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If a pipe bursts in your basement or your roof leaks, where do you turn? Find out your neighbours' favourite fixers, where your neighbours like to go out to eat, who they go to for piano lessons, and more. This list is a compendium of listserv posts from four local lists.

posted July 21, 2008

Tree lover in need of help with problem trees

From: Nancy Winsor
I recently moved into my new house where 13 trees from hell, I mean Trees of Heaven, at the back of an adjacent property are wreaking havoc on my pathway (concrete is erupting with roots), to my foundation (it's cracking), in my plumbing (roots in pipes), and to the roof of my shed (we can easily prune these branches). The neighbouring house is rented and I don't know or ever see the landlord.

Though I really don't like the idea of cutting down trees and I love the shade, an arborist came by and said all 13 trees can be removed without a permit since the diameter of each tree is 30'' or less. What are my neighbour's legal and financial responsibilities and/or obligations? Mine?

I would welcome any suggestions/advice.

From: Suzanne Farkas
Hi, I am also going through tree hell- much as i love the shade. Mine involves a tree 3 doors down that continually falls on my roof and just recently caused me $2500 damages in a smashed car and fencing( and increased insurance premiums). The best solution is to work it out with the landlord/owner. You could be liable if you damage the tree while on their property without permission( at least that was what the city bylaw officer told me). I understand that there is a root poison that will keep the drain clear of roots but canít help the foundation. Check you insurance to see if this kind of property damage is covered and send a registered letter to the owner and tenant.stating the problem and what you would offer to help. this helps document and protect you for possible legal issues such as small claims court/insurance . The owner may be found through your real estate agent or through the city tax roll. If not try to talk to the tenants and offer to help pay for the cost of control. Good luck- iíd be interested to know what you find out/work out .

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