Western Pennsylvania is very heavily wooded, and with the amount of snow and ice the area receives during the winter, fallen trees and branches are a given. The prospect of fallen trees can be even more stressful if you have a neighbor whose tree extends over your property.
It is important to know your rights in the event that your neighbor has a tree intruding onto your property.
1. Talk to your neighbor
Often, people are simply unaware that they are doing something bothersome. A good first step is to talk to your neighbor about the tree. Let your neighbor know why the tree is a nuisance and give them a chance to remove or trim the tree.
2. Contact your city
Most cities and towns have rules regarding objects on someone’s property that could be deemed dangerous. A tree that extends over your home and yard could be considered a hazard, and you have a right to report it to your city. The city could make your neighbor pay a fine if they fail to remove the tree.
3. Trim the tree yourself
In Pennsylvania, homeowners have a right to trim a tree that extends onto their property. Keep in mind that you may not go onto the neighbor’s property to do so, and you may only trim branches that are actually in your space.
If you have property issues to deal with, knowing what your rights as a homeowner are can help you avoid civil and criminal liabilities.