Neighbor’s Intrusive Ivy

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Topic: Neighbor’s Intrusive Ivy

Events June 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Neighbor’s Intrusive Ivy

My neighbor has ivy growing up the side of my row house.   I understand that I have the right to cut down the ivy (correct me if I’m wrong), the problem is 1) I need to get into the neighbor’s yard to do so and 2) there is damage to the paint and the pointing between the bricks caused by the Ivy that now needs repairs.  As you can imagine, the neighbor is turning a deaf ear to the problem.  Any advice (other than contacting a lawyer)?  Can I go to small claims court?

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One bit of advice I have is to confirm that it is, indeed, your wall that the ivy is growing up.  Typically, between row houses, there is a “party wall” owned half by each of the homeowners that share it.  This party wall extends to rear portions of row houses, where only one owner has structure.  For example, a party wall forms one side of the rear room on my row house, with one side of the party wall forming the inside of the room on my house and the other side exposed to my neighbor’s yard, where the neighbor has a walkway/stairs into his basement.  I assumed that this wall was “my wall” because it forms a room on my house that isn’t attached (adjacently) to my neighbor’s house, but I learned through a survey that it’s a shared party wall.  So, before you proceed with addressing the perceived problem, you might confirm that it’s not a party wall.  Good luck!

How long ago did you buy the house? I’m not sure if you’d be able to hold the neighbor responsible for any pre-existing damage, only for any damage that followed a “Please trim your ivy at point X so it doesn’t get on my house” conversation.

I’d recommend politely asking your neighbor for access to his/her yard to cut the ivy. If he/she doesn’t particularly care about the ivy, you might ask if you could get rid of it completely. If the neighbor likes the ivy, though, I’m not sure what recourse you’d have other than asking him/her to keep it from spreading to your house.

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