Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

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dm200
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Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by dm200 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:43 am

We have two older Silver Maple trees on our property right next to neighbor's line and about 15 feet from their house. Earler today (according to my wife) a branch from our tree was blown off and did some damage to the neighbor's roof/house/ Not sure of the extent. According to my wife, the neighbor thinks we should pay for the damage (or, perhaps our insurance). Unfortunately (for this situation), my insurance agent says OUR insurance does not cover this at all. The "applicable" insurance for any claim is THEIRS.

While (to a limited degree) PERHAPS it might be construed that we could have (or should have) done things to trim back our tree, nonetheless if you have tall trees, branches blow down/off.

We seem to be in a conflicted financial and/or neigbor relations "complexity".

Ideas? Suggestions??

Rainmaker41
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Rainmaker41 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:48 am

I'm not familiar with laws, but I would expect that, if your tree 'should' have been trimmed better, you are liable for the damage it causes. The idea being, if you choose to keep a tree on your property, you accept the risk that it might result in you owing damages to a neighbor. The tree gives you utility, but it falling on the neighbor's house takes away their utility. Why should they be liable for something over which they had no control?

The weather might be the proximate cause, but the tree itself was required to be there for anything to happen.

Source: A storm blew over a tree on my parents' property that broke a dividing wall along their property line and the neighbors. My parents had to pay the costs of repairing the wall. Although the wall was jointly owned, the tree was my parents', not the neighbors'.
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Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:50 am

Normally, it is the responsibility the insurance of where the tree fell to do the repairs. If you took normal maintenance actions (which could be none), to maintain the tree while it was standing, you aren't responsible for how it fell. (or parts of it fell).

where this can change is if the tree was obviously diseased and had problems and they approached you about it repeatedly, which could create liability on your part if you didn't take action. of course if you had a certified arborist say that there wasn't any issue after it was brought up, then you would have shifted the liability away from yourself.

its part of being a home owner, its the neighbors responsibility.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by flyingbison » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:55 am

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:Normally, it is the responsibility the insurance of where the tree fell to do the repairs. If you took normal maintenance actions (which could be none), to maintain the tree while it was standing, you aren't responsible for how it fell. (or parts of it fell).

where this can change is if the tree was obviously diseased and had problems and they approached you about it repeatedly, which could create liability on your part if you didn't take action. of course if you had a certified arborist say that there wasn't any issue after it was brought up, then you would have shifted the liability away from yourself.

its part of being a home owner, its the neighbors responsibility.
^^This^^ Your neighbor's insurance would cover damage to his/her house. If you wanted to be generous and neighborly, you could offer to pay half the deductible, but that's above and beyond what I would expect someone to do.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Sheepdog » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:04 pm

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:Normally, it is the responsibility the insurance of where the tree fell to do the repairs. If you took normal maintenance actions (which could be none), to maintain the tree while it was standing, you aren't responsible for how it fell. (or parts of it fell).

where this can change is if the tree was obviously diseased and had problems and they approached you about it repeatedly, which could create liability on your part if you didn't take action. of course if you had a certified arborist say that there wasn't any issue after it was brought up, then you would have shifted the liability away from yourself.

its part of being a home owner, its the neighbors responsibility.
I agree with this as I have had discussions with a lawyer and insurance company about this issue. A tree falls from my property to my neighbor's house, I am not responsible unless it is proven that the tree was in poor condition and I had not removed it and vice versa.

From the Washington Post was this article "Who's responsible when a tree falls" where it is written, https://www.washingtonpost.com/realesta ... story.html
The general rule is that unless the neighbor knew or should have known that his tree was unsafe, he is not responsible even if it hurt you or your family member or damaged your property. Our courts follow the old common law: It’s your property, so take care of it, unless you can prove your neighbor was negligent.
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2retire
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by 2retire » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:10 pm

Surprisingly, it is your neighbor's responsibility. This link may help with the various scenarios.

