Trees and Fences
Disputes over trees, leaves, branches, roots, lack of sunlight and fences are common cause of bad feeling between neighbours.
This could be anything from trees that block your sun, roots that choke your drains, fences that your neighbours want built or replaced - often at considerable expense.
Your differences can usually be settled with a combination of tact and compromise, but if you are forced into a stand-off, legal action may be your only way out.
That could cost you anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars and will probably destroy neighbourly goodwill.
The Property Law Act 2007 says property owners are responsible for any nuisance or damage their trees cause to neighbours, even if the trees were planted before they bought the property.
You have a range of options when a neighbour's tree is causing you a nuisance, from a friendly chat through to a court order.
You should first try to approach your neighbour and explain the problem, as you might be able to reach an amicable solution.
If you do seek a court order to have a tree trimmed or removed on your neighbour's property, in most circumstances you will be required to meet the cost of the work. You will also have to provide evidence of the nuisance and convince the court of the merits of what you seek.
To know your rights when it comes to neighbours' trees and your property visit consumer website.
Fences don't just define a property boundary. In whatever shape, form, style or construction fences play an important role on your property and in your neighbourhood.
High, solid fences between houses, streets and open spaces also create wasted spaces and deadends, prevent good surveillance and have poor visual appeal.
Closed boarded, high fences can not only be unattractive but can also increase crime by reducing surveillance. Hastings District Council wants to encourage fencing options which are practical, look good adjoining reserves and residential areas, and help to reduce crime by increasing surveillance to both public and private spaces.
For those considering building a fence within Hastings District, whether it is along a front or rear boundary, or even adjoining a public space or reserve, you can help achieve this goal by considering and implementing good practice fencing design.
The Residential Fencing Guide identifies three boundary options to enhance your neighbourhood, streetscape and open spaces. You can also view the Fencing Act on the NZ legislation website.