Bylaw- Vines and Property Line

(Question)

My neighbour who is an absentee landlord has an out of control Silver Lace vine covering her fence and now spilling over on my fence and property. Can you please tell me what recourse I may have? She is being very uncooperative even though she lives 2000 kms away and visits less than once a year. The whole back yard is a jungle and I have managed to keep it off my fence and property until now but this Silver Lace is a monster and I can’t keep up with it. PLEASE HELP ME!!! Thank you!

(Answer)

Sorry to hear about your woes , and I am sure it is little consolation if I tell  you are not alone.  If I can break your inquiry down to 2  questions posed here;

1. What can I do about my neighbors potential neglectful maintenance practices?

Regarding your concern of your neighbor’s garden maintenance practices, I will refer you to Toronto Municipal Code 629-11. , and TORONTO MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 489, GRASS AND WEEDS.  Please see website links below which also discusses the standards and the process for staging complaints.

TORONTO MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 489, GRASS AND WEEDS

http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_629.pdf

 

2. What can I do about the vine invading my side of the fence.

You are entitled to maintain your “air space” on your property when it comes to overgrown vines and shrubs.  There are exceptions to this when it comes to cutting off larger overhanging tree limbs, which may cause harm or instability to a neighboring tree, but in your situation, you are permitted to remove vines back to your side of a fence line. It is however recommended that you try to avoid damaging any main stems which can cause entire vine to die on both sides of a fence line, as this would become unsightly.

Failing a friendly discussion, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about preventing a neighbor from having an aggressive or invasive vine, (unless they do not conform to city code as referenced above).