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/my- ... o-pays.htm

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by user5027 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:15 pm

20 or 25 years ago we had a tree fall on our neighbor's car. It was a huge tree and our house shook when it came down during a strong windstorm. I ran outside to see what happen and saw the tree over the neighbor's driveway. With no car in sight, I was thinking, "Isn't my neighbor going to be surprised when they get home." Just then their front door opened and I then noticed their car tail lights under the tree. :oops:

His auto insurance paid less the deductible of course. We invoked a "good neighbor" provision in our homeowners to cover his deductible.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:19 pm

We had a neighbor's tree fall and do some damage to one of our trees. The neighbor (N1) is a lawyer. He wasted no time in telling us that he bore no responsibility.

A tree that we share with another neighbor (N2) (trunk is 50/50) fell and damaged another neighbor's (N3) property. I'm not a lawyer, but I like being a good neighbor, so rather than taking the position that we had no culpability, I suggested that split 3 ways, it would be relatively painless for each of us. Interestingly, N3 is a lawyer, but she did not rush to tell me that I was not liable :D Luckily for N3, this happened before N2 sold the house to a couple, both lawyers, because I think my neighborly act would have been vetoed by the new neighbors. My sister, a lawyer, told me that I would have enjoyed law school but would have hated being a lawyer. I think she might have been right.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:20 pm

It depends on local law in your State, the types of insurance policy you each have, and the exact language of those insurance policies.

If you were negligent or careless then you are probably liable and your liability insurance might cover the neighbor's loss.

If not, then your neighbor's homeowners insurance probably covers.

As mentioned it might be neighborly to offer to cover half of the neighbor's deductible.
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Peter Foley » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:26 pm

I researched this a couple year's ago because my neighbor had a big tree that overhung our house. The conclusion that I came to was that I would be responsible for repairing any damage it might cause unless I provided notice in writing to my neighbor about the potential hazard and my concerns. I did not do so.

He was having tree trimming done this year and I asked him to remove the tree and he did. The tree was of no value to him. Unless one knew where the property lines were one would have assumed the tree was on my property. We assumed that before we had a survey of our property done. We were fortunate nothing happened in the interim and that we have a good relationship with our neighbor. (I volunteered to pick up part of the cost and I did so.)

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goingup
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by goingup » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:30 pm

Generally speaking it is the neighbor's responsibility. I found this book helpful http://store.nolo.com/products/neighbor-law-nei.html
NOLO Neighbor Law. It was available in our local library.

We have 100 ft Doug Firs on our property so we have dealt with this and our neighbors. I like the suggestion to share the deductible with your neighbor, as a goodwill gesture.

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Dogbreath650
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Dogbreath650 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:58 pm

If your neighbor is adamant about getting you to pay I would show him several of the above mentioned references. If he still thinks you should pay I would offer to pay half the deductible, in the interest of maintaining neighborly relations going forward - it's hard putting a cost on poor future relations with a neighbor...

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Swansea » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:23 pm

Silver Maples can split and their root systems can invade underground pipes. I had one where a large branch damaged my roof. It is not a tree I would desire.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by tomd37 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:34 pm

Along the lines of this subject, my home backs and sides up to common area owned and maintained by the homeowners association. There are several trees on their property to the side of my home from which branches overhang my roof. I just finished some tree work on my trees and part of that work was to remove any branches in common area trees that overhang my property line and home. I have full right to do so and they have agreed with me in the past.

Several years ago there was a dead tree on their property in the back from which a large branch fell into my yard. I had it removed at my cost and sought reimbursement from the HOA. They denied it saying they were not aware of the tree's bad condition. I asked my tree man to come out and evaluate the remaining part of the tree. As an arborist he provided me with a letter stating the tree was dead and I used that letter to send to the HOA letting them know they were responsible for any future cleanup if and when the tree fell onto my property. Fortunately the tree has fallen in the opposite direction this time and remains in the woods.
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Wakefield1 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:39 pm

