Tree pruning

Tree pruning: regulations, obligations and neighborhood conflicts

A garden is also more responsibilities, especially in the presence of trees. Pruning is mandatory and the owners cannot cut there, with or without a neighbor. In a rental, on the other hand, the rules vary. Explanations.

What are the legal obligations of pruning trees in a garden?

In a few words, people who enjoy a garden and its vegetation must prune the trees that are there. In detail, you should know that everyone is required to cut the branches of a tree planted in their land as soon as they grow beyond the boundaries of the property. That is, it is necessary to cut off the branches that protrude from the neighbors.

Concretely, a tree that grows in the neighbor’s house has only disadvantages. In the event of a problem (breakage, injury) as a result of a branch, the owner will be considered responsible. And the fruits that have fallen from the uncut branches in the neighbor’s garden belong to him by right.

Namely: taxpayers who call on a home-based employee for pruning cannot get a tax benefit from it. The scope of the home-based employment tax credit covers minor gardening work, including pruning hedges and trees, but explicitly excludes pruning.

Can my neighbor force me to prune or cut the branches himself?

The law does not allow an individual to prune the neighbor’s trees. Thus, if he is allowed to cut roots, brambles and twigs from next door to the limit of his land, he must leave the branches as they are.

On the other hand, if the owner does not fulfill this pruning obligation, his neighbors can ask him to put himself in good standing. This principle is enshrined in Article 673 of the Civil Code: “The one on whose property the branches of the neighbor’s trees, shrubs and shrubs advance may compel the neighbor to cut them down. »

In this regard, the Court of Cassation, in a judgment dated November 12, 2008 (n ° 07-19238) considers this right imprescriptible: a neighbor can demand pruning even if the branches have been encroaching on his land for years and he has never complained.

Namely: a tree of two meters or more must not be planted within two meters of the boundary separating the two properties. Below this size, the plantings must respect a distance of 50 centimeters. Otherwise, a neighbor may request that they be torn off or reduced to the legal height within thirty years (thirty-year prescription).

However, be careful, it is possible to derogate from Article 673 of the Civil Code. A private regulation (such as the regulation of a housing estate, for example) can thus contravene it, in order to save rare or old trees for example. The Court of Cassation recalled this possibility in a decision issued on June 13, 2012 (n°11-18791).

More broadly, local regulations, enacted in a municipal decree for example, are imposed on the provisions of the Civil Code in terms of pruning. In the absence of local regulations, the Civil Code fully applies.

To know: if the branches involved present an immediate danger, the embarrassed neighbor can contact the town hall directly so that it publishes a danger order demanding their immediate cutting.

The procedure to follow to force the neighbor to prune the branches of his tree

In the event of a neighborhood conflict, it is necessary to start by sending a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt reminding the unscrupulous owner of the law. If this does not prove to be effective (lack of compliance within a month), it is necessary to apply to the judicial court. The court may propose an amicable settlement before hearing the case.

Tenant or landlord, who should prune the trees?

In a rental, the responsibility for pruning trees and shrubs normally falls on the occupant. This task is included among the rental repairs listed by Decree n ° 87-712 of August 26, 1987, as well as the maintenance of the lawn, the paths, the water basins and the garden in general.

Direct consequence: the tenant of a house or a condominium apartment with private green space who does not take care of the maintenance of his garden may suffer a deduction, partial or total, on his security deposit returned after leaving the premises. The lessor must nevertheless prove the degradation of the green spaces by comparing the entry and exit conditions and submitting estimates.

On the other hand, pruning is not a recoverable rental charge, that is to say billable to the tenant by the owner. This service does not appear in the decree n ° 87-713 of August 26, 1987 which summarizes the recoverable rental expenses and the Court of Cassation confirmed this interpretation in a judgment rendered on March 23, 2004 (n ° 02-20933). This means that a landlord who decides to take care of it and who pays a professional as such does not have the opportunity to recover the amount paid from the occupant of the housing.

In the event of a neighborhood conflict, the lessor is responsible

Although he must take care of the pruning of the trees and the maintenance of the garden in general, a tenant cannot be forced by a neighbor to cut the branches that stick out. In a decision dated February 5, 2014 (n ° 12-28701), the Court of Cassation considered that it is the responsibility of the owner that is at stake in this case: the disgruntled neighbor must therefore contact him.

Written by webseopl2022 on .


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