Hello, my name is Rebecca and I’m a lawyer in the litigation team here at OMB Solicitors. Today I’m going to be talking to you about neighbourhood tree disputes. In Queensland, the Neighbourhood Disputes Dividing Fences and Trees Act deals with disputes that can arise between neighbours concerning trees or their dividing fences.
The act stipulates who’s responsible to maintain trees and also what steps can be taken if there is a dispute that arises with regards to the maintenance of trees. In accordance with the act, the person on whose land the tree is situated is responsible for maintaining the tree.
That means if you have a tree where the roots are in your land, you’re responsible for maintaining the whole of that tree, including any branches which overhang your neighbour’s property.
Disputes that commonly arise concern branches that overhang fences between neighbouring properties. It’s generally recommended and suggested that neighbours try to resolve disputes about the maintenance of overhanging trees between themselves.
This means trying to speak with your neighbour to discuss how branches can be clipped or how branches can be removed in order to resolve a dispute. If a resolution can’t be reached, the act does stipulate what steps can be taken to resolve any dispute about overhanging branches.
This includes sending a formal notice to the owner of the tree asking that they take action to maintain any overhanging branches.
A neighbour taking action themselves to remove the branches that may be overhanging into their property or seeking assistance from the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, or QCAT, for an order requiring the owner of the tree to take some form of action in order to resolve the dispute and address any overhanging branches.
If you have a dispute with regards to a tree or overhanging branches of your property or your neighbour’s property, contact OMB Solicitors as to what steps can be taken to resolve that dispute.