Home |  Contact Us |  Bookmark This Page
Need Help? Call (801) 884-9727  |  Listings Available Today   

2020-09-15
Tree Falls On Property Line: Who Pays? Who Picks Up the Pieces?

fallen tree responsibility

Who pays depends on numerous factors.

When a neighbor’s tree falls over your property line, yell TIMBER, then call your insurance company. Home owners policies cover tree damage caused by perils like wind and winter storms.

Most policies cover hauling away tree debris if the mess is associated with house damage; some will cover cleanup even if no structures were harmed.

When a Tree Falls

Your neighbor is responsible when a tree falls over your shared property line only if you can prove he was aware that his tree was a hazard and refused to remedy the problem. Regardless, your insurance company restores your property first, and later decides whether or not to pursue reimbursement from the neighbor or his insurer if the neighbor was negligent in maintaining the tree.

Before a Tree Falls

Write a letter to your neighbor before his dead, diseased or listing tree falls through your roof or over your property line.

The letter should include:

  • Description of the problem
  • Photographs
  • Request for action
  • Attorney letterhead--not necessary but indicates you mean business.

Trim Their Trees

If the limbs of a tree hang over your property line, you may trim the branches up to the property line, but not cut down the entire tree. If a tree dies after your little pruning, the neighbor can pursue a claim against you in civil or small claims court. Depending on the laws of your state, your neighbor may have to prove the damage was deliberate or caused by negligence, but may also be able to recover up to three times the value of the tree. 

Before you cut, tell your neighbors what you intend to do to protect your property. They may offer to trim the whole tree instead of risking your half-oaked job.

Your Tree Falls

It’s always a good idea to take care of your big and beautiful trees, and keep receipts for trimmings and other care. 

But if your tree falls over a neighbor’s property line, do nothing until their insurance company contacts you. You may not be liable unless you knew or should have known the tree was in a dangerous condition.  If you pruned a tree or shored up trunks to prevent problems, gather your receipts to prove your diligence.

Related:

Ann Cochran

ANN COCHRAN has written about home improvement and design trends for Washingtonian, Home Improvement, and Bethesda Magazine. 

Ann Cochranhas written about home improvement and design trends for Washingtonian, Home Improvement, and Bethesda Magazine. 

 Subscribe to RSS Feed
Welcome to our Blog!
2020-09-15
Tree Falls On Property Line: Who Pays? Who Picks Up the Pieces?

2020-08-24
17 Things to Never, Ever, EVER Do to Your House

2020-06-01
How to Get Stains & Grease Off Walls

2020-04-24
Planning to Buy? Got a Plan for What Comes After?

2020-01-24
5 Clever Closet Conversions

2019-11-24
5 Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them

2019-09-11
The Property Tax Appeal Process Explained

2019-08-24
Do’s and Don’ts of Flooring

2019-06-25
Everything You Need to Know About the Pre-Approval Process

2019-05-24
Super-Busy People Reveal Their Habits for a Tranquil Home

2019-04-25
Spring is here and this seasonal home maintenance checklist will keep your house in top shape

2019-03-19
4 Danger You Face If You Don't Back Up Your Income Tax Documents

2019-02-25
How to Get Your Home Show Ready

2019-01-22
Buy Your First Home in One Year: A Step-by-Step Guide

2018-12-10
Home Owner Tales of Holidays Gone Horribly Wrong

2018-11-24
10 DIY Home Insulation Projects You Can Do in 15 Minutes

2018-10-23
4 Trends That Predict the Home of Tomorrow

2018-09-25
Natural Disasters Can Be Pricey. And It’s Only Getting Worse

2018-08-25
Don't Buy a Closet Organizer. Try These Ideas Instead:

2018-07-24
How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

2018-06-13
11 Things You'll Wish You Hadn't Moved

2018-03-07
14 Garage Organization Ideas Under $50

2018-01-18
Cancel Your Private Mortgage Insurance

2017-12-11
Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers

2017-11-14
Find the Home Loan that Fits Your Needs

Click here to see ALL articles.




Comment on this Article

Your Name:
Your Email:
Comments:
Verify:  Please enter the numbers shown to help eliminate spam.