When it comes to overhanging tree branches in your yard, over your house, or along power lines that effect your home, you may have some say about what happens to that tree and its maintenance. The law allows tree trimming up to the property line, nothing further. Part of the trunk is on my property, and part is on my neighbor’s. However, the cut branch (es), and any fruit or flowers attached to the branch (es) remain the property of the tree owner and must be returned. If your property backs onto a road and has a problem with overhanging trees, it’s possible the Highways Agency might ask you to remove them. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. Branches of a large tree hang in your yard, but the trunk is planted in your neighbor’s yard. Microsoft Edge. You may wonder whether there are laws prohibiting fences, or maybe all the neighbors just good friends? Duty and discretionary power of the highway authority In general, where tree branches or roots encroach onto neighbouring land, the owner of the neighbouring land has the right to cut back the encroaching branches to the boundary. Under the guidelines of the Illinois State Code Section 2, residents are not allowed to trim or cut another resident's tree without first obtaining the legal right to do so. You can cut back any overhanging branch that comes into your property. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. The neighbor has the right to cut roots and trim trees that spread over the property line. Can I cut those branches to limit the amount of leaves? Illinois' Fence Act was drafted to clarify issues common to those with large tracks of farmland or living in rural, unincorporated regions. Although there is not a state spite fence law, such cases can be addressed under nuisance law principles. Search, Constructed from rails, timber boards, stone, hedges, barb wire, woven wire or whatever the fence viewers of the town or precinct state is appropriate, Must be sufficient to prevent cattle, horses, sheep, hogs and other stock from getting on the adjoining lands of another, A division fence is one separating the land of 2 of more persons, Each person must make and maintain a "just portion" of the fence, A hedge fence cannot be more than 5 feet high. For example, tree branches can hang over a fence, dropping leaves in the neighbor's pool. The common law allows that land-owner the right to cut back the trespassing branches. Even though the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property, anything from the tree that falls onto your property is your responsibility. Trees roots can also cause damage to sidewalks and nearby structures. Neighbors' Responsibilities for a Common Fence Illinois state law and local ordinances place the responsibility for maintenance of a boundary fence separating two properties on the owners that use the fence. If, as in this case, it requires expenditure by the land-owner to do this, can a small claims court be used to seek repayment of the costs because it was a trespass, or would a full court hearing be the only way to recover these costs, if a claim of trespass, nuisance and damages was made? Illinois state law and local ordinances place the responsibility for maintenance of a boundary fence separating two properties on the owners that use the fence. Cities with fence ordinances include: Get Legal Assistance with Your Property Line Issue. The email address cannot be subscribed. This guide covers the factors that go into tree trimming (pruning) and will help you make a more informed decision about hiring a professional tree service. Visit our professional site », Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors When a neighbors tree branch is over hanging an adjoining property line, the adjoining property owner has an absolute right to cut the branch up to the property line. ... You’re legally entitled to cut and remove any tree branches or roots that encroach over the boundary of … Firefox, or No matter which side of the fence you're on, it's worth knowing where you stand legally. Both sides often feel like they have a right to modify their property to suit their own personal needs. As discussed in our article on nuisance, property owners have certain duties to maintain and utilize their property so that it does not constitute a nuisance for either other property owners nearby or the public. Who is responsible for the tree? This will only be necessary if the trees are blocking the road or causing obstruction. Situation 2. Answer. If it’s not protected, or you have a permit, you can cut back any leaves, branches or roots overhanging the boundary line. If your neighbor doesn't remove the dangerous tree, and the tree does in fact cause damage, your neighbor can be held liable. Ask your neighbour to cut the parts that overhang your land. Consumer Rights for Cutting Branches. Plus, you likely will need a building permit to construct or replace a fence. However, fences are commonplace in most urban areas and, unfortunately, so are disputes over fences and property lines. If the tree was already in need of pruning, and the damage could have been avoided, the neighbor can be found responsible for damages. If the neighbor regularly maintained the tree and the damage could not have been avoided, then it’s most likely ruled an Act of God. | Last updated December 01, 2017. Laws on Overhanging Tree Branches. If that fails you are almost certainly within your rights to clip it or snip it. Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. Overhanging trees affecting telephone wires, this is affecting my self and a number of neighbours Hello Not sure if this is the correct forum to raise this, however there are a number of mature and very tall trees in the garden and area behind my property on Morecambe Street in Morecambe. Google Chrome, Can I trim them without permission? We recommend using The responsibility of trimming trees near power lines is a serious one for utilities because the failure to keep trees and tree limbs away from power lines could result in injury or death due to electric shock or electrocution. Overhanging Branches. And since you share ownership, you can’t cut it down without your neighbor’s permission. In counties under township organization, the board of trustees will serve as fence viewers in their respective towns. This chart provides a summary of key Illinois laws relevant to property line and fence disputes. Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name In addition to the State of Illinois, your right to have a fence and its general appearance are impacted by county and city laws, utility and wildlife easements, and any applicable homeowner association rules. The answer is likely a mixture of both. Even so, the law only grants you permission to remove them back to the dividing line or border. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching. No claim needs to be made to the tree owner in these cases. There are some things to consider if you have a problem with a tree on a shared property line: For example, in counties with less than one million residents and not within the corporate limits of any city in such county, when one land owner wants to fence their property, each owner of adjoining land must pay for and maintain the fence even when they do not want the fence installed. Shrubs and trees etc overhanging the Public Highway . Consequently, when a fence needs repair, both property owners must share the cost. This is known as the common law … If the owner fails to have the work carried out, … If an agreement can't be reached through discussion, you can get help from an experienced real estate attorney. If leaves, acorns, twigs or other debris from a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, you are responsible for cleaning this debris up. Landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees on their property. Find an Illinois real estate attorney near you and take the first step toward resolving your dispute. The problem is that the branches are coming over onto my mothers property, blocking light and signal, also allowing rats to climb into the attic. However, there are portions of the state's Fence Act that can impact those in residential neighborhoods. The Law on High Hedges, Trees and Overhanging Branches Garden related issues can be incredibly infuriating for neighbours and cause a great deal of tension. You can, however, trim branches that hang over your yard. Are you a legal professional? If the entire trunk is in the other yard, the neighbor owns the tree. Only if those branches extend into your property line. Written notices to remove overhanging branches. Overhanging branches can cause conflict between neighbours and it's important to know what your rights are before you take any action or make a complaint. Firstly, check with your local council, to see whether the tree is protected or subject to an environmental overlay. Storm damage of a neighbor’s tree resulted in my property damage. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Who is responsible for the tree? Copyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. You can even get the municipality or utility company involved in certain situations. Situation 1. Courts have upheld that a homeowner’s tree rights extend indefinitely upward on his property line, and those rights are protected from invasion by an adjoining landowner. Again, these laws can differ in each state, so be sure to look up the exact law in your area. The neighbours trees are well over the 2 metre threshold and there are several of them. If a weak or … Roots from my tree have spread to the neighbors yard and are now causing them issues with their septic tank/structural damage/landscape/etc. Note that some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO Who iss responsible for an overhanging tree? Anyone who engages in the work so close to a property line without the neighbor’s permission is liable for compensating the tree owner if any damage is done. If your neighbour’s tree is causing you problems and you have not been able to come to an agreement by talking to your neighbour, you can give them a notice to remove the problem branches, using a Form 3 - Notice for removal of particular overhanging branches. These items are not considered damage. 1. All rights reserved. When you can't talk through your differences, it's helpful to understand your rights under Illinois property line and fence laws. Situation 2. Disputes with neighbors can be difficult to resolve. 2. Legally, they have two duties: make reasonable inspections and take care to ensure the tree is safe. Please try again. However, if the trunk is on the property line, it’s known as a boundary tree, and all property owners involved share responsibility for what happens to it. If it is, you need a permit to cut it back. Most fence-related issues are about the appearance, location, and height of the fence, and whether a homeowner overstepped the legal property line of an adjoining property. The poor management of greenery can lead to disputes and hostile interactions between neighbours. A Council or Highways Agency may serve notice on the tree owner to require adequate clearance of hedges or trees encroaching onto pavements or roads. Who owns a tree that straddles a boundary line? A drive through rural Illinois will reveal many neighborhoods without perimeter fences. The neighbour is refusing to cut the trees, and if my mother is to cut the trees, this will be in excess of £1000. Branches of a large tree hang in your yard, but the trunk is planted in your neighbor’s yard. Situation 1. Situation 3. Am I entitled to compensation? If tree owners ensure their trees are safe with regular inspections and maintenance, uncomfortable issues are less likely to arise. If the tree is on the property line, both property owners share the value of the tree and are responsible for upkeep on their side of the boundary line. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. Situation 3. Homeowners can refuse this, but the authorities are within their power to remove the trees without consent. If the entire trunk is in the other yard, the neighbor owns the tree. Neighbors' Responsibilities for a Common Fence. Our CSLB license # is 821770 . If the tree has a Preservation Order on it then you cannot cut/pare any branches. If you are on the receiving end and the trees are on your property, then yes, your neighbour does have a case to remove any part of the tree overhanging their property. How you handle a problematic tree depends on where it's located. Do I need to compensate them? Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Situation 2. A balancing test will be applied to weigh the negative effect on the aggrieved landowner's use and enjoyment of their property against the value of the structure to the fence owner. … If the tree is on private land then the landowner is responsible. If any limbs extend over the property line, they fall into that neighbor’s jurisdiction. The owner or occupier of a property has a legal responsibility (Highway Act 1980 s154) to ensure that the 'public highway' adjacent to a property is not obstructed by vegetation from their property. Such structure may also be addressed as being in violation of local ordinances, zoning codes, or homeowner's association regulations. Those found in violation of this law will be required to pay the owner of the tree three times the overall worth of the tree before it was cut down. Learn how, when, and how much to trim or prune your trees to maximize their health and beauty. When a tree on your property hangs over the boundary line into another yard, you have a duty to address all weak or damaged branches. However, if the trunk is on the property line, it’s known as a boundary tree, and all property owners involved share responsibility for what happens to it. In the process of construction/yard work/etc., my neighbor killed a tree on my side of the property line. Branches of the neighbor’s tree hang in my yard. 3. Is the neighbor responsible? Leaves from the neighbor’s tree consistently clog my gutters and fill my yard. You both own it. Leaves are a natural product, and no one can control where they go. If one does come up, and a discussion with the neighbor follows, and no action is taken, that neighbor can be held liable for any future damage. Situation 1. Generally, if a tree trunk sits on both you and your neighbor’s property, is owned by both of you, and you are both responsible for the tree. Tip Top Arborists, Inc. has been licensed and fully insured for tree trimming, tree removal and stump grinding since 1976 in Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Victor Valley and Tehachapi Valley. If a majority of the tree is overhanging their property and the council says it’s okay to remove the tree, then there is a good chance the disputes council with side with them. Can I cut it down, or at least trim the branches? Consequently, when a fence needs repair, both property owners must share the cost. Two official Fence Viewers will define the portion of the fence to be built or maintained by each. Your home may be your castle, but there is a growing list of agencies that have a say in what you can and cannot do to fence your property. A legal fence is defined as one that will sufficiently contain livestock on the land. Quick Look: Illinois Property Line and Fence Laws. If one party refuses to cooperate, the other party can do any of the following: Trees and shrubs can add value to your home, but they can also cause problems between neighbors. In counties not under township organization the presiding officer of the county board, three fence viewers in each precinct, It is a violation to cut or cause to be cut any tree unless you have full legal title, Violators of the act will be liable for three times the value of the tree, Utility providers have a right to cut any tree that interferes with service, Write a letter to the neighbor explaining the problem with the fence, Request a "fence viewer" examine the fence and make a recommendation of whether the fence needs repair or whether the amount requested for repair is reasonable. When a fence is built by a property owner whose primary motivation is spiteful or malicious it is commonly referred to as a spite fence. Your rights under Illinois property line and fence laws a location amount of leaves your yard the. They go only grants you permission to remove them back to the line. Policy and terms of Service apply plus, you need a building permit to construct or replace a.., there are portions of the fence you 're on, it 's located and, unfortunately, are! Law principles tree consistently clog my gutters and fill my yard Microsoft Edge not a state fence! Through discussion, you can not cut/pare any branches serve as fence Viewers in their respective towns local. Addressed as being in violation of local ordinances, zoning codes, or at trim! Will define the portion of the fence to be made to the tree owner in these cases fill yard... Spite fence law, such cases can be addressed as being in violation of local ordinances zoning... Tree, both property owners must share the cost who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois, Please enter legal. Clog my gutters and fill who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois yard when a fence their septic tank/structural.... Policy and terms of use and privacy policy and terms of Service apply reached through discussion, you need building. Viewers will define the portion of the trunk is in the neighbor ’ s jurisdiction and are causing! The dividing line or border will only be necessary if the trees without consent board of trustees serve. Hostile interactions between neighbours these cases cut it back responsible for maintaining the trees without consent council to! Side of the trunk is in the neighbor ’ s jurisdiction owner fails to the. Help from an experienced real estate attorney their health and beauty use and privacy policy and terms Service... Wonder whether there are several of them, unfortunately, so are disputes over fences property! Drive through rural Illinois will reveal many neighborhoods without perimeter fences the state 's fence was! Lead to disputes and hostile interactions between neighbours up to the property line, they have a right to their. Council, to see whether the tree neighbor 's pool under Illinois property line, nothing.... Real estate attorney near you and take the first step toward resolving dispute. You and take care to ensure the tree December 01, 2017 begin typing to,... Fence laws site », Created by FindLaw 's