Question:

I have a date tree in my backyard. The tree is planted legally. The home and tree existed before the home next door was built.

There is a renter in the home next door. They say that the leaves from my date tree are falling (or falling and being blown, potentially) into their property and causing inconveniences, namely by ending up in their pool, whereupon they need to be fished out. There isn’t a specific damage being caused, but it represents a general annoyance to them that the leaves are ending up in their property. There is a fence, but their property is a few meters lower than the backyard with the tree, which has contributed to this occurrence — there is no easy way to solve this with a fence, as the tree is much higher.

They have asked me to trim the tree, which is somewhat expensive.

My thinking was that the tree is legally planted, so while I would allow them to pay to have it trimmed, I am not required to spend my own money to trim the leaves to prevent them from ending up in the neighbor’s yard, when the tree follows local regulations and was planted before their house was built, not to mention before this tenant moved in.

Do I have an obligation to trim the leaves, or contribute to the cost to do so?

Answer:

Hi

According to Torah law he does not have to pay for trimming since it isn’t גירי דיליה . Therefore we say the damaged has to take care of the problem. It is the same as the case where branches overhang into a neighbor’s yard that SA paskens in siman 155 that the damaged has cut off the branches-as long as the damaged is an individual and not the public.

Yosef

 

Tags: damages neighbors

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