From 1 November 2011 the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011 provides new options for resolving tree disputes.
For more information on the responsibilities of tree-keepers, including dealing with overhanging branches and a step-by-step guide to dealing with neighbourhood disputes, visit www.neighbourhooddisputes.qld.gov.au.
What is a tree dispute?
A tree dispute is a disagreement between neighbours about one or more trees on adjoining properties.
Generally, QCAT can make decisions for trees growing on residential land regarding:
- recovering a debt from a neighbour for overhanging branch removal (visit www.neighbourhooddisputes.qld.gov.au for more information on overhanging branches)
- other disputes involving a tree affecting neighbouring land including damaging property or causing injury, or interfering with use of land.
How can I avoid a tree dispute?
Avoiding and resolving disputes with your neighbour will be quicker and cheaper than taking legal action. To avoid tree disputes and keep the peace in your neighbourhood:
- be familiar with your responsibilities as a tree-keeper
- consider professional advice on tree selection, maintenance and care
- seek help on how to avoid and resolve tree disputes.
How can I resolve a tree dispute?
If you cannot avoid a dispute and cannot reach an agreement, you may wish to contact a Dispute Resolution Centre to discuss free mediation options before you take any legal action.
If you are unable to resolve the issue through mediation, you may wish to seek legal advice on your options including an application to QCAT.
Tree dispute legislation
Queensland legislation related to tree disputes includes the:
- Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011
- Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009
The Acts are available on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.