Owner of tree responsible for its maintenance
"My aunt has been staying in our province since the start of the community quarantine. Since she is a widow and has no children of her own, I have been taking care of her house here in Manila. She has a huge mango tree that has not been trimmed, so there are branches that have gone over her property and partly blocks the sidewalk. I just want to ignore it because I do not know anything about plants. Some of the passersby who usually use the sidewalk have commented that I should trim it, but I am not sure if it is my aunt’s obligation. Please advise.Jaycee
Dear Jaycee,Every owner of a piece of land is responsible not only for the land itself but also for those that have been built, planted or sown thereon because the ownership of the same likewise belongs to him. While the owner has the right to use, enjoy and even enclose or fence his property, he cannot utilize the same in such a way as to injure the rights of others. As provided under our New Civil Code:
“Article 428. The owner has the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations than those established by law. x x x“Article 430. Every owner may enclose or fence his land or tenements by means of walls, ditches, live or dead hedges, or by any other means without detriment to servitudes constituted thereon.
“Article 431. The owner of a thing cannot make use thereof in such manner as to injure the rights of a third person. x x x“Article 445. Whatever is built, planted or sown on the land of another and the improvements or repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land, subject to the provisions of the following articles.”
Correspondingly, your aunt is responsible to maintain her property, which includes the mango tree she has grown therein, so as not to cause trouble, difficulty or danger to others.Moreover, Article 483 of the said law states that if she will not maintain the tree herself, or through you in her behalf, it may be done at her expense:“Article 483. Whenever a large tree threatens to fall in such a way as to cause damage to the land or tenement of another or to travelers over a public or private road, the owner of the tree shall be obliged to fell and remove it and should he not do so, it shall be done at his expense by order of the administrative authorities.”We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com"
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"Owner of tree responsible for its maintenance"
was written by Mary
under the Legal Advice
category. It has been read 119
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021