Property Excavation Due to Neighbor’s Invasive Plants – Who Pays?


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The underground spreading and invasion of plants may cause serious damage to neighboring property. Excavation may be the only remedy a neighbor has to understand and identify just how extensive the damage is to their property. Bamboo is one example of an invasive plant that may cause legal issues.

When a person plants bamboo or similar vegetation on his or her land, it is possible to root deep and spread to another yard or under a home. Without proper excavation, the roots may burrow and cause other problems. The bamboo may sprout from these roots and disrupt a yard or cause property damage. In these incidents, it is possible for the owner of the home without the plant to seek legal action against the owner of the plant in his or her yard. However, it is important to communicate with the individual to seek some form of resolution before seeking the courts to intervene in these matters. This is usually the action a lawyer will first take in this concern.

Communication with the Neighbor

Contacting the person that planted the tree, vegetation or bamboo is often the very first step in any environmental matter. The magnitude of the root and plant issue could find a resolution with the owner that planted the bamboo. He or she may make amends for removal or paying for excavation and removal. However, if he or she is unwilling or cannot provide a method to end the compilation, it is often important to contact a lawyer next. Legal services will work to conclude the issue and ensure that the affected person receives the monetary compensation for the matter.

The Damage Explained

Sometimes the owner of the plants is unaware that there is any damage occurring outside his or her property. It is possible that the bamboo or other vegetation shows no outward signs that roots are burrowing far away from the yard. The other person affected may need to excavate the land fully to truly realize how much damage the roots cause. If they have dug into the piping, this could lead to plumbing issues. Cracks in the water or filtration system may cause sewage to leak outside or inside the house. The roots could suck up all the nutrients and kill the other plants in the vicinity. Other instances of damage may include the roots burrowing into the foundations and walls of the house.

The damage needs cataloging so the victim is able to request or sue for the correct amount to recover. If the incident involves injuries to the residents or guests in the home, this may increase damages owed to the plaintiff. Property damage may include a survey of the land and excavation cost to expose every location the roots have harmed. The full extent of the root system needs exposure through digging until the last root is found. This will help if the plaintiff needs to go to court. The evidence used against the other party will detail how much compensation is necessary to make the victim whole.

Pursuing a Claim

When the damage is extensive enough, the victim may need to hire a lawyer and pursue a claim against the other party. This is often necessary if he or she is unwilling to resolve the matter. Many plaintiffs would find a suitable arrangement with the removal of the roots and repayment for any other damage they cause. However, if the other party is not going to supply any compensation or action to fix the issue, a lawyer may need to communicate what will happen next. Contact with the neighbor should remain at a minimum once the initial talk is complete. This may ensure fewer complications in the future.

Legal Action and the Lawyer

When it is clear that the roots are the cause of the property damage, the plaintiff may collect enough evidence to strengthen the claim. This provided to a lawyer may increase chances of a successful lawsuit so that compensation awards provide the necessary funds to recover from the damage.

Hiring a lawyer is almost always necessary when the situation involves litigation. Recovery from property and physical damage from a root system burrowed deep into the ground or affecting the house is necessary. When negotiations fail, the next step is the courts. Through a judge or jury, the lawyer will present a case for the client.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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