How do I resolve a boundary issue with my neighbour?

Chris. asks:
(updated on Thursday, October 09th 2008)

We have a rental property next door to a Housing NZ property in Manurewa. We have approached HNZ on several occasions about the potential danger presented by the trees growing close to the boundary fence between the two houses. The trees present a very present danger as several of them not only tower over 30feet but some of them have died. The present situation is quite critical as there is an ever present danger of these trees falling and causing considerable damage to not only life and limb but to the properties in their path. On contact with HNZ I have been told that they will not do anything about this issue as there is not enough money in their budget to address the issue of removing the trees. Can you advise us what should be our next step please? Kind Regards

Our Experts Answer:

The Residential Tenancies Act only applies to the relationship between a tenant and landlord, and does not cover the relationship between landlords of neighbouring properties. I recommend that you seek independent legal advice from your local community law centre about what action you can take about trees growing near a boundary fence. You may also wish to discuss the matter with your local council to find out whether there are any requirements or bylaws that cover your situation.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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