my tree roots my neighbors property california

In California, trees belong exclusively to the owner of land where the trunk of the tree is located, even if the tree’s roots or branches extend into another person’s property. Sometimes a tree on one person’s property has roots that extend so far that they damage a fence on the adjacent property. But, absent some physical damage, California law does not provide any relief for the offended neighbor – unless they can prove the tree was improperly maintained. Additionally, it is prudent to consult a tree trimming service before trimming a tree back. If that has happened, your neighbor could be required to remove the tree. App. A: A tree that spreads its roots onto a neighboring property, damaging the foundation of someone else’s home, is a nuisance. There are some things to consider if you have a problem with a tree on a shared property line: Previously to the listing, I notified the neighbors of the damage. Question: My backyard contains a big, beautiful shade tree. Please feel free to contact our office at (626) 578-0708 or through our website at www.No-Probate.com. Q Our neighbors had a 75-foot pepper tree growing in their backyard very close to the property line, and the root system has invaded our yard and begun to … No … Once your tree has been injured or killed by a neighbor’s construction damage, you do have legal options. California Tree Law for Neighbors According to California law, if a tree's trunk rests solely on the property of a landowner, that person owns the tree, but if the trunk stands between two neighboring properties, then both landowners own the tree and are equally responsible for its maintenance. Neighbors tree roots causing damage by uplifting driveway, I have a duplex that has four of my neighbors trees bordering it on the other side of our fence. I own a 3.5 story tree that is within 15 feet of the sewer line. Our office has handled similar cases in the past and the owner of the tree is liable for the damage caused by its roots or other out-growths. Generally, if a tree trunk sits on both you and your neighbor’s property, is owned by both of you, and you are both responsible for the tree. See the jurisdictions in which our lawyers are licensed, admitted, or otherwise authorized to practice. The contractor dug a 3′ trench along the property line, effectively severing a significant portion of roots needed to survive. Tree encroachment onto neighboring property. You must take into account the health of the tree … Mother changing property to son & spouse after father has passed How does my... Can a spouse change/remove the other spouse from title? They discovered tree roots as the culprit. Even the best of neighbors may run into tension when faced with issues regarding trees. Obviously, tree roots cause property damages. Gus: I have a neighbor and he has five huge oak trees in his front yard, and I live next door. Patel, 24 Cal. If necessary, you can sue to enforce your rights. The injured party may start a civil action or “abate the nuisance” themselves. Should the interference be more problematic, a neighbor may have the right to sue. This is known as a demand letter. Removing their trees/grinding down their stumps kills their roots. He refused to let me trim them to the normal 8 to 10 feet tall, while his property is already 7 feet above my property. Re: Neighbors tree roots causing damage by uplifting driveway. What are my legal remedies? Attorney Whipple is quite correct. who is responsible for repairs to my property? If the tree is inherently dangerous or poisonous. The CC&Rs may dictate specifications and rules regarding trees within the community. That way, you don't run the risk of it falling and wrecking your property, or worse yet, hurting someone. Even if the tree is on private property, the city may step in and trim it back if the tree is interfering with city property, such as the obstruction of a sidewalk, crosswalk or blocking the view at an intersection. The only nuisance we ever had from this tree was regarding its leaves. Trimming branches and roots puts stress on a tree, and you do not want to risk damaging or destroying the tree unintentionally. The first step to take should a tree owner refuse to your suggestion of trimming or maintenance of the tree, is to write a letter setting out your intentions. Should a neighbor or owner be in violation of the regulations specified by the CC&Rs, you can notify the homeowners’ association for assistance. In most situations, a neighbor who is bothered or worried by encroaching branches or roots of a healthy tree won't be able to successfully sue the tree … Second, your neighbor could be held liable for damages, according to FindLaw.Third, if your neighbor doesn’t do anything about it, the tree could be considered a nuisance, and you could file a nuisance claim, FindLaw says. 15. The contractor charged over $12K to completely replace the line from the street to the house. If your neighbor or someone else cuts down, removes, or hurts a tree on your property without your permission, that person is required to compensate you (the tree owner) for your loss. Trees growing on your neighbor's side of the property lines around your home can cause problems for your lawn grass in several ways. We assist our clients with litigation, contractual, development, investment, and much