Lots and lots of hazard trees and widowmakers in my neighborhood
I think the local laws support having and keeping trees and tend to remove the onus from the tree owner when the tree falls on someone else' property-but if the other property owner can prove that he came to you with a professional opinion that the tree was dangerous or getting ready to come down,asking you to have it removed or remediated and you didn't do anything then he might have grounds for making you pay for damage it did when it fell later or dropped a big limb

if you can see something dangerous about a tree on another property from yours you might be able to get a County Arborist or Forester to come look at it and possibly write up a complaint
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by dm200 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:40 pm

Dogbreath650 wrote:If your neighbor is adamant about getting you to pay I would show him several of the above mentioned references. If he still thinks you should pay I would offer to pay half the deductible, in the interest of maintaining neighborly relations going forward - it's hard putting a cost on poor future relations with a neighbor...
I believe this is (and will be) a neighbor "relationship" matter. Earlier this year, he raised some legitimate concerns about some overhanging branches from these two trees and, in response, we did have the tree(s) trimmed to address his legitimate concerns. He is actually more "attentive" to maintaining his yard, lawn, shrubs, property than I am.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by dm200 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:47 pm

Swansea wrote:Silver Maples can split and their root systems can invade underground pipes. I had one where a large branch damaged my roof. It is not a tree I would desire.
This is an old tree. Over the years, we had them trimmed several times (not cheap!) There were three of them when we bought the house 35+ years ago. Silver maples are awful, in many ways. They tend to split and break apart. The seeds are annoying and they do not have nice foliage in the fall. BUT - we figured that these were better than nothing or starting with better trees. A few years ago, one was hollow and fell in a windstorm. With 35+ years of 20/20 HINDSIGHT, I now wish we would have had them taken out and planted more desirable trees there.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:58 pm

dm200 wrote:
Dogbreath650 wrote:If your neighbor is adamant about getting you to pay I would show him several of the above mentioned references. If he still thinks you should pay I would offer to pay half the deductible, in the interest of maintaining neighborly relations going forward - it's hard putting a cost on poor future relations with a neighbor...
I believe this is (and will be) a neighbor "relationship" matter. Earlier this year, he raised some legitimate concerns about some overhanging branches from these two trees and, in response, we did have the tree(s) trimmed to address his legitimate concerns. He is actually more "attentive" to maintaining his yard, lawn, shrubs, property than I am.
This does seem to be a neighbor relationship issue primarily.
dm200 wrote:
Swansea wrote:Silver Maples can split and their root systems can invade underground pipes. I had one where a large branch damaged my roof. It is not a tree I would desire.
This is an old tree. Over the years, we had them trimmed several times (not cheap!) There were three of them when we bought the house 35+ years ago. Silver maples are awful, in many ways. They tend to split and break apart. The seeds are annoying and they do not have nice foliage in the fall. BUT - we figured that these were better than nothing or starting with better trees. A few years ago, one was hollow and fell in a windstorm. With 35+ years of 20/20 HINDSIGHT, I now wish we would have had them taken out and planted more desirable trees there.
It seems to me you might skip more trimming, remove the soft maple, and now opt for a hard maple, oak, or the like, whatever is native to your area.

That is easy for me to say :) , it's not my money.
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Trev H » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:37 pm

This conversation makes me really appreciate country life...

My house is in the middle of a 30 acre tract of land.

I can't even see my neighbors house in the summer time.. but in the winter (when leaves are off) I can sort of make out his roofline way across the hollow there...

You City folks live way to close to each other.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by likegarden » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:55 pm

We had a tree on our property with its branches touching my house's roof and the neighbor's garage roof, so I had the tree removed and we sleep better, no longer have to worry about possible damage.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:26 pm

Same thing has happened twice to me in the past 11 years with a neighbor--but I was the lucky recipient. My insurance agent told me the same thing yours told you.

My neighbor did apologize, cut and remove the trees and limbs from my property, and advised that he would cut any remaining trees of his that I felt were a threat if I would just tell him my concerns. Seemed fair--kinda, sorta.

