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Old 08-18-2016, 10:05 AM   #21
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Or just say no.
Let them redesign their patio so it fits on their property.
Yup.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:52 PM   #22
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Ok, so I have a question that I would like to get the collective wisdom and experience here so I'll add it to this thread rather than start another thread.

Our "neighbor-from-hell" planted a cedar hedge along our property line a number of years ago. The stumps of the cedars are well inside her property by perhaps as much as 2'. however, as the cedars have grown and got wider, the branches now encroach onto our property.

After some resistance, she has agreed to trim the branches so they no longer encroach on our property (we want them trimmed because that portion of our property is narrow... 6' to 12' between our house and the property line) ... but in order to trim them she has to stand (trespass) onto our property.

Would we have been within our rights to insist that she plant them far enough onto her property that she did not have to trespass onto our property in order to trim them?

I don't really care if she trims them from our property other than perhaps potential liability if she were to fall off a ladder and injure herself while trimming them and she is in her 70s. She refuses to let us trim them (even though I know we would be within our rights to do so).
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:59 PM   #23
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P, in a similar situation, our neighbor's oak tree limbs overhang part of our house - the part with the skylights ( it's a narrow lot.) Every five years or so, I hire a tree trimmer to cut off the boughs hanging over my house at my own expense, back to the property line. I give the neighbor a courtesy heads up that they're coming. It's within my rights to cut what's encroaching, so I do. I suspect its your right to trim the encroaching bushes. Me, I'd just do it on my dime. I wouldn't invite a 70 year old to climb a ladder carrying a power tool on my property. Murphy's Law.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:07 PM   #24
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Thanks. We have that issue with this neighbor as well and it came to a boil when we rebuilt and had a new roof and branches of her tree overhanging our new roof. She resisted doing anything.

I ultimately told her that she had two choices... I would have every branch that encroached on my property cut so the tree would look like it had a flat-top haircut but vertically along our property line OR I would have someone with a bucket truck here to cut them and would point to the offending branches, she would agree and then he would cut off those branches near the trunk and that would be healthier for the tree.

Our relationship at the time was so bad that she designated a friend of hers to be the decisionmaker on her part and was not around when the work was done so it went quite smoothly.

On the last part... we told her we would do it but she says that we can't. We know she is wrong on that part but are trying to pick our battles with her since she is such a PITA.

I think I will ask her to sign a liability waiver before she proceeds. If she refuses then I'll tell her that she is not to trespass on my property to trim her hedges that are on our side and that I'll do it myself and if she doesn't like it she can sue me. The reality is she is chronically delinquent on her property taxes (our town report lists delinquents) so I suspect that she doesn't have the money to sue me anyway.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:56 PM   #25
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As Tree dweller said, it is your problem that they are over your property line and should be removed on your dime...


However, if she is willing to pay to get them cut, I would allow the person on my property to cut as long as they are insured and not some fly by night person...
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:58 PM   #26
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Yup, workers comp cert a must, you get hurt not my problem.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:22 AM   #27
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Easement story to illustrate how things can go south if somebody else moves in after the agreement.

Back in the 60's when my parents moved in to the house I now live in, they planted a line of peonies on what everybody thought was the border between our house and the neighbor. Parents and neighbor were friends.

Everything was peachy for a good 20 or 30 years. Then the neighbor died and a lawyer moved in to the house. The property lines were surveyed and the shrubs were found to be partially on his property. So without even giving my parents a heads-up he just removed all of the shrubs.

Then my father became enraged and sued the lawyer on the grounds of constructive easement. That took awhile and I'm not sure who won. But they both lost b/c for the whole time the lawyer family was there, a good 20 years, the lawyer family and my parents did not speak.

Fast forward to the last year the lawyer family was there. My parents had passed and I now owned the house. I started putting up a fence within my property line, which the town or surveyor had marked with cement markers. After the fence was 3/4 up, the lawyer threatened to sue me because I didn't leave enough space between the line and the fence. In our town this is not law, just a courtesy. He threatened to sue me and I caved and payed to have the fence moved. They waited 20 years for that opportunity! Miserable people. Then they moved a month later.

I know you are the grantee, but later on people may move in who want to reinterpret the easement. I am jaded, but it seems like a lot for your neighbors to ask of you.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:40 AM   #28
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I can see that lawyers could make lousy neighbors. This woman is worse though in that she thinks she know what her legal rights are but is really clueless.

Funny thing... I despise her so DW said she would take care of it and I said "fine", I don't want to deal with her anyway... now after their discussion yesterday DW is more mad at her than I was.

But back to the original question...Would we have been within our rights to insist that she plant them far enough onto her property that she did not have to trespass onto our property in order to trim them? Does anybody know?
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:02 PM   #29
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Your local zoning or building permit office should be able to answer that.
I know that at our last house, when I wanted to put in a storage shed in a corner of my lot, the walls had to be at least ten feet from the property line. I doubt if there would be such a rule for a tree, but you never know.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:39 PM   #30
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P, could you insist on plantings being far enough away from the line to maintain them? Yeah, I guess, but maybe then she'd be describing you to her friends (if any) as the "neighbor from hell". Sounds like you're dealing with a nasty neighbor situation I don't envy. What's done is done. I believe you're within your rights to trim whatever on your side, but I also understand not wanting to antagonize the crazy lady next door. IIRC, this place is where you retired to, so therefore conflict-free living is what you were anticipating. Maybe after the first time you trim your side her bluster will fade. I wish you well.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:54 PM   #31
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I've always considered plantings on the other side of the property line to be a win/win...you get the benefit of plants instead of a fence, plus they are on the other side of the property line.

Unless they are encroaching to an unreasonable level, it would be a non-issue for me. In fact, in some cases it adds value.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:42 PM   #32
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......
But back to the original question...Would we have been within our rights to insist that she plant them far enough onto her property that she did not have to trespass onto our property in order to trim them? Does anybody know?
I'm positive locality matters so really nobody knows for you. However, my opinion is no.
Because you plant a tree, and the branches grow out, some pretty far and the older the tree, the farther the branches grow. I've never heard of setback rules for trees or bushes to allow for growth.

Since lots of places say your neighbor's tree that falls in a wind on your house is not his problem, this suggests to me, that nobody cares how far branches grow, since you can cut off any that cross the line.
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Old 08-21-2016, 01:25 PM   #33
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The lot is narrow, so selling it isn't an option I'd consider. It's lawyer time!
If the lot is too narrow to sell a small slice, it's too narrow to give an easement doing essentially the same thing.
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Old 08-21-2016, 01:36 PM   #34
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This thread is giving me a new, enhanced appreciation for my long term, oh-so-good neighbors!
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:21 PM   #35
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There was an easement across some property I owned at one time. The guy pushed the limits of what was permitted by the easement. Although what he was doing didn't really bother me, I didn't want him to be able to argue in the future that my lack of objection constituted an expansion of the easement's conditions. So I wrote him a letter granting him revocable permission to do those things but stating that the permissions could be revoked at any time at my total discretion. Got him to sign an acknowledgment. Years later when I was selling the property I sent him a letter revoking the permissions and told him he would have to renegotiate them with the new owner.
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