Trees and Solar Power


Trees and Solar Power

 

Vicky Wilson Park

Trees are a common cause of disagreement between neighbours

Disputes can be about:

  • Branches overhanging your fence
  • Branches or fruit dropping into your yard
  • Roots causing damage to your property
  • Branches blocking sunlight from solar panels or TV reception

Here we’re particularly reporting about trees and solar panels

Although it probably goes without saying, shading is not good for solar panels. A shadow cast on even just part of one solar panel in your solar array can potentially compromise the output of the whole system.

Trees are a common cause of disagreement between neighbours. There are a number of things you can do if your neighbour’s tree is affecting you in this way; however, if possible you should always talk about a solution with your neighbour as a first step. It is always best to keep on good terms with you neighbour and resolve any potential tree issues between you before they get out of hand. This will be quicker, cheaper and less stressful than taking legal action.

What you can legally do yourself

If you have a neighbour’s tree hanging over your land, you can:

  • exercise the common law right of abatement—your right to remove overhanging branches and roots to your boundary line
  • decide whether to return the lopped branches, roots or fruit to your neighbour, or dispose of them yourself. You do not have to return anything you trim from the neighbour’s tree but you may do so.

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When you are affected by a neighbour’s tree and you cannot resolve the issue any other way, you can apply to QCAT who can make a legally enforceable decision—an order—on the matter.

Orders QCAT can make

QCAT can make different orders depending on your particular situation. This can include an order:

• that the tree must have annual maintenance work

• that a survey is undertaken to clarify who owns the tree

• authorising a person to enter your neighbour’s land to obtain a quote for work or to carry

out work on the tree

• for compensation or repair costs for damages to your property

• for an arborist—a tree specialist—to check and write a report on the tree

• that the tree is removed.

Failing to comply with an order under the trees chapter of the Act

If your neighbour fails to comply with QCAT’s order and they don’t have a reasonable excuse, they can be fined up to $100,000.

To view more details and visit the source of this information…

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