Must Neighbor Tolerate Falling Leave?

Now, fall has come and leaves are turning multicolored. But what rights do you have, when they keep blowing on to your property from your neighbor's? The Federal Court of Justice gave its say to this dispute with its judgment of November 14, 2003 (re V ZR 102/03). pic: Klaus-Uwe Gerhardt/Pixelio


Geronimo and Terrisimo are neighbors. Geronimo's real estate had several beautiful and old trees. Every autumn, the leaves fell into Terrisimo's yard. This drove him crazy. Since Geronimo was not willing to cut down the trees nor was he allowed to, Terisimo then at least wanted to be reimbursed for the high costs related to cleaning the gutters and facades each and every year. This issue went through all the courts until the Federal Court of Justice gave its final say. The court held that Terrisimo was not entitled to anything.

You could have the right only in very exceptional cases, i.e. when you have the legal requirement to bear the leaves falling on your premises because the trees may not be lumbered. The next requirement would be that the neighbor's trees have branches over the your real estate. Last and especially, you will have to prove that the falling leaves are especially intensive and derive from your neighbor's trees. When your plot of land is in an area where leafy trees are a common sight, you will never have a right to prevent your neighbors leaf fall on your ground and especially not for any reimbursement for extra cleaning needs.


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