Problem Neighbours - What To Do? 08 Dec 2011
Shading from trees can be a common source of tension between neighbours. Have you ever purchased a property and later discovered that your neighbour’s trees will eventually block your view or prevent your property from having the benefit of sunlight? Parry Field Lawyers provide legal advice on a range of property matters including disputes with neighbours.
Asking the Court to Help
Obstructing trees can be a major cause of property disputes between neighbours. It is a good idea to talk to your neighbour first to see if you can come to some arrangement that is suitable to both parties, such as, agreeing to have the trees trimmed or reduced in height.
However, if that doesn’t work you can apply to the District Court under New Zealand's Property Law Act 2007 (“Act”). Section 333 of the Act gives the Court the power to order removal or trimming of trees injuriously affecting neighbour’s land. Sections 335 and 336 include factors that the Court may take into consideration in determining whether a tree is obstructing the applicant’s view or is otherwise causing injury or loss to the applicant. These factors include the:
- Actual or potential risk to your health or property;
- Undue interference with the use of your land;
- Undue interference with the view from residential land;
- Whether the interference already existed when you purchased your property;
- Interests of the public in the maintenance of an aesthetically pleasing environment;
- Desirability of protecting public reserves containing trees;
- Value of the tree as a public amenity;
- Historical, cultural or scientific significance (if any) of the tree; and
- Likely effect (if any) of the removal or trimming of the tree on ground stability, the water table or run-off.
The Court will balance these considerations between the hardship that would be caused to the applicant by the refusal to make the order and the hardship that would be caused to the defendant by the making of the order.
Should you need any assistance with this, or with any other Litigation matters, please contact Paul Cowey (348-8480) at Parry Field.