Trees on neighbouring properties
Residents often contact Council to request assistance with concerns with trees located on a neighbouring property.
Council suggests that you discuss your concerns with the neighbouring property owner and request the property owner take action to mitigate detrimental impacts to your property. The tree owner is required to obtain Council's permission before undertaking works on the tree.
Tree disputes between neighbours (Trees Act 2006)
If the tree owner does not undertake works on the tree you are advised that Council is not the appropriate authority to resolve this problem and you should seek mediation at a Community Justice Centre.
Should mediation not resolve the your concerns you should seek advice from the Land and Environment Court NSW.
Legislation titled Trees Act 2006 (Disputes between Neighbours) has been specifically created to enable the Land and Environment Court to adjudicate where a tree on an adjoining land might cause damage or injury to neighbours or to the neighbouring property or where a hedge may cause shading of the neighbouring property. However the Court cannot make an order unless it is satisfied you have made a reasonable effort to resolve the matter with the tree owner.
Lodging an application to the Land and Environment Court does not require legal representation and the lodgement fee to the Court is minimal. The applicant completes the form and pays the fee, attaching any supporting documentation including correspondence that demonstrates to the Court the attempts made to contact the neighbouring property owner to discuss the trees to resolve your concerns.
When the Court receives the application, the Court Commissioner will attend the property to inspect the trees and make a judgement.
For information on support that the NSW Land and Environment Court can provide with trees on neighbouring properties, refer to the NSW Land and Environment Court website.