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Neighbor’s plants spark real estate dispute

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2022 | Real Estate

Most Michigan residents would undoubtedly agree that they do their best to get along with their neighbors. While lifestyles or personalities might clash on occasion, it is often possible to “keep the peace” by being respectful toward each other. Certain issues may arise, however, that pit you and your neighbor against each other, perhaps even sparking a real estate dispute. 

For instance, your neighbor might have plants that are encroaching over the property line, becoming invasive and damaging your garden. It’s wise to take several factors under consideration in an effort to resolve the problem. First and foremost, it is imperative to have full knowledge of where the property line is located between the homes in question.  

Make sure the tree or plants are not protected by law 

Some people think it is best to take such matters into their own hands without realizing that, by doing so, they could land themselves in hot water, legally. While it may be tempting to head out to the yard and start cutting off limbs or vines that are crawling over a fence onto your property, it is important to check whether trees or foliage are located in a conservation area or are subject to a preservation order. 

If possible, you can discuss the issue with the neighbor, and if no laws are barring removal of the invasive plants, trim them back and return the removed debris to the neighbor for disposal.  

Be aware of setback requirements 

If you believe that your neighbor’s tree or plants are encroaching your property or causing damage to your fence, etc., you’ll want to make sure you check local ordinances to determine if your fence is set back the proper amount of distance in accordance with such laws.  

It would be unfortunate to complain about a neighbor’s tree doing damage to your fence only to learn that you erected the fence in a spot that violates building codes. 

If neighborly relations become contentious 

Sometimes, a disagreement over plants or property lines can escalate into a serious legal problem. If the relationship between you and your Michigan neighbor becomes contentious, it might be best to reach out for additional support to help resolve property line issues 

Someone with a legal background in real estate law can review a specific case and make recommendations regarding what options might be available to amicably and swiftly resolve the problem.