One of the most common sources of aggravation is a neighbor. Most everyone has one and when they’re a problem, they’re a big problem. Boundary interactions with neighbors are controlled by California Codes. Unfortunately, the law is not completely clear.
Trees on The Property Line: The limbs and roots of your neighbor’s trees grow over the property line into your space. That’s easy, just cut off the limbs and cut through the roots. Right? Very Wrong. That’s how you make your lawyer rich. These disputes end up in Court and they are long and costly and your neighbor hates you. Try to work it out with your neighbor before you cut anything.
Look at the tree trunk. If the trunk is entirely on your land, you’re pretty free to do what you want. If the trunk is on the neighbor’s side, only trim limbs & roots on your side. You better be sure how you trim and where the property line really is. The California Civil Code provides for triple damages if you’re wrong.
Common Fences: Many people share a fence with their neighbors. Fences get old and need repairs. Also, fences are sometimes not on the actual property line and part of your land is on the other side of the fence. By law, neighbors must share maintenance costs of fences. Try to work out any disputes. Get bids from several contractors. Take photographs. If the fence is in the wrong location, the law makes little sense. Call me. If you are replacing the fence, your neighbor may have to share the cost.
Article by Law Office of Bernard A. Sherwyn