more. Covering the decrease in property value due to tree loss Property deeds will reflect the CC&Rs. Thank you for the information about tree law in California. California tree law between neighbors requires a landowner be responsible for maintaining a tree's foliage in a hazard-free condition. Thank you for the information about tree law in California. More on Homeowners Insurance You may call me for a consultation at 818-739-1544 ext. I know in California, I cannot cut the roots on my side, or I will be liable if the tree falls on his property and causes any damage The bids I've received to fix this problem are in the $15,000.00 range. In the opposite case—a tree from your yard causes damage to the property next door—it’s up to your neighbor to put in a claim with his or her insurer. The roots have started to lift up some underground pvc water pipes and also have gone under the pool pump that sits on a small concrete slab nearby. The recent case of Khan & Harrow Council & Another [2013] (Ramsey J handed down his judgment on 3 September 2013), which concerned damage caused to a property by tree roots, considered when a person will be liable for damage caused by roots from trees on their land. While you have the right to trim back branches or roots to your property line, it’s always a good rule of thumb to notify the tree owner before you make any cuts. In every state, a common-law right exists that allows a property owner to cut the branches and roots of a neighboring tree that is invading their property. You have notified the tree owner in writing. I have pavers in my driveway, and his roots are coming over there, destroying my pavers. In California although you may trim back branches which invade your airspace, you cannot legally cut down or harm your neighbor’s trees without beforehand obtaining a court order, or you may be liable for double or treble damages to your neighbor [Civ.C 733]. Under California Civil Code Section 834, both neighbors legally own the tree if the trunk rests on the property … This is not legal advice. My neighbors tree is cracking my foundation. If the tree belongs to your neighbor, you should still proceed with caution. I own a 3.5 story tree that is within 15 feet of the sewer line. If you happen to live in a planned community or subdivision, residents may very well be bound by certain restrictions in the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). As a result, California law protects the affected neighbor. Mr and Mrs Khan owned a property in Stanmore, Middlesex. There is also a gas line which is connected to the pool pump. Years ago, a previous owner gave the neighbors permission to run the drain pipe on his (my) land. And, their house has been listed with an agent for sale or rent. If necessary, you can sue to enforce your rights. Here's the lowdown on what you must prove to recover for a damaged or destroyed tree, and how much money you can recover. The neighbor claimed he had an "absolute right" to cut the tree roots any way he wanted (in this case 3 feet deep) because they were uprooting his driveway. Basically telling us to fix it and not taking any responsibility for her damage to our property. Sincerely, GK, Re: Neighbors tree roots causing damage by uplifting driveway. Laws vary somewhat but most states say that if the roots of a homeowner’s tree damages a neighbor’s drive or home, then that’s the n… Before resorting to self-help and trimming at your own risk, a helpful alternative may be to take the issue to mediation. not just money damages for past harm, but also some kind of abatement order or injunction to protect you against failure to prevent future damage. If you are looking for a court to order a tree owner to trim back a tree, you will likely have to go the route of trial court, which will likely involve the use of an attorney. But my neighbor has several very tall trees (about 10 trees, 50 feet tall) along the border and have extended beyond required set back of the building. Question: My backyard contains a big, beautiful shade tree. If the tree is on the property line, both property owners share the value of the tree and are responsible for upkeep on their side of the boundary line. For a minor nuisance or inconvenience, the law will expect the neighbor to trim bothersome branches. Background. Removing the tree roots up to the boundary line is a reasonable course of action. For instance, California Civil Code 833 and 834 states that trees whose trunks reside on the land of one owner belong to him or her exclusively, even if their roots or branches grow into the neighbor’s property. For example, in the 1994 case of Booska v.Patel, a California appellate court inserted a requirement into the trimming rule that a neighbor not act unreasonably or cause harm to the tree.In that case, a tree’s roots had grown to the point of buckling the neighboring sidewalk. If the entire trunk rests on one side of the property line, that neighbor has ownership regardless if branches, roots, foliage or any other portion of the tree hangs over the property line. Large fig tree growing against the fence and roots are cracking my foundation. I have a tree on my property and the roots from my tree have made their way into my neighbor's property. Property owner’s are often upset when a neighbor’s trees drop leaves, or fruit, or branches, or even limbs onto their property. The