You may have questions regarding a boundary tree situated on your property. A boundary tree is basically a tree that’s positioned right at the border that divides your property from your neighbor’s. You may want to consult with a real estate law attorney in Lynnwood to determine who has ownership of that tree.
Is the Boundary Tree Your Property?
Whether the tree belongs to you depends on a number of factors. Generally speaking, though, the following rules apply regarding tree ownership:
- If the trunk is entirely located on your land, then you have complete ownership rights to it. This is so even if portions of the tree like a branch extends to your neighbor’s property line.
- If the trunk rests entirely on your property, then your neighbor cannot have the tree or portions of it removed even if it’s causing discomfort or inconvenience.
- If the trunk rests on both properties, then the tree is considered “common property.” This means it belongs to you and your neighbor. Neither has the right to remove or make adjustments to the tree without the other’s consent. The rule of common property applies even if the majority of the trunk lies on one side of the property.
- If the tree is on your property but causes damage to your neighbor’s property (e.g. an overextending branch smacking and breaking a window), then you are legally liable. If, however, the damage was a result of mother nature (e.g. a strong gust causing a branch to break and fly into the neighbor’s window), then that is considered an unforeseeable act, and the owner is not responsible.
Keep in mind that these are the general rules, and each instance must be looked at on a case-by-case basis. In any case, you should consult with Curtis & Casteel Law Group. Aside from real estate law, we also work in the areas of bankruptcy and real estate planning. We can determine whether you have rightful ownership to a boundary tree.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Property Law Consultation from Real Estate Lawyers
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