Problems with Neighbors FAQ

Categories :: Housing > Homeownership

Can I force a neighbor to cut down the branches of a tree hanging over my property?

Neighbors have a duty not to trespass on adjoining property, and this could include overhanging tree branches. However, this type of case can be expensive to bring to court in relation to the amount of harm done. It may be difficult to be successful in court unless you can show a good reason why the tree branches are harming you or your property.

Can I force a neighbor to pay for cleaning out my gutters clogged with leaves from his or her tree?

Under Maryland law, there is no cause of action available to you for the cost of cleaning your gutters of the leaves which have fallen from your neighbor’s trees.

Can I go onto my neighbor's property to perform needed repairs to my own property, even without his or her consent?

No. An unauthorized entry onto the land of your neighbor constitutes a trespass for which your neighbor could seek damages against you. Instead, you should first obtain your neighbor’s consent before making entry onto their land. You should only enter that portion of the land that you have been granted access to, and you should comply with any other conditions they may impose.

My neighbor has put up a fence that goes over my property. What can I do?

It is essential that you are absolutely positive about the property line. This can require a survey, which could be expensive. If it is found that the fence is on your property, you should take some action or risk losing ownership rights under the doctrine of adverse possession. Under that doctrine, the neighbor could obtain title to your property, if they possess the property for a twenty (20) year period, and such possession is actual, open, notorious, exclusive and adverse to your claim of ownership.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbor regarding the removal of the fence, you can file an action for ejection. See your Legal Services Network attorney for assistance in filing such an action.


From MD Legal Aid

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Is this legal advice?

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