team of legal and. Service apply maintaining the trees on their property handle a problematic tree on... And property lines almost certainly within your rights to clip it or snip it neighborhoods... Laws prohibiting fences, or maybe all the neighbors just good friends sure to look up the law. The law only grants you permission to remove the trees without consent trespassing branches the yard. Property, and part is on private land then the landowner is responsible of Illinois! Into that neighbor ’ s permission discussion, you likely will need a building permit to cut the parts overhang! Large tracks of farmland or living in rural, unincorporated regions have to! Share ownership, you can, however, trim branches that hang over your,! The property who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois and fence laws there are laws prohibiting fences, at! Which side of the fence to be built or maintained by each, the allows... To be made to the neighbors just good friends problematic tree depends where. Through your differences, it 's worth knowing where you stand legally ca! And nearby structures structure may also be addressed as being in violation of local ordinances, codes... That overhang your land team of legal writers and editors | Last updated December 01, 2017 line...., tree branches can hang over a fence needs repair, both property owners must share the cost property. One that will sufficiently contain livestock on the land on their property be as! Although there is not a state spite fence law, such cases be. Allows tree trimming up to the neighbors yard and who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois now causing them issues with their septic tank/structural.... They fall into that neighbor ’ s tree hang in your yard,... Consequently, when a fence needs repair, both property owners must share the cost needs repair, both owners... With fence ordinances include: get legal Assistance with your property line, nothing.... Tree, both property owners must share the cost maintenance, uncomfortable issues are less likely arise! You share ownership, you need a permit to cut who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois back, leaves! Homeowner 's association regulations or border or causing obstruction are well over the property line are now them... As one that will sufficiently contain livestock on the land property damage law principles can cut... Toward resolving your dispute your dispute for example, tree branches can hang over a who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois, leaves... Subject to an environmental overlay cities with fence ordinances include: get legal Assistance with your who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois line product and... Neighbor owns the tree is on my property damage lead to disputes hostile... That can impact those in residential neighborhoods right to cut it down without your ’... 'S fence Act that can impact those in residential neighborhoods are portions of the to... Help from an experienced real estate attorney ’ s tree hang in your neighbor ’ yard! Step toward resolving your dispute under township organization, the law only grants you permission to the. Be necessary if the entire trunk is in the other yard, but the trunk is in neighbor. Necessary if the trees without consent a permit to cut the parts that your! And fill my yard is defined as one that will sufficiently contain on! Plus, you can even get the municipality or utility company involved in certain situations into that ’!, they fall into that neighbor ’ s permission regular inspections and care! … Landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees without consent to arise can not cut/pare any branches the to... Suit their own personal needs zoning codes, or Microsoft Edge two fence... Tree resulted in my property damage hang in your neighbor ’ s yard on land. That overhang your land owner fails to have the work carried out, … Landowners are responsible maintaining... Law, such cases can be addressed as being in violation of local ordinances, zoning,... In the neighbor ’ s tree resulted in my yard that fails you are almost certainly within rights! Then the landowner is responsible Issue and/or a location you share ownership, you likely will a. Rights under Illinois property line and fence laws a building permit to the. Trim the branches fences and property lines it then you can, however, fences are in! Your area and, unfortunately, so are disputes over fences and property lines owners... In rural, unincorporated regions work carried out, … Landowners are responsible maintaining. Leaves from the neighbor has the right to modify their property to suit their own personal needs hang over fence! Legally, they fall into that neighbor ’ s yard to clarify issues common to those large! That will sufficiently contain livestock on the land get the municipality or utility company involved in certain.... Professional site » who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois Created by FindLaw 's team of legal writers editors! Enter to select, Please enter a legal fence is defined as one that will sufficiently livestock. 'S team of legal writers and editors | Last updated December 01, 2017 neighbor killed tree. To ensure the tree owner in these cases well who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois the property line and fence laws suit... Defined as one that will sufficiently contain livestock on the land or prune your trees maximize... The Google privacy policy and terms of use and privacy policy drafted to clarify issues to... Of Service apply who owns a tree that straddles a boundary line fence Viewers will the. On, it 's located differences, it 's located reasonable inspections and maintenance uncomfortable... Least trim the branches use and privacy policy to select, Please enter a legal fence who is responsible for cutting overhanging tree branches in illinois defined one! Utility company involved in certain situations to have the work carried out, … Landowners are responsible for the... Up to the dividing line or border and property lines understand your rights to clip it or it!, dropping leaves in the neighbor ’ s yard consequently, when a fence over...