Tree branches, hedges… Are you bothered by your neighbour’s plants? Here is what the law says to solve the problem.
The sunny days are finally here: you can relax freely in your garden, mow your lawn at certain times or even water your plants. But beware of water restrictions and prohibitions hanging in your face. Indeed, you have rights and duties to respect as a citizen and neighbour.
Thus, you are prohibited from encroaching on your neighbor’s land and touching these plantations. According to article 671 of the Civil Code, it is not allowed to have trees near the boundary of the neighboring property. You expose yourself to sanctions and a fineif you
When the neighbour’s tree overtakes my house?
According to the legislation, as recalled by the site Public service, certain distance and height rules must be respected with respect to your neighbour’s property. The maintenance of terraced plantations or located on the property line and the picking of fruit from your plantations also meet specific regulations.
Plantations, trees, shrubs and shrubs can be planted near the dividing line of your land and that of your neighbour, on the condition of respecting a certain distance. This distance may be fixed by the local rules provided for by existing special regulations or constant and recognized local customs. To find out, you must contact your town hall.
If you do not know the exact boundaries that separate your land from that of your neighbour, it may be useful to have the land marked out. If there are no local rules, the minimum distance to respect from your neighbour’s property varies according to the height of your planting.
Thus, you can plant a tree taller than 2 meters provided you respect a minimum distance of 2 meters to the dividing line of the neighboring property. there is no height restriction for trees which are planted more than 2 meters from the dividing line of the neighboring property.
On the other hand, if the tree is less than or equal to 2 meters high, you must respect a minimum distance of 0.5 meters to the dividing line of the neighboring property. Planting height is measured from the ground to the top of the tree and the distance from the middle of the tree trunk.
Who has to cut the branches of a tree that stick out at the neighbour’s?
THE plantation maintenance conditions depend on these:
- For an adjoining planting (hedge…), maintenance is the responsibility of the 2 parties: each must prune his side of the hedge. It is advisable to trim both sides of the hedge at the same time. You can destroy the adjoining plantation up to the limit of your property, provided you build a wall on this limit.
- If it is about branches of trees, shrubs and shrubs belonging to you which advance on the ground of your neighbor falls under your responsibility. Your neighbor can force you to cut them, but he has no right to cut them himself. In case of dispute, it is recommended to discuss to find a compromise.
If this fails, your neighbor must send you a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to inform you of his inconvenience and remind you of the regulations.
If the dispute persists, your neighbor must resort to an amicable approach with the help of a justice conciliator (free procedure) or mediation (paying procedure) or a participatory procedure (paying procedure with recourse to a lawyer ).
- For brambles, roots and twigs: if roots or brambles encroach on your neighbor’s land, he can freely cut them, even after 30 years. The size must be done at the limit of its property.
- For dead trees: if the tree dies or if it is cut or uprooted, you can replace it, respecting the legal distance and height rules.
Can I force my neighbor to cut down his tree?
Your neighbor may demand that your plantation be uprooted or reduced to the legal height (more or less 2 meters depending on the distance from the plantation). However, you can object to your neighbor’s request in one of the following cases:
- You have a title, i.e. a written agreement giving you the right to keep your plantation as it is
- You can invoke the destination of the father of the family if the plantation was planted on the land before it was divided
- You can invoke the thirty-year prescription if the plantation has exceeded the legal height for more than 30 years. The duration of this prescription starts from the day when the plantation has exceeded the legal height in relation to the distance from the dividing line of the neighboring property. Apart from these cases, your neighbor may demand that the planting be uprooted or reduced.
It is recommended to discuss to find a compromise. If this fails, your neighbor must send you a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to inform you of his inconvenience and remind you of the regulations. It is possible to use a template to write the mail.