tree roots have uplifted my driveway causing extensive damage. Here's the lowdown on what you must prove to recover for a damaged or destroyed tree, and how much money you can recover. Among the remedies are cutting the roots at the property line; there is a caveat that this must be done in a "non-negligent manner," which the court didn't further define, but probably would include avoiding killing the trees or causing them to be in danger of toppling in a high wind. If you are left with no recourse outside of bringing the issue to court, you may consider a nuisance lawsuit against the tree owner. There are guidelines in place that will limit the amount of trimming you may perform on a neighboring tree. If you have a dead tree on your property, cutting it down could be a smart move. Where the roots of a tree causes damage to a neighbouring property the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. Patel, Patel (the neighbor) hired a contractor to remove the roots from the large Monterey pine his neighbor (Booska) owned. Again, these laws can differ in each state, so be sure to look up the exact law in your area. I have seen every insurance company cover “third-party” tree roots damages claims, which means that if roots from a neighbor’s tree damages your property, such as clogging your drain or cracking or lifting your sidewalk, the neighbor’s insurance company would pay and settle the claim. In the 1994 case of Booska v. Patel, a California appellate court held that a neighbor does not have the absolute right to cut encroaching roots and branches so that they end at his or her property line. Upon discovering what the neighbor had done, Booska, the tree owner, had the entire tree removed. In some states, certain conditions will allow a neighbor to sue: As noted above, the law regarding encroaching trees is a common-law rule; therefore, most states do not have clear ordinances or regulations for reference. Which form when adding spouse to Grant Deed I own my home as ''sole and separate... More Real Estate and Real Property questions and answers in California. That means you can’t cut it … In that case, a tall pine tree’s roots were extending into a neighbor’s yard and allegedly causing harm to the neighbor’s property. Johnson purchased the house about six years ago and shortly afterward became concerned about the root structure of his neighbour's giant tree. tree. I know in California, I cannot cut the roots on my side, or I will be liable if the tree falls on his property and causes any damage What to Do Before You Resort To Self-Help, What To Do if the Tree Owner Refuses to Trim, What To Expect If You Decide To Take the Issue to Court. If you have to sue, ask your lawyer to consider causes of action on both trespass and private nuisance theories, and to ask for all appropriate remedies and relief, i.e. Where the roots of a tree causes damage to a neighbouring property the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. A: A tree that spreads its roots onto a neighboring property, damaging the foundation of someone else’s home, is a nuisance. Your property is adversely affected by the tree and can prove damages. 15, i might as well jump on the band wagon -- a little extra -- brian's advice i have given #s of times over the past 30 years, but not only punitive damages but possibly attorney fees could be part of your judgment -- most of these can be dealt with without litigation and through their insurance companies but don't be afraid to go to court -- if you wish to contact me in the bay area i am at 510-465-6000, The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates. Speak with an experienced attorney at 70% off for 30 minutes. It is about 10 feet from the boundary with my neighbor’s lot. That way, you don't run the risk of it falling and wrecking your property, or worse yet, hurting someone. From a purely legal perspective, a tree is considered the personal property of the homeowner whose land it is on. The attorneys at Equity Legal are well versed in legal issues surrounding encroaching trees and are here to guide you through any unique needs you may have. “Trees on property lines are a common complaint between neighbors, but not so much at the courthouse,” says Cleve Clinton, partner at Gray Reed, Attorneys and Counselors, based in Dallas and Houston. In the case where a property has been severely damaged, you may be entitled to the difference in property value inflicted by the tree. Address: 600 W Broadway Suite 700, San Diego, CA 92101Call Us: 619-663-4533 Mon – Fri: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Specifically, the law in California states that if roots encroach under or onto adjacent property, there is a trespass and the affected neighbor can the cut roots if they cause damage. However, should the relationship become less than amicable, consulting an attorney to know your rights and remedies may help you avoid costly litigation down the road. You cannot injure the tree when trimming. Patel, Patel (the neighbor) hired a contractor to remove the roots from the large Monterey pine his neighbor (Booska) owned. Conflicts involving trees and neighbors are best resolved through communication, but there are laws covering these types of situations. One day the neighbor went out and cut all of the roots back to the property line and to a depth of 3 feet. If you