What rights do we have over trees that our neighbour has planted along our fence line?

Question Details: Our neighbour has planted a row of trees along our fence line. The trees are now about a metre higher than the fence. We are happy with them at this height but what rights do we have if they continue to grow higher?

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Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

If you haven’t already, you should have a chat to your neighbour and explain your concerns over the height of the trees, and see if you can work out a solution or learn their plans.

You have the right to cut back any branches or roots from the trees that hang over your property, but not the parts of the tree on the neighbour’s property (though you should check the status of the tree under the Resource Management Act with the local council before you take any action, as some trees are protected.)

If your concern with the trees is that they will block your view or your sunlight once they are over 1 metre tall, you can apply to the District Court for an order requiring your neighbours to trim or remove the trees. More information on the factors the Court will look at when deciding to make such an order is available here: www.communitylaw.org.nz

You can also talk to your local community law centre about getting advice on applying for a Court order.

Answered 28 Jan 2013. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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