Trees and Neighbours

Overhanging branches or encroaching roots from a neighbour's tree can often be a source of conflict between neighbours. Often property owners will approach Council to express their concerns with the hope that Council will resolve the matter.

Unfortunately, Council is unable to negotiate or intervene in such disputes as this is considered a ‘civil matter’ that must be resolved between you and your neighbour. Council can not give you permission to undertake works on a tree without the consent of the owner.

Before considering any action, you should talk to your neighbour about your concerns and seek advice on your legal rights. For practical advice on how to approach your neighbour visit ‘Reaching Agreements’.

A number of controls protect trees and native vegetation within Frankston City. To determine if a permit is required for the works proposed, phone Council 1300 322 322.

Any application received by Frankston City Council for works to a tree on a neighbouring property must be accompanied with permission/consent from the land owner. You are not allowed to enter your neighbour's land in order to carry out the work unless you have their permission. Anything you cut off your neighbour's tree belongs to your neighbour and should be returned, however it is advisable to speak to your neighbour before undertaking any works (even if they are on your side of the property boundary) and returning branches. If you do return branches do so in a neat and tidy manner.

If you are unable to contact the owner of neighbouring property, for example if the property is vacant or rented out to tenants, phone Council 1300 322 322 for assistance.

If you have attempted to discuss your concerns with the owner of the tree and are unable to resolve the matter with your neighbour privately, the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria may be able to offer some assistance and, if necessary, mediate between both parties. The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) is a free dispute resolution service funded by the Victorian Government.

Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria
Level 4, 456 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne  VIC  3000
Phone: 9603 8370

Legal advice
For free legal advice, contact:
Victoria Legal Aid, Peninsula region
Corner O'Grady Avenue and Dandenong Road
Frankston VIC 3199
Phone: (03) 9784 5222
Open Monday to Friday 8:45 am to 5:15 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) except public holidays

Peninsula Community Legal Centre Inc
Frankston Branch
441 Nepean Highway
Frankston 3199
Phone: (03) 9783 3600