Leaves Are Falling and Neighbours Are Fighting

In the News

Quebec’s fall colours can take your breath away. However, while beautiful, leaves can also cause problems once they fall – especially if they fall in your neighbour’s yard! Some of these problems can wind up in court.

Neighbours must accept the normal inconveniences of life

Having neighbours can come with its share of annoyances. For example, leaves from a neighbour’s tree falling on your property. The courts have held that the inconvenience of picking up a neighbour’s leaves is a normal part of living in society.

However, an inconvenience can become abnormal. This happens when it is serious and recurrent and goes beyond what a “reasonable” person can tolerate. For example, if the leaves cause actual damage to your property, you can ask for compensation. However, you must prove any damage to your property.  

In one case, someone sued their neighbour and won because leaves and acorns from the neighbour’s oak tree fell and damaged the roof of a building on their property.

Try to find a solution!

Are you having problems with your neighbour? You can always discuss the issue with them and try to find a solution together.

However, if you can’t find a solution, you can invite them to try mediation. Mediation lets you talk through the problem with your neighbour with the help of a mediator. The mediator’s job is to help both parties find a solution. Some community groups also offer mediation services. For example, Équijustice offers citizen mediation and promotes restorative justice initiatives.