Neighbor’s Tree Blocking Your View? Here’s What You Can Do
A big part of the property values of any real estate hinges on the view that you get when you buy. What you’re paying for when you make a purchase of a home, among other things, is a scenic view. It’s thoroughly annoying then (and can be detrimental to the resale value of your home) when your view and your access to sunlight is blocked by the growth of a neighbor’s tree.
Is there anything that can be done about this? Or are you simply stuck staring at a tree at your window when you spent all that time searching for a house with just the right view of the ocean?
In the case of an obstructed view, there is actually something that you can do about it.
First of all (and it may seem obvious), you should attempt to open a line of communication with your neighbor. They may be willing to contact our tree cutting service in Portland and remove the tree without a second thought. There’s no need to make the issue a legal one if your neighbor is understanding about your wishes as a homeowner.
Of course, not all neighbors are understanding. If we lived in a perfect world you’d be able to call your neighbor up and request that they have the tree trimmed so that you’d once again be able to see from your window. However, we don’t live in a perfect world and so, if your neighbor isn’t being fair, you may be forced to take legal measures to solve the problem.
There are usually laws in place, as well as community rules, that protect homeowners’ rights to have a view. Ideally, you will have checked these before you purchased your home, but failing that, it’s a good idea to start learning them now. Home views don’t come cheap, and as a result of this, many communities have ‘view ordinances’ in place to protect your right to the view you paid for.
At Mr. Tree, we study the ordinances of the city so our tree cutting service in Portland follows all regulations and code. It’s important that you look at these documents as well as what applies in one community will not necessarily apply in another and so you need to take some time to familiarize yourself with your local codes. View ordinances usually do apply to trees, although they may not apply to buildings or other structures.
It’s also possible that your community does not have a specific view ordinance. If this is the case, you may have to check the other local laws that are in place to protect homeowners. There are laws pertaining specifically to trees – such as in regards to where exactly they are allowed to be grown, or what species are allowed (trees that have a high chance of causing allergies may be prohibited, for example) – so familiarize yourself with these laws. Zoning laws may be in effect to control buildings themselves so be aware of these as well.
In addition to city laws and ordinances, there may be rules levied by your homeowner’s association. These rules exist to regulate neighborhood matters and might be your friend if they place limits on tree height or growth. If neighbors are found in violation of these rules they may find themselves losing certain privileges such as swimming pools, or they may open themselves up to litigation. Once again, it’s advantageous to any homeowner to study up on the local rules of your community.
There will always be exceptions to the rules; some trees, for example, are owned by the cities and therefore may be exempt from the restrictions the local laws provide. That’s why it’s crucial to familiarize yourself as much as possible with your local ordinances. Once you’ve become aware of the rules, it’s time to start considering what action, exactly, you can take – after all, tree cutting services in Portland are only a phone call away.
It’s important to consider what the most peaceful resolution to your problem will be since you don’t want to live next to a disgruntled neighbor for the next 20-30 years. If it’s as simple as a few branches blocking your window, you can just ask your neighbor if they’ll consent to some careful pruning of the branches. Discuss with them the viability of hiring a tree cutting service in Portland to have the tree trimmed; you can offer to pay for this or split the cost with them if you feel so inclined.
Carefully note exactly which parts of the tree are causing problems. How many branches or limbs? Or is it a larger part of the tree? Is the problem yours alone or is your neighbor’s tree blocking other neighbor’s views as well? If so, speak to them about it. If you all approach the owner of the tree together they may be more inclined to listen, especially if you all agree to divide up the cost of tree trimming.
In the vast majority of cases, your problems will be solved by these diplomatic solutions. However, there will always be some neighbors who will not be friendly and will be uncooperative with you. If you discover that this is the case, you may need to take more drastic measures to solve your problem.
A lawsuit should be a last resort as it’s an expensive, time consuming process; but once you’ve exhausted all of your other options it may be the only one remaining to you. If this is the case, you’ll need to find a lawyer that specializes in such matters and take your neighbor to small claims court. Once again, diplomatic mediation is the preferred solution, however you, as a homeowner, must not be afraid to stand up for your rights so if litigation becomes necessary then be aware that it is an option for you.