Planting and garden shed: what the law says

Planting and garden shed: what the law says

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Tree Laws, the garden shelter, the flowering of your balcony ; even in your garden, the laws are everywhere.

Whether on:

  • planting distances
  • maintenance at the property line
  • the layout of your balcony
  • the installation of a garden shed or the use of your motorized tools in the evening or on weekends,

you have to follow a number of regulations if you want to stay on good terms with your neighbor.

Planting distance, what the law says

When you plant a tree or shrub in propriety limit, the rule is simple:

  • For a subject less than or equal to 2 meters: minimum planting 0.5 meters from the limit.
  • For a subject greater than 2 meters: minimum planting 2 meters from the limit.

Height is measured from the ground to the top of the tree. The distance is measured from the middle of the trunk to the property line.

In the event of non-compliance with these obligations (by you or your neighbor), it may be required that the trees or shrubs concerned be uprooted or reduced to the height imposed by law.

However, if the subject is over 30 years old, the previously stated rules no longer apply: there is a limitation period.

The property line rules

Who is responsible for maintaining the property line?

Whether for pruning or just pruning, two scenarios are possible depending on the layout of your garden.

  • The plantation is semi-detached

At this point, each takes care of their half of the plantation starting from their property line.

  • The plants belong to your neighbor

If branches belonging to a tree or shrub of your neighbor protrude on your property, it is up to him (and him alone) to cut them.
Regarding the roots, you can cut them freely starting from your property line. Be careful, however, not to affect the good health of the plant.

Picking fruits or flowers:

As with maintenance, there are two possibilities.

  • The plantation is semi-detached

You can pick the fruits or flowers on your half of the plantation.

  • The plants belong to your neighbor

In this case, you can only pick up fruits (or flowers) that have fallen on your land. You are prohibited from picking them directly from the tree or shrub.

The laws governing the principle of joint ownership and the maintenance of hedges are contained in Articles 653 to 673 of the Civil Code.

Rules to follow on a balcony

If you want hang planters on your balconyor your windows to decorate them, know that there are a few rules to follow:

  • Check that there is no municipal by-law or co-ownership by-law that does not prohibit you.
  • Be sure to secure what you are installing. Indeed, in the event of an object falling (planter, flowerpot, etc.) you can be held responsible for the damage caused (injured person, damaged car, etc.).
  • Note: Your home or liability insurance generally covers this kind of situation.

The laws governing these cases can be found in the Civil Code in articles 1240 to 1244.

Gardening on Sundays and public holidays

On this point, the regulations are set by your municipality by municipal decree. This can be consulted at the town hall. Some of them also make it available on their website.

Note that if you live in a condominium, a regulation can also manage the exterior work hours.

  • To read: Mowing on Sunday, what the law says

Garden shed and regulations

If you want to install a garden shed, you will have to pay attention to several conditions:

  • Is your home in a protected area? (proximity to a historic monument, a remarkable heritage site, etc.)
  • What is the height and area of ​​your shelter?

General case :

For a floor area less than or equal to 5 m², no authorization is necessary if the height of the shelter does not exceed 12 meters. Beyond that, a simple prior declaration of work is sufficient. The same applies if the surface is between 5 m² and 20 m² and the height less than 12 meters. Above 12 meters a building permit is required.
Finally, regardless of the height of the shelter, if it has an area greater than 20 m², then a building permit is required.

Situation in a protected area:

If your home is in a protected area, two scenarios are possible:

  • make a prior declaration of work for shelters with a height of less than 12 meters and a surface area of ​​no more than 20 m²;
  • building permit application for all other cases.

For more information on garden sheds, visit the public service website.

  • To read: Regulations and laws on garden sheds

Christophe Dutertre

Note: this article is not intended to replace legal text. It is therefore not exhaustive. The goal is to give you some "basics" on the main rules to follow. In any case, if you have any doubts, refer to the official texts or ask for advice from the town hall.

© Ralf Liebhold

Video: Shed Wars: Preparing And Planting Raised Beds From Scratch (May 2022).