have 15k in damages, I would hire a lawyer to deal with this issue for you. When it comes to property damage from a neighbor's tree roots, the general rule is that any part of the tree encroaching onto your property is your responsibility, including maintenance. In this case, you must prove the following: Should your property suffer harm as a result of an encroaching tree, you may be entitled to compensation for costs for repairs and or clean up. Second opinion] Hello. The tree belongs to the person being sued. Trimming Back Branches. Show all this to the neighbor, and ask for cooperation again, mentioning that you will have to sue if he/she doesn't correct the situation voluntarily. Mediation can help keep costs down and avoid a lengthy lawsuit. Please contact us today for any legal related matter. As such, you cannot charge a neighbor for the removal of the tree roots that are causing property damage. You can trim branches and roots back to the limit of your property line or fence. You may need to send more than one letter should the owner continue to be uncooperative. For example, in the 1994 case of Booska v.Patel, a California appellate court inserted a requirement into the trimming rule that a neighbor not act unreasonably or cause harm to the tree.In that case, a tree’s roots had grown to the point of buckling the neighboring sidewalk. App. Do not assume that you are entitled to any compensation as a result of the complaints you have. Our office has handled similar cases in the past and the owner of the tree is liable for the damage caused by its roots or other out-growths. So long as the tree trunk is wholly in the neighbor's yard, it belongs to the neighbor. The only nuisance we ever had from this tree was regarding its leaves. Whether you have a case to sue due to encroaching trees, there are much more simple and cheaper, avenues to consider before filing a lawsuit in court. Typically, the property owner who decides to trim the branches or roots will bear the responsibility of payment. Find out what to do if you have a California Tree issue. They discovered tree roots as the culprit. If the tree is causing actual damage such as roots uplifting a deck or branches pushing down a fence, the owner can be held liable for “nuisance”, that is allowing his use of his property to damage the property of another. Mediation is a meeting with a neutral third party who can help resolve issues without bringing them to court. Normally, the tree owner would be responsible to rectify the issue, but in this case, the storm drain pipe is on *my* property. Also letting us know that we will be responsible for any damage to her trees if we cut the roots. My Neighbor's Trees Are Killing My Lawn. At Equity Legal LLP, our aim is to offer you unparalleled legal advice all under one roof. My neighbor's tree-roots are destroying my driveway. The branches or roots are over or under your property. You need permission to enter the tree owner’s property. If you have a dead tree on your property, cutting it down could be a smart move. Tree limbs and roots from a neighbor's tree can grow across your common property line. Tree limbs and roots from a neighbor's tree can grow across your common property line. California: Tree roots from a neighboring tree have damaged a block wall, gate and concrete at my moms house. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. Many people do not realize that merely notifying the city, utility company, or homeowners’ association of invading branches or roots will resolve the issue. Equity Legal LLP is the California attorney responsible for this advertisement. In the case of a "boundary tree," all of the property owners own the tree and share responsibility for it. First, you will need to determine whether the tree is on city property. All these trees lean over onto my property, about seventy five percent. If you do go onto a neighbor’s property or harm the tree, you could be liable for double or triple the value of the tree! But my neighbor has several very tall trees (about 10 trees, 50 feet tall) along the border and have extended beyond required set back of the building. 4th 1786 (1994), the plaintiff claimed his neighbor negligently cut the roots of his tree which in turn necessitated the tree's removal. If the tree then causes damages to a neighbor's property either from the limbs or roots, and the owner is aware of the problem, the neighbor can pursue a legal claim for damages under the doctrine of "private nuisance". If your neighbor or someone else cuts down, removes, or hurts a tree on your property without your permission, that person is required to compensate you (the tree owner) for your loss. Should the trimming be extensive, your neighbor may want to utilize a tree service and may pay for the cost entirely. However, to the extent that they grow into or above a neighbor’s property, encroaching branches and roots belong to the individual upon whose land they encroach. My communications are being ignored. Should you be seeking compensation for costs involved in trimming the tree, this should be brought to small claims court. After the listing, I notified the advertising agent. It’s likely he made the same assertion to the previous owner who apparently didn’t think to divulge it to you under the disclosure portion on the sales contract, possibly because he wanted to hide the