Your kids have wanted to have a treehouse for quite a while, so you finally decided to build one. You put it up over the weekend and thought nothing about the structure until your neighbor came over complaining that you put the house in their tree.
You were surprised because you always thought the tree was yours. Now, you have a neighbor asking you to take down something that took a good amount of money and hard work, even though you think the tree actually belongs to you. This kind of boundary or tree dispute is problematic, so it’s important to resolve it as soon as you can.
Working out a dispute with your neighbor: Find the facts
There are a few different options for resolving this issue that you’ve run into. The main issue to work out first, though, will be to determine whose tree this really is. Start by getting a land survey or by looking at your deed to determine the boundary lines. Map them out with the help of your neighbor, if they’re willing, so you can both come to an agreement on the correct boundary. You can hire a professional to do this if you cannot agree based on the information you both have on hand.
After this, you will need to discuss what to do about the treehouse based on the results. If the tree is yours but the structure is too close to the boundary line, you may agree to move the treehouse or ask if you could compensate the neighbor to leave it where it is.
If you find that the tree is not yours, you may need to remove the treehouse. You may also ask about purchasing the tree or space from your neighbor, even if temporarily.
If the tree is yours and the house is appropriately placed, you likely will not need to move it at all. If it’s an eyesore, you might consider putting up a fence that you and the neighbor purchase together or even painting the treehouse a color that is more appealing to the neighbor.
Most tree and boundary disputes can be resolved. Take your time determining whose tree it is first, and then take action accordingly.