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 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. Tree root damage. The chances of making a claim, however, would usually depend on whether 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. Many people experience damage to their building structures, pipes, and property from tree roots. We are all familiar with actions in nuisance for injunctions and damages in respect of alleged tree root subsidence. See Stormwater drainage. ... Council has therefore decided to develop and implement uniformed practices to address problems of impacts from Council trees. 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. 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. But in some cases, subsidence and structural damage can be linked to tree roots. Under the Civil Liability Act it is unlikely Council will be responsible even though it is a Council Tree. 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. Allowing tree roots to encroach on your neighbour’s land constitutes common law, private nuisance. For a tree owner, a tree might provide shade, privacy, support for wildlife and amenity to their property. Roots or branches from Council trees can occasionally cause damage to fences, retaining walls, driveways and vehicles. 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. 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. 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. Damage to sewer and stormwater pipes in particular is a difficult and time consuming issue. Insurance companies and the Courts view this as an “Act of God”. 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. Contact an arborist or your local council about whether the tree … Trees and Shrubs. 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. Under normal circumstances, we will not remove your nature strip tree, even if the tree roots are blocking a stormwater drainage pipe. Mr and Mrs Khan owned a property in Stanmore, Middlesex. The law of nuisance may provide several remedies depending on whether the tree has caused, or is likely to cause, actual damage or loss. If you intend to remove a lot of tree roots or very large tree roots, or if the roots are very deeply rooted, consider employing a tree surgeon or arborist to carry out the work for you. This was a claim for damage to a property caused by the roots of trees for which the council was responsible. Where the branch or root of a tree comes onto a neighbour's land, a nuisance situation exists. 2.1 Tree disputes vary in character and complexity because of ecological and interpersonal factors. 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). The Act sets out a number of principles to be employed in determining whether is liable for injury, loss or damage … Or contact Council. 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. [1] Fences Act 1968 as amended by the Fences Amendment Act 2014, which brought in changes from 22 September 2014. Question: I've just bought an end-of-terrace house with a tree outside on the public path. In practice this means that if a tree fails and causes damage to a person or property then the tree owner may be liable. I don't mind the tree but its roots have cracked the pavement and are causing serious damage to my garden wall. In its search for water, a tree root system can spread a lateral distance equal to the height of the tree. Where this can be proven you could be compelled through court action to ‘abate the nuisance’, which may include removal of the tree … In practice this means that if a tree fails and causes damage to a person or property then the tree owner may be liable. Background. Council land. The property was constructed in about 1981, and it comprised a two storey detached house with attached single storey garage. Trees and subsidence. 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. 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. They will have to compensate you for the damage, and prevent further damage e.g. 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. Introduction. There must be some demonstrated act or omission of negligence by Council. 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. To avoid the risk of damage, tree roots and shrubs shouldn't be planted too close to your property. Illegal plantings can interfere with drains or public works, or they may be considered inappropriate for a particular environment. 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. 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. A common problem is when the roots of a tree grow into the foundation of a home or the water entry pipe. When they remove water from the soil the ground can dry and shrink, which can lead to subsidence. However, Council’s ownership of the tree does not create an automatic liability in the event of a tree causing damage. This might not be what you want, but that doesn't automatically make it … 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 council will just pass your claim to their insurers, who will deal with you directly If the tree is on Council land, such as a naturestrip, park or garden: Report an issue online. (J.K., via e-mail) A:Probably you. Damages were awarded to the owners of the private land against the council. Call your local council to check if the tree is protected. Trees near your home don't have to crash through your roof to cause damage. 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. A property owner is responsible for trees, and vegetation, growing within their property. 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. Liability for damage. 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. It is also an offence to remove or damage trees or shrubs growing on council reserves, except within the normal scope of abatement. 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. 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. Is this right?Answer: A tree is the Consent is still required for diseased or dying trees. Blocked drains and lifted paving may also be a problem. roots causing damage to your property branches blocking sunlight from solar panels or TV reception. 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. Root Damage Coverage . Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. This page explains who is responsible for maintaining drains and sewers. 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. 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… 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 you want to plant trees or shrubs on council land, you must get permission. Who is responsible for the repair? Background. Understanding UK law relating to trees can help everyone grasp the rights and responsibilities of tree ownership. Shrubs should n't be planted too close to your property branches blocking sunlight solar. Civil Liability Act it is unlikely Council will be responsible even though it is unlikely Council will be even... Council land, a tree causing damage to their building structures, pipes, and vegetation growing. 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