It may also be worth exploring other options than removing the tree roots, such as the installation of a root barrier, to lessen the chance of damage to the tree. However your neighbour in exercising this right is also responsible for the action they take and any damage caused, for example if their action were to affect the tree’s stability. Or contact Council. This is because nature strip tree roots can only enter into damaged or poorly sealed stormwater pipes, which the property owner is responsible for maintaining, under our General Local Laws. We are all familiar with actions in nuisance for injunctions and damages in respect of alleged tree root subsidence. A property owner is responsible for trees, and vegetation, growing within their property. (J.K., via e-mail) A:Probably you. Under normal circumstances, we will not remove your nature strip tree, even if the tree roots are blocking a stormwater drainage pipe. Understanding UK law relating to trees can help everyone grasp the rights and responsibilities of tree ownership. Tree root damage. Allowing tree roots to encroach on your neighbour’s land constitutes common law, private nuisance. 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. [1] Fences Act 1968 as amended by the Fences Amendment Act 2014, which brought in changes from 22 September 2014. roots causing damage to your property branches blocking sunlight from solar panels or TV reception. Illegal plantings can interfere with drains or public works, or they may be considered inappropriate for a particular environment. A common problem is when the roots of a tree grow into the foundation of a home or the water entry pipe. Suing council for tree root damage - Page 2. Many people experience damage to their building structures, pipes, and property from tree roots. Blocked drains and lifted paving may also be a problem. This might not be what you want, but that doesn't automatically make it … 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. See Stormwater drainage. Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. The roots of trees and shrubs can affect footings by removing moisture from clay soils immediately underneath the building causing subsidence as the clay shrinks. If you believe a tree has caused damage to your private property - such as to buildings, fences, driveways or vehicles - what you need to do depends on where the tree is located. Who is responsible for the repair? Damage to sewer and stormwater pipes in particular is a difficult and time consuming issue. The tree owner also has a duty under the Occupiers Liability Acts to take reasonable steps to ensure visitors or trespassers on their land are safe. In practice this means that if a tree fails and causes damage to a person or property then the tree owner may be liable. Generally speaking, you’re usually responsible for drains inside the boundaries of your property, while the sewerage company is responsible for lateral drains, which are usually outside of property boundaries, and sewers.Although most sewers are now publicly owned, there are still some private or unadopted sewers. Roots or branches from Council trees can occasionally cause damage to fences, retaining walls, driveways and vehicles. Where the branch or root of a tree comes onto a neighbour's land, a nuisance situation exists. Mr and Mrs Khan owned a property in Stanmore, Middlesex. The chances of making a claim, however, would usually depend on whether If your tree’s roots affect your neighbour’s property, that is also your responsibility. Daniel Crowley of 2 Temple Gardens acted for the successful Claimants instructed by Kennedys. The Act sets out a number of principles to be employed in determining whether is liable for injury, loss or damage … Liability for damage. I don't mind the tree but its roots have cracked the pavement and are causing serious damage to my garden wall. We talked about the differences between gradual damage and accidental damage above. Trees and subsidence. Trees add structure and drama to a garden but their size and potential to cause nuisance or damage means they can sometimes be a worry. The owner of a tree (or the land on which it grows) is responsible for any damage which its' roots cause You need to make a claim against the council. If you want to plant trees or shrubs on council land, you must get permission. 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 … tree root damage to foundations. If they fail to act, councils or the state government could face legal action if someone is hurt or dies, or the tree falls and damages a resident’s house, car or other property. The legislation that applies to Council’s responsibility for damages resulting from potholes or any other hazards on its roads is the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (the Act). If the tree is on Council land, such as a naturestrip, park or garden: Report an issue online. This decision repeated the historical rule of law that encroachment by roots is a nuisance for which damages will lie if damage to property is caused. However, for a neighbour, the same tree may become a cause for concern if it is likely to damage their property or cause harm to its occupants. It is your responsibility as a tree-keeper if the tree is ‘wholly or mainly situated on your land’; so even