Dispute - Neighbour's Large Tree Completely Shadowing My Home

Hey guys,

So my neighbour has a massive 3 storey high tree that is overshadowing my backyard. I get very little sun because of this, and even my other neighbour is affected by this. A friend said that they had a similar tree removed from their home for about $3-4k in the past so I assume that's a ballpark figure for a large tree.

I've mentioned this to them 6 months ago but they haven't done anything. I know the next step is to get the council involved which I will. I just don't have an extra $2k to chip in (if it comes to that) right now so I'm not in much of a hurry. I just want to prepare and do my due diligence in case anything happens. I've had lots of branches fall into my backyard over the years and I was thinking if it ever falls and damages my property, I wanna make sure I've at least put in the steps to showcase that I've informed them about it already so at least they're held responsible.

So my question is:-
- from a legal standpoint, lets say that trees gets hit by lightning one day, falls and damages my home, and they had prior notice of this very large tree that they didn't do anything about, who's liable for paying for damages?
- does anyone have experiences to share on how they resolved this issue if they encountered something similar?



    Do we have something like sunlight access or windows law like in uk where one party must not block direct access to sunlight from another as it is a basic rights. I dont remember the exact quote ad i watched it on bbc sometimes ago

  • +2 votes

    I bought a house. had a very large tree. Cut it down. Got a fine from council. Don't cut trees anymore.

  • +1 vote

    Three stories high is tall? Leave the tree alone and build a green house. If you want sun so much (>10 minutes of which will give you cancer), use your backyard hen it’s sunny or go somewhere sunny.

  • +1 vote

    You can't do a thing about the tree.

    1. It's treated as an act of God so no one is liable

    2. You both share the cost.

  • -1 vote

    neighbour's big Tree if feel over hit there house total (profanity) it up.

  • -1 vote

    Some lousy legal advice given in earlier comments. Don't take it OP.
    Maybe go to free Legal Aid to find out your options.

    I think if an owner has a tree which poses a danger by being too large for residential areas, they should have to remove it.
    If it frightens you, that should be grounds to force the issue to law.

    • +1 vote

      Yes. If things frighten me I should have the rights to initiate legal proceedings against them.

      That's what Western law is based around.

      You absolute spanner crab!


    Try to talk with them about it more often and make a compromise.

  • -1 vote

    It’s a tough one OP. We had a neighbour with an enormous tree. It blocked the sun from our house and yard. It meant our house was freezing in winter, rain left the yard damp and soggy, grass wouldn’t grow, discouraged us from getting a pool (the crap it dropped was substantial) and solar wouldn’t have been very effective. We lived there over 20years and the tree grew substantially in that time.

    We never said anything cause it didn’t seem right complaining about a tree. However a different neighbour did complain and it got cut down. I wasn’t sorry to see it go.

    I understand it isn’t fun living in the constant shade of a neighbours large tree. We moved recently and checked what trees the neighbours had for this reason.


    Copper nails. Cough.

  • +1 vote

    So my neighbour has a massive 3 storey high tree that is overshadowing my backyard.

    Was the tree not there already (and rather tall already) when you bought there ?

    I wouldn't think a 3 story high tree, just popped up a story or 2 quickly.

    from a legal standpoint,

    Hire a lawyer.

    From a legal standpoint, all you will get here is not a lawyer . If anyone here is a lawyer, they couldn't advise you here without opening themselves up to liabilities etc.

    But what about from an ethical standpoint ?
    And like, just doing what is fair .
    Is it really fair??, to buy a house with a really tall tree that has been there for many many many years, and then expect your neighbour to cut his tree down to suit you?
    Is that really fair?? In anyone's assessment??

    And then it seems you want to not pay for it, you want the neighbor to pay. And you don't even have money for half.

    Things shouldn't always just be assessed from a legal standpoint.
    Even if there was some legal standpoint that would allow you to force your neighbor to cut down his tree immediately, at their cost, it wouldn't be fair to do that . It wouldn't be ethical to do that .
    Unless the neighbor had the tree moved in there after you bought the property ?
    Then it would be fair enough to have an issue with the tree being there .

    Also, thinking outside the box a bit here, why not just make use of the shaded area ?
    I know I like to have both shaded areas, and sunny parts, of my back yard. I know on 40 degree days, I'm not wanting to sit in full sun. Shade, and a bit of a breeze, is perfect for those really hot days. I have an outdoor table that is fairly lightweight, so I can just move it either into shady part, or sunny section, as required .
    Shade of a tree certainly doesn't have to seen as a bad thing. Remember, you are getting extra oxygen and less carbon dioxide, the more large trees that are close to you also.


    A private nuisance according to Disputes Victoria is when your use and enjoyment of your land is being affected. You make it sound like I have zero entitlement here.

    You sound at least, intelligent enough to know, what is right, fair, and ethical, without quoting a legal paper etc.
    I mean, you don't need a law to tell you what is right. You don't need a law to tell you what is fair. So looking up that private nuisance act, doesn't get you anywhere.
    I think you will find that you have a very weak legal standing, and a very weak case, if you choose to follow it up.

    But best scenario for you, and your neighbors, would be to try to be good to each other, try to be fair, try to do what is right ethically . Quoting private nuisance lawbooks doesn't get you closer to any of these things .

    I don't need the state or country to tell me what is right and just. The laws of course, in democratic countries, is generally right and just, and what the people want… Yet still, you should learn to not have to rely on looking something up, in order to tell you what is right.
    Use your own mind, it's obvious asf that; to move somewhere with a large tree, then complain about what was already there and try something sneaky and hostile towards your neighbor just to get rid of a tree (which has the right to be there, legally and ethically), it is clearly not right and not fair, to your neighbor, regardless of council bylaws etc . NOT A LAWYER


    Sit back , relax and get some ideas from this film.



    We found council unhelpful , in fact they said they wouldn't get involved. Best we could do is keep cutting it back as it approached our side of the fence.
    Our other issue was that some of our drains were affected by the roots of the tree, and again council wouldn't get involved.


    I think the O.P has wood envy

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