Can your neighbor’s tree block your view?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2022 | Residential Real Estate

In New York, it’s true that it can be hard to get a good view. You might have only one or two windows that look out over a grassy area or over a part of the city you like.

It can be extremely frustrating if you have only a small view to begin with and then your neighbor does something to block it, like planting a tree or setting out large plants on their porch or balcony.

In that kind of situation, it’s actually important for you to look into whether or not your neighbor got a tree planting permit.

Tree planting permits help keep neighborhoods clear of hazards

Helpfully, since the city is tight and many buildings are close together, it does require tree planting permits. If your neighbor has planted a tall tree that is blocking your view, ask them if they happened to get a permit. If they did, you might ask if they would be willing to trim the tree shorter or move it slightly to help you with your own view, but if not, then they may need to remove the tree if you bring a complaint.

Is a tree really worth a dispute with your neighbor?

While many people may argue that planting a tree or two isn’t a big deal, it can be frustrating when it blocks your view or starts causing problems. You should remember that you can cut back any part of a tree that crosses onto your property, so if branches are an issue, you can usually trim them back without an issue.

That being said, if the tree is causing other problems, such as a loss in business because your storefront is being blocked or a drop in your home’s value since the view has been reduced, you may want to look into the tree permit and asking the neighbor to move or take down the tree. While it’s nice that they want to have plant life on their property, it should be done in a way that is respectful to you and other neighbors in the area, too.