What to Do if a Neighbour’s Tree Is Affecting You in Brisbane Qld?

What to Do if a Neighbour’s Tree Is Affecting You in Brisbane Qld?

Clashes are inevitable between two neighbours with poles apart personalities. But as long as no one starts a “fire,” animosity will never even prosper, and you can all mind your own businesses.

However, some triggers eventually get you on each other’s nerves, no matter how you try to avoid them—case in point: fences and trees. One neighbour’s tree overhanging or encroaching on the other’s property is a perfect recipe for foreboding tension.

To prevent this issue from getting out of hand, tree keepers in Brisbane should consider getting the services of Brisbane Tree Removal. They offer various services, including tree removal, land clearing, stump grinding, tree and hedge pruning.

However, if you are the aggrieved party in this situation, are you protected by law in Brisbane, QLD?

frustrated neighbours talking about something

Damages Caused by Overhanging Trees

Often, parts of trees encroaching on another property aren’t only about a personal dislike of another person on the opposite side of the fence; just thinking about their trees touching your property causes you to cringe. It’s definitely more serious than that.

Prolonged overhanging of trees can cause the following damages:

Clogs Gutters

Tree leaves and pieces of fallen stems can get into your roof and eventually clog your gutters. Over long periods, they can start decaying roofing materials and overflowing water that can’t go to the right pipes. This can lead to water flowing to the other parts of the house, like walls, windows, doors, and even the foundation, and will be particularly detrimental to structures made of wood.

Rots the Roof

When leaves get stuck on the roof, especially after a storm or rainfall, they expose the roofing materials to excessive moisture. If left for an extended period, they can deteriorate metal roofs and shingles, making them prone to leaks. This, in effect, shortens the useful life of your roofs.

Destroys the Fence

Debris falling from trees can sometimes escape your notice, but it can damage your fence. If not addressed right away, you will eventually face significant repairs that are too costly.

Brisbane Tree Removal can address this issue by pruning so that any parts of the tree won’t bother anyone’s roofs. They can even cut the problem from its “roots” by cutting the tree altogether, with proper permits, of course.

Damages Ground Structures

Invading roots can cause structural damage to anything you might have on the ground. These tend to release upward pressure strong enough to lift things that block their way. At first, they can just ruin your garden, encourage vegetation, clog sewers, and squash or misshape small pipes.

When roots grow so big, they can destroy garden walls, driveways, larger underground pipes, and even foundations, among other things. To avoid significant damage to your properties, this should be remedied immediately at the first sign of encroachment.

What Should You Do in Case of Tree Disputes?

Residential Tree Disputes

Be Aware of the Laws and Regulations

Knowing what the law says specifically about your situation can fully protect you and your rights. It’s also great as a reference for knowing what you should avoid so you don’t get into an argument or have problems in the neighbourhood.

Knowing what your responsibilities are as a tree owner and your right as a neighbour of a tree keeper already prevents at least 50% of the potential issues that may arise. Basic rules about how to divide a fence to set common boundaries and how to go about disputes that may arise eventually are some of the beneficial knowledge to have to maintain peace in the community and an intact property.

Communicate with “The” Neighbour

How many problems in the world could have been non-existent if only people knew how to talk things out diplomatically? People are always in attack mode when they want to get the message across when, most of the time, all you need is to reach out and communicate properly.

Friendly chit-chat while gardening at the same time, leaving a simple note on their doorsteps or letterboxes, or even directly knocking at their door and offering a cookie you baked as a way to initiate a conversation wouldn’t hurt.

Most of the time, people are just unaware of the problems they are causing until somebody calls their attention. You can even suggest getting the services of a reputable tree company like Brisbane Tree Removal if they are up for immediate resolution.

Put Agreements Into Writing

People often get into trouble by relying on merely word of mouth. He-said-she-said cases, more often than not, don’t get convicted in court, as prosecutors are given the burden of proof.

If you are an aggrieved party in this tree encroachment dispute, you have much proving to do if your neighbour denies having promised you anything about the situation. If they promised to get their tree trimmed as soon as possible and assured you that they would reimburse your expenses for repairing the damages their tree has caused on your property, be sure to get that in black and white so you can come after them in case they fail to comply.

Seek Legal Advice

If you feel that your knowledge about tree regulations is not enough or you want specific information that is in a grey area, you just might need legal advice. This can come from the community legal centre in your locality or a privately practising lawyer in Brisbane, Queensland.

Settle via Mediation

You don’t have to go directly to court right away if the dispute with your neighbour isn’t resolved by merely talking or trying to compromise amicably. Try mediation first, as trained mediators around Brisbane can guide both parties to a possible resolution by acting as a neutral third party. This can save you potentially costly legal fees, especially if they can resolve your issues at this level.

Go through the QCAT Route

Another option for settling disputes about tree encroachments and fences, specifically those on residential lands, is to go through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. What’s nice about this is that QCAT’s decisions are enforceable in courts, which means they are legally binding.

It helps both parties resolve their issues through mediation to reach an agreement. Besides being relatively cheaper than the cost of court proceedings, mediation doesn’t require a lawyer to represent you at a tribunal hearing.