Trees on Neighbouring Property

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Residents often contact Council to request assistance with trees of concern 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. 

If I have my neighbours approval to complete works?

You can apply to Council to remove a tree (including hedges) on a neighbouring property once you have the owner’s consent in writing.

The owners consent must accompany the Private Tree Works Inspection Application.

You do not need your neighbour’s permission to prune overhanging foliage however you do need a pruning permit from Council and your neighbour must be notified by you beforehand.

Pruning must be done within Council guidelines.

Please note that Council does not grant you or a contractor permission to enter a neighbouring property, so this must be discussed separately with your neighbour with their permission granted in writing. 

What are my options if I don't have my neighbours approval?

If the tree owner does not undertake works or provide consent, this may become a civil matter and Council is not the appropriate authority to resolve this problem.

In the first instance you should seek mediation at a Community Justice Centre.

Should mediation not resolve 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.

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.