recover Your View
Chances are, however, that removing just the branches on your land is not going to be enough to regain your view, so you have one more option before resorting to court. Many states offer a free mediation service that is available for resolving all types of disputes with neighbours, and this includes issues about trees.
Call your local dispute mediation centre which is listed on the state government website, and they will give you the details of how to notify your neighbour of the time and date of mediation. When you head to your mediation appointment, take along documentation to support your desire for the tree trimming or removal. A letter from a real estate agent showing the price difference in your property value because of the blocked view is good evidence. Additionally, take along photographic evidence for the mediator to see and use in the discussion.
If your neighbour truly is opposed to touching the tree after these steps have been taken, then you will need to begin court proceedings. However, you will not know how the situation will play out until you knock on their door to begin a conversation on the subject.