Private Trees on Neighbours' Property
Trees from neighbouring properties are often cited for ongoing conflicts between land owners. Although trees may be protected under the Marrickville Local Environmental Plan 2011, the tree owner is responsible for the care and maintenance of the tree asset.
Having a well established treed landscape provides many environmental, social, psychological and economical advantages to the broader community. The best way to maximise these benefits and minimise maintenance cost is through cooperation between neighbours.
Marrickville Council does not have the authority to compel or direct land owners to prune or remove trees that are growing in their property. Council is unable to negotiate or intervene in tree disputes between neighbours as this is considered a civil matter between property owners.
As the consent of the owner of the tree is required on an application to trim or remove a tree, please discuss the problem with your neighbour to try and resolve the situation on agreeable terms. Where a neighbour is not willing to cooperate, you can contact a Community Justice Centre to arrange mediation, or if no result is achieved, through the NSW Land and Environment Court. Individuals are required to make a reasonable attempt to resolve the situation before approaching the Court.
If mediation attempts between neighbours are unsuccessful, property owners may apply to the NSW Land and Environment Court under the provisions of the Tree (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006. The Act allows a property owner to apply to the court for an order to be imposed on the tree owner. The Court must be satisfy that the tree concerned has caused, is causing, or is likely in the near future to cause damage to your property or that the tree is likely to cause injury to any person. The court may also order compensation for damage already caused by such a tree.
It must be noted that the Tree (Dispute Between Neighbours) Act 2006 does not apply to Council trees.
Should you have any concerns regarding the health or structural condition of the tree, it is recommended you approach your neighbour with a view of having the tree assessed by an qualified independent Consulting Arborist (by a person with a minimum Level 5 in Arboriculture, as defined by the Australian Qualification Framework) through private arrangement.