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Who is responsible for trees on a property line in Michigan?

Written by Daniel P. Dalton on August 11, 2019 Category: Easements and Riparian Rights, Land Use and Zoning, Michigan Land Use and Zoning

One of the most common questions we receive on property line or easement related question is who is a responsible for trees on a property line.

Imagine the scenario where you own land and have a tree near the property line. A large branch grows over the property line and above your neighbors land.  Several years later, the a large branch comes off the tree and goes into the neighbors yard. Who is responsible for paying for the cleanup or damage to the neighbors yard from the branch, assuming that you did not know or had not been warned that the branch was dead and about too fail?

The answer depends on the facts of your case.

If you, as the property owner,  knew or should have known that the tree limb constituted a hazard, meaning the  tree was dead and in danger of falling or losing a limb onto the adjacent property, and the limb caused damage – then you, the property owner will likely be  liable for the damage.

If you, the property owner, had no reason to know that the tree limb was in danger of falling, or the limb did not cause any damage, the remedy for the neighbor who has the branch on his or her property is self-help to remove it.

If you have a property line dispute, a question about easements to lake access please download our free guide to easements and lake access, then contact a professional at Dalton & Tomich PLC to answer your question about property disputes.

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