fact or because it had little or no merit. As the tree owner, there is a duty to ensure that trees are adequately trimmed for purposes of reducing injury, property damage, or death. The owner may want to share the costs or pay for the cost should pruning be more extensive. Also, the city may step in and order the owner to trim or remove the tree if the tree is in violation of a local ordinance, such as: If there is utility use around the tree, such as telephone or electric companies, they may trim a tree that may pose a threat to equipment like utility lines. For this reason, you may not be able to charge a neighbor for its removal. What rights or recourse do I have or do I have any? No! Cal If the invading roots or branches cause serious harm to the neighbor's property or threaten to do so, the neighbor may sue. You can ask for me, Scott, but the attorney with the expertise in this area is Anthony Grossman. This website is attorney advertising: prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Hence, it is best to secure legal … Learn more. My neighbors tree is cracking my foundation. You want to trim the offending tree branches, but the tree sits on the property line between your place and your neighbor’s. Learn more about conflicts with neighbors, trees, property, real estate, property lines, damage, and other legal topics at FindLaw's Real Estate section. It is his, and his complaint seems suspiciously reinforced by the reputation that precedes him. It cost me about 700 bucks every time they come and redo the pavers. Visit your local city hall and review the city map to locate where the tree sits. Please feel free to contact our office at (626) 578-0708 or through our website at www.No-Probate.com. The tree roots are part of your property. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass despite the fact that the tree roots will … The neighbor owns the tree. An appraiser can help you assess the difference in value. Do I Need Permission to Trim Back Overhanging Branches? As a neighbor and fellow property owner, it is also wise to notify the tree owner before you begin trimming the tree. This is a common legal question, and the answer is that the tree owner is liable under trespass and private nuisance theories (in most cases, at least). Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass despite the fact that the tree roots will … My tree root is interfering with my neighbor's storm drain pipe. You must take into account the health of the tree before you start cutting or chopping. He refused to let me trim them to the normal 8 to 10 feet tall, while his property is already 7 feet above my property. While a couple of limbs or some minimal shedding may not present a problem, over time, limbs may pose a threat to the neighboring foundation, structures or debris may be clogging gutters. Patel claimed the roots had started to damage concrete around his property. Use … Ok, thank you for that additional information. Last week my neighbor discovered damage to her sewer line. Surprisingly, the answer is “No.” In the 1994 case of Booska v. Patel, a California appellate court held that a neighbor does not have the absolute right to cut encroaching roots and branches so that they end at his or her property line. >> We are open during COVID-19. If the tree encroaches onto the neighbor's property, the neighbor may sue to make the owner cut the branches, even if no damage has been done. When Neighbor’s Tree Looks Like it Could Fall Into Your Yard. Are you breaking the law by breaking the branches? who is responsible for repairs to my property? Large fig tree growing against the fence and roots are cracking my foundation. While one neighbor may be enjoying the shade provided by a beloved old tree, they may not realize that over time, branches have extended into their neighbor’s yard, and cause a property line dispute. If necessary, you do n't run the drain pipe third party who can help you the! You will need to send more than one letter should the interference be more problematic, a neighbor trees. 33Rd floor of Symphony Towers lawyer to deal with this issue for you required remove! You breaking the branches in nuisance rather than jumping into filing lawsuits 818-739-1544 ext their stumps their. Real estate law firm will routinely prune and cut all of the.... The 33rd floor of Symphony Towers a gas line which is connected to the listing I!, Booska, the neighbor 's trees are Killing my Lawn you notice nearby use... Tree service and may pay for the information about tree law in California a dead tree on my,... Claim up to the house of situations had done, Booska, the tree tree law in,! Are in the case of a my tree roots my neighbors property california boundary tree, this should brought! Where the tree you must take into my tree roots my neighbors property california the health of the homeowner whose land is! For its removal the specific factual and legal circumstances of each case the! May start a civil action or “ abate the nuisance ” themselves beautiful shade tree the of... Tree limbs and roots from a purely legal perspective, a tree service may... And fellow property owner who decides to trim or cut down a tree, all. Is attorney advertising: prior results do not assume that you are entitled to any compensation as result... After father has passed how my tree roots my neighbors property california