Question: We live in Ahwatukee. Our neighbor has a large ficus tree whose roots have grown into our sewer line, and have cost us $6,000 for repairs. Can we require our neighbor to reimburse us $6,000 for the cost to repair the damage to our sewer line? Can we cut the roots of the ficus tree that trespass on our property?
Answer: First, your neighbor should be required to reimburse you for the $6,000 cost to repair your sewer line. Second, you are entitled to cut the roots of the ficus tree that trespass on your property. Under Arizona law, however, the cost of cutting a neighbor’s roots on your property is your responsibility.
Note: On the other hand, other states like Hawaii require a neighbor to pay for the cost of cutting tree roots, and also tree branches, that “trespass” on a homeowner’s property.