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dm200
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by dm200 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:34 pm

remove the soft maple, and now opt for a hard maple
I have not heard that "hard" and "soft" distinction or terminology for different maple trees since I would hear my late father use those terms (having grown up on a farm in the Northeast) many, many, many decades ago! :)

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by boglephreak » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:18 pm

......
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tim1999
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by tim1999 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:58 pm

Silver maples? Cut them down. Weak wood, constantly spewing branches and twigs compared to other trees. Carpenter ants seem to like them.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by afan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:55 pm

The consensus of the thread seems to be that it is the neighbor's problem. Just to note that volunteering to cover the deductible or some share of it could be a lot of money.

We carry a very high deductible on our house. We have never had a claim and reviewing our coverage we found that we were paying a lot for a lower deductible. Since you are talking about damage to the house, not just the cost of clearing the branch or trimming the tree, keep in mind you could be taking on many thousands of dollars if you do not know how high the deductible is.
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by goingup » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:01 pm

afan wrote:The consensus of the thread seems to be that it is the neighbor's problem. Just to note that volunteering to cover the deductible or some share of it could be a lot of money.

We carry a very high deductible on our house. We have never had a claim and reviewing our coverage we found that we were paying a lot for a lower deductible. Since you are talking about damage to the house, not just the cost of clearing the branch or trimming the tree, keep in mind you could be taking on many thousands of dollars if you do not know how high the deductible is.
That's a good point! I forgot our home here has a $4,000+ deductible. Best to find out what sharing the cost of the deductible means.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by patngordo » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:14 pm

We did that one. A microburst knocked our big old pecan tree over on a nest of lawyers next door. Their insurance covered it, then sued us, and got some back from our insurance (the liability part of out homeowner's policy)

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:18 pm

It is your neighbors responsibility and not yours from everything I've seen and read UNLESS you were somehow negligent. IF the branch fell because you allowed a dead tree to remain standing then you might be able to be held liable. But in this case, if it was just an act-of-nature (wind) then you are not at fault.
Tell your neighbor politely that they need to file a claim with their insurance. If you want to be a nice neighbor - tell them that although you know it is not your responsibility and that you know you are not at fault you might be willing to help them pay their insurance deductible if they have trouble doing so.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:38 pm

Swansea wrote:Silver Maples can split and their root systems can invade underground pipes. I had one where a large branch damaged my roof. It is not a tree I would desire.
+1

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by mhalley » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:26 pm

Maybe a little off topic, but I have heard several experts talk about not filing homeowners insurance claims unless it is for big bucks, due to the insurance company tendency to raise rates and/or cancel. So the neighbor might be reluctant to file a claim.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:32 pm

mhalley wrote:Maybe a little off topic, but I have heard several experts talk about not filing homeowners insurance claims unless it is for big bucks, due to the insurance company tendency to raise rates and/or cancel. So the neighbor might be reluctant to file a claim.
That is a valid concern--for the neighbor, not for the OP.

I found myself faced with that dilemma a few times. What I learned: don't expect much guidance at all from your insurance agent.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by gks » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:48 pm

dm200,

I read this thread yesterday, and just browsed through it. From what I can see is that there are a lot of pseudo-lawyers and apologists posting responses. You have talked to your insurance agent and the agent told you of your liability. Have your neighbor contact his insurance and if in doubt, his insurance can contact your insurance. You pay for insurance and this is the type of incident for which your insurance agent is paid. This is why you have insurance. It is not your problem, it is the insurance company('s).

Greg

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:18 am

dm200 wrote:I believe this is (and will be) a neighbor "relationship" matter. Earlier this year, he raised some legitimate concerns about some overhanging branches from these two trees and, in response, we did have the tree(s) trimmed to address his legitimate concerns. He is actually more "attentive" to maintaining his yard, lawn, shrubs, property than I am.
Our neighbors on both sides have paid for trimming that they wanted done on our trees that had branches overhanging their property. I have never seen it as my responsibility to pay for trimming that they wanted and neither did they (at least they never made any suggestion that we should pay). I gave them permission to have the trimmers come on our property to do the trimming.

