Homeowner Liability- Massachusetts Tree Laws

Posted in Blog, Real Estate by on April 16th, 2013

 

11777786-largeA dispute between neighbors is something that is almost expected in the densely populated neighborhoods of Southcoast Massachusetts. At times though, these disputes can result in more then slight aggravation. This has proven to be the case in many disputes, especially when trees are involved.

A homeowner has the responsibility to tend to any trees on their property. At times, tree limbs or the roots may cause damage to a neighboring property. If the damage done is the result of a falling limb, you may not automatically receive compensation. The State of Massachusetts does not require homeowners to pay for damages caused by a healthy tree that they had no reason to believe would cause damage. If however the tree was unhealthy or dying, you may be able to recover compensation.

If your property is damaged as a result of the tree roots, the owner of the tree is not responsible for these damages- however you have the right to trim or tend to any roots or branches that overhang your property.

Here is where one must be careful however. Willfully damaging someone else’s tree can result in you compensating them for the damages that you have done to their property. In one extreme case on Martha’s Vineyard, one homeowner hired a landscaper to enhance their view of the ocean by removing their neighbor’s trees. Instead of trimming the branches that overhung the homeowners property (all that he could legally do) the landscaper removed 10 trees from the neighbors yard- resulting in the neighbor receiving $30,000 for damages. Glavin vs. Eckman.

If you have received damage to your property as the result of some negligence on your neighbors part in tending to their trees, have been wrongfully accused of negligence in tending to your trees, or your trees have been damaged by someone- it is important that you have proper representation to ensure that your rights as a homeowner are protected.

At Wynn and Wynn, our lawyers have a history of solving legal challenges. Call us today at 1-800-852-5211 or click here to schedule your free consultation.

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