if the tree is on the boundary line, if the majority is on your land you are classed as the tree-keeper. Trees and Shrubs. This was a claim for damage to a property caused by the roots of trees for which the council was responsible. You are likely to be liable for other kinds of damage caused to your neighbours’ buildings, e.g. If the tree is protected, the council may send an arborist to look at the tree and make a decision on what to do next. Introduction. Where trees cause damage and it is not a storm, for example your tree was dead, damaged or a species prone to having branches fall and you have a reasonable suspicion it might fall down you should take steps to address the danger. Under the Civil Liability Act it is unlikely Council will be responsible even though it is a Council Tree. Is this right?Answer: A tree is the 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. The law of nuisance may provide several remedies depending on whether the tree has caused, or is likely to cause, actual damage or loss. Trees near your home don't have to crash through your roof to cause damage. The property was constructed in about 1981, and it comprised a two storey detached house with attached single storey garage. However, Council’s ownership of the tree does not create an automatic liability in the event of a tree causing damage. Root Damage Coverage . For a tree owner, a tree might provide shade, privacy, support for wildlife and amenity to their property. This page explains who is responsible for maintaining drains and sewers. The law in relation to claims alleging damage from tree roots previously centred on the House of Lords decision in Delaware Mansions Ltd v Westminster City Council [2002]1 AC 321. They will have to compensate you for the damage, and prevent further damage e.g. 2.1 Tree disputes vary in character and complexity because of ecological and interpersonal factors. Insurance companies and the Courts view this as an “Act of God”. If the Council does accept responsibility, it may be that they will not offer compensation, but will simply agree to arrange for the work to be done by their employees or contractors. Damages were awarded to the owners of the private land against the council. There are two theories which have been brought before Florida courts in an attempt to hold adjacent property owners liable for damage caused by tree roots or limbs encroaching past the property line, nuisance and negligence. Council land. Background. The recent case of Khan & Harrow Council & Another [2013] (Ramsey J handed down his judgment on 3 September 2013), which concerned damage caused to a property by tree roots, considered when a person will be liable for damage caused by roots from trees on their land. Thus, liability for tree root subsidence damage can be established against a private individual owner of domestic property despite the individual’s lack of actual subjective knowledge of the risk. The council or State Government department should arrange for an arborist to inspect the tree and carry out any maintenance work that is needed to make the tree safe. Consent is still required for diseased or dying trees. But in some cases, subsidence and structural damage can be linked to tree roots. To avoid the risk of damage, tree roots and shrubs shouldn't be planted too close to your property. It is also an offence to remove or damage trees or shrubs growing on council reserves, except within the normal scope of abatement. In this latest article for local authorities, Gabriel Fay looks at an interesting recent case, Burge & Anor v South Gloucestershire Council, where instead of following this traditional approach in seeking compensation for such damage, the claimants brought a claim against the… Call your local council to check if the tree is protected. Comment: The council defended this claim for damages for root encroachment to drains, citing the recent judgment in Berent v Family Mosaic Housing (Court Circular, September 2012). Contact an arborist or your local council about whether the tree … As your local Council owns the trees on Council property, it has a duty to take steps to eliminate the risk of damage caused by Council tree roots which is reasonably foreseeable. cut the tree down. In practice this means that if a tree fails and causes damage to a person or property then the tree owner may be liable. The law about neighbours' rights and responsibilities for trees is covered by the common law of nuisance. In its search for water, a tree root system can spread a lateral distance equal to the height of the tree. Furthermore, if the roots from your tree encroach on your neighbours land and cause damage to their property, you can be potentially liable for this. Question: I've just bought an end-of-terrace house with a tree outside on the public path. Where this can be proven you could be compelled through court action to ‘abate the nuisance’, which may include removal of the tree … ... Council has therefore decided to develop and implement uniformed practices to address problems of impacts from Council trees. When they remove water from the soil the ground can dry and shrink, which can lead to subsidence. There must be some demonstrated act or omission of negligence by Council. 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