Trees damaging neighbour’s fence

| 14/12/2018 | 0 Comments

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusI was wondering what to do about a neighbour’s trees encroaching on our fence. They are getting huge — about 30 feet high — and the trunks are starting to bend the fence, and roots are lifting up under the fence. These types of trees grow very large and tall fast, to around 50 feet tall and with trunk diameters of around 12 feet with roots that are like benches.

The problem has grown serious. The neighbours are very unreasonable to deal with otherwise it would have already been solved and I wouldn’t need to be asking what can I do legally to solve this. There are a few of these trees on the boundary as the previous owner meant them to be a hedge but they have grown out of control. I did try to call the planning department but got no one to talk to, so I’m asking you to please help me.


Auntie’s answer: I dealt with a related question previously that dealt with one person’s tree encroaching on an adjacent property (see Overhanging tree a nuisance for neighbour). In that case, though the details were different, I believe the remedy may be the same.

For both situations, British Common Law takes precedence as I do not believe that Cayman has any relevant legislation. What that means for you and the enormous trees overshadowing your property is that you are allowed to cut (or chop I guess in your case) back the offending branches and roots, but you must be careful not to damage your neighbour’s property or make the tree unsafe.

However, having said that, it sounds like the size and extent of the offending trees pretty much make it impossible for you to satisfy the requirements set out under common law.

It is also not clear by your question whether you have actually approached your neighbour about this issue, even though you say they are unreasonable. You did not explain what, if any, attempts you have made to solve the problem, though you have tried to contact the planning department. Based on information I received previously from that department, I don’t think they can help you because the only possibly relevant section in the Planning Law empowers the Central Planning Authority to require proper maintenance of land where buildings have fallen into disrepair or the land has been spoiled due to deposit of refuse.

So, if you can honestly say you have tried your best to talk to your neighbour, I think you may want to consider consulting with a lawyer who might be able to advise you on the legal steps you can take, especially since the trees are damaging your fence. It seems that the damage being caused would weigh in your favour but I am speaking based on common sense and not the law.

Send questions to auntie@caymannewsservice.com

Recent answers from Auntie

Can expat kids be kept out of school?

Can expat kids be kept out of school?

Does the government keep track of children attending school on island? Cayman is very transient. Is it possible to move to the island with my family and not enroll my children in school? How is that monitored, aside from nosy neighbours? However, if ever questioned, the person could lie and say they were homeschooling. Can […]

The tale of the missing Gimistory

The tale of the missing Gimistory

Why has Gimistory been cancelled for two years in a row? I really miss it! Auntie’s answer: Before I get into the “why” I must clear up one thing. While it may seem that Gimistory (which is also a favourite of mine) has been gone for two years, the last time it was cancelled was […]

How to buy repossessed vehicles

How to buy repossessed vehicles

Where can I get/view the repossessed cars from the bank? Auntie’s answer: I have to admit that this question makes me a bit sad. I cannot fault you for inquiring about repossessed cars but it does conjure images of people who have fallen on hard times, which is especially upsetting as we get nearer to […]

Suggestions for donating toys

Suggestions for donating toys

I want to donate some of my son’s toys to charity. Can you tell me where I can do this? Auntie’s

Tags: ,

Category: Ask Auntie, Misc Questions

You can comment anonymously. Please read the CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.