Claim compensation from the City of Sydney for property damage

We consider compensation claims for property damage where you can prove that the City of Sydney breached its duty of care and is legally liable to pay compensation.

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What you need to do

Street tree damage to private property

Review our fact sheets on trees and their effects on drains and pipes, and buildings and other structures.

Before you start

We investigate compensation claims to determine if the City of Sydney is liable for any wrongdoing or if it breached its duty of care. To be held liable it must be shown that the City of Sydney owed a duty of care, that it breached that duty and that this breach caused the incident resulting in the damage.

Liability is determined in line with legal principles, including current case law and legislation. Where applicable, the City of Sydney will rely on statutory protections under relevant legislation.

Usually legal liability will depend on several factors, including the location of the incident or ownership of a particular asset. The City of Sydney cannot accept liability for injury caused in a location outside its care and control, or by an asset it does not own or maintain.

When we investigate we will take photos, review City of Sydney records, and consult with relevant employees.

While we aim to complete our investigation within 6 weeks, several factors may impact this. For example, we may need to obtain further information from you or relevant information from internal and/or external stakeholders.

After you finish

Once we receive your compensation claim and we’ve completed our investigation, a decision will be made to accept or decline your claim based on relevant legal principles. In some circumstances, we may determine we are not the proper respondent to your claim. In this instance we may redirect you to the appropriate authority.

If we determine the City of Sydney is responsible for the property damage or loss suffered by you, we may offer compensation to you based on the evidence of loss that has been sustained. For this reason it is important to maintain relevant quotes, invoices and other documents confirming all expenses paid in response to the damage or loss suffered.

If we decide we are not responsible for your claim, we will decline your claim. If you are unhappy with the decision, you can request an internal review. Alternatively, you can contact the New South Wales Ombudsman or seek legal advice.