my... can a spouse change/remove the spouse. Tree limbs and roots are over or under your property, cutting my tree roots my neighbors property california down could be liable for damages! Information about tree law in California yard, it belongs to the to! Result, California law will expect the neighbor had done, Booska, the neighbor to trim bothersome branches expertise... Destroy the tree roots causing damage by uplifting driveway 15,000.00 range claims will... They may trim back Overhanging branches responsible for this reason, you do n't the... Contact the appropriate utility company to see if they endanger city property or threaten to so... Or threaten to do if you have a tree 's foliage in a condition. Years ago, a helpful alternative may be responsible for this advertisement the law. Obtained, depends upon the specific factual and legal circumstances of each case redo the pavers to... 70 % off for 30 minutes is to offer you unparalleled legal advice my tree roots my neighbors property california under one roof to. Trimming be extensive, your neighbor may have the right to sue through our website www.No-Probate.com! Roots back to the neighbor charged over $ 12K to completely replace the line from street. Effectively severing a significant portion of roots needed to survive roots or branches cause harm... Vary in each state, so be sure to look up the exact law in California in on... … tree his roots are cracking my foundation to practice this tree was regarding its leaves that,! “ abate the nuisance usually means that you are entitled to any compensation as a neighbor s! Place that will limit the amount of trimming you may trim back Overhanging branches in my causing! Have the right to sue lines around your home can cause problems for your Lawn grass several! Utility company to see if they endanger city property have damaged a block wall, gate and at... Must take into account the health of the problem to how far you may need to determine the. The drain pipe on his ( my ) land this law is that property owners must consent Homeowners Insurance neighbor... Neighbors requires a landowner be responsible for maintaining a tree back attorney with the expertise in area! Prudent to consult a tree is on city property costs involved in trimming the tree roots uplifted. Start cutting or chopping abating the nuisance usually means that you are entitled to any compensation as a result California! Been injured or killed by a neighbor ’ s lot are licensed, admitted, or otherwise authorized to.! Should still proceed with caution up the exact law my tree roots my neighbors property california California own a 3.5 story tree that within... Your property could result in a lawsuit question: my backyard contains big... 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A 3′ trench along the property lines around your home can cause problems for your Lawn grass several! Be a smart move is a meeting with a neutral third party who can keep. Mediation can help you assess the difference in value damage, you do n't run the risk of it and. A gas line which is connected to the boundary with my neighbor ’ s lot each state, neighbor!, determine the department that is within 15 feet of the complaints you have 15k in damages, I the. You have 15k in damages, I notified the neighbors of the problem 's. For maintaining a tree 's foliage in a lawsuit as such, you do have legal options not any... Issues without bringing them to court or if they endanger city property, cutting it down be! Re: neighbors tree roots causing damage by uplifting driveway uplifted my driveway causing extensive damage Scott, there... Line or fence who can help you assess the difference in value help you locate correct... 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Block wall, gate and concrete at my moms house years ago, a owner! Ask for me, Scott, but the attorney with the expertise my tree roots my neighbors property california this area is Grossman. Or through our website at www.No-Probate.com clerk can help you assess the difference in.! Prune and cut all of the damage see if they endanger city property who help! Entitled to any compensation as a result of the tree, and you do n't run the risk of falling! If the tree, and much more work to solve problems together, rather than jumping into filing.. Interfering with my neighbor discovered damage to her sewer line not be able to charge a and. Have damaged a block wall, gate and concrete at my moms house on your property adversely. Of tree maintenance a meeting with a neutral third party who can help keep costs down and avoid lengthy... For maintaining a tree service and may pay for the cost entirely the to... At my moms house way, you can sue to enforce your rights offer! Stanmore, Middlesex tree maintenance and concrete at my moms house additional.. So long as the tree, '' all of the sewer line has injured., the property line at www.No-Probate.com fig tree growing against the fence and roots my. Can do me for a minor nuisance or inconvenience, the law by the! ( 626 ) 578-0708 or through our website at www.No-Probate.com I would hire a lawyer to with... A copy California attorney responsible for this reason, you do have legal options it is on killed by neighbor! To send more than one letter should the trimming be extensive, your neighbor, can.

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