In our case the trees were there long before our house was built, maybe I'd think differently had we planted them.

IMO, your neighbors are being jerks. You already have paid to trim the trees at their request. I don't think you are responsible in any way for a healthy tree losing a branch in a storm. Your neighbor presumably has homeowners insurance with a deductible that they felt was acceptable to them, they knew of the existence of the trees (as well as all other potential perils that might result in paying the deductible) when they chose their deductible.
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by alpenglow » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:48 am

As a couple of people have commented, Silver Maples are often trouble. They are touted as quick growing shade trees, however, they are weak wooded and notorious for falling apart in storms. I'd seriously consider removal.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:17 pm

dm200 wrote:We have two older Silver Maple trees on our property right next to neighbor's line and about 15 feet from their house. Earler today (according to my wife) a branch from our tree was blown off and did some damage to the neighbor's roof/house/ Not sure of the extent. According to my wife, the neighbor thinks we should pay for the damage (or, perhaps our insurance). Unfortunately (for this situation), my insurance agent says OUR insurance does not cover this at all. The "applicable" insurance for any claim is THEIRS.

While (to a limited degree) PERHAPS it might be construed that we could have (or should have) done things to trim back our tree, nonetheless if you have tall trees, branches blow down/off.

We seem to be in a conflicted financial and/or neigbor relations "complexity".

Ideas? Suggestions??
I've had this experience from both sides of the "fence" with commercial and residential properties in various states.
In general, depending on local code and laws, property owners are responsible for anything that overhangs beyond the property line vertically to the moon. IE: if a neighbor has a thorny bush and it overhangs over your children's play area, you can legally trim that bush straight up from your property line to the moon without asking or consequence. The gray area is if it kills the bush, and so forth. If your tree is solely on your property and a storm comes up and a branch is lofted by strong winds onto your neighbors roof or car, then that is technically an "act of God", so no liablity there.
But, nothing nowadays prevents anyone from filing suit for damages for anything. Tricky. Very tricky.
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by afan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:42 pm

Along the lines of avoiding filing claims to escape price increases on homeowners insurance, we carry a much higher deductible than the figure cited above. We view it as coverage for some catastrophic loss, a major fire or something similar. For anything less, we will just pay for it. That leaves a lot at risk but saves a fortune on premiums.

I assume your insurance will cover it if your neighbors sue you for the damage. If so, then the insurance company will select and pay the lawyer. If the advice on here is correct and you are not responsible, then all you may need is a communication from your lawyer to the neighbors' lawyer pointing out that it is not your problem.
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by tennisplyr » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:46 pm

Had this happen several times to me, technically it is your neighbors responsibility. If you really, really get along with him, maybe you want to pay entirely or partly.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by mhalley » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:48 pm

My point is that the neighbor might be looking at paying for the whole bill, not just a deductable, which gives him more incentive to try to get the OP to pay.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:37 pm

mhalley wrote:My point is that the neighbor might be looking at paying for the whole bill, not just a deductable, which gives him more incentive to try to get the OP to pay.
It does give him that incentive.

When it happened to me, it gave me the incentive to re-examine the deductible amount on my homeowner's policy. After lengthy consideration, I left it where I had it.

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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:54 pm

IMO, that's another reason why the OP has no responsibility to pay anything, the OP had nothing to do with the neighbor's choice of deductible. Neighbor should've chosen $0 deductible, if neighbor wanted to pay $0.
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Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Toons » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:55 pm

Your tree?
Pay for some of it
:happy
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Beth*
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:57 am

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Beth* » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:15 pm

This happened to us a few years ago: a branch from our tree fell on our neighbor's roof during a snow storm and caused damage. Our neighbor's insurance company paid for all the repairs. We weren't legally liable because it was a healthy tree and their was no negligence on our part.

edge
Posts: 3320
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Great Falls VA

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by edge » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:20 pm

This is wrong and the example is not applicable due to joint ownership.
Rainmaker41 wrote:I'm not familiar with laws, but I would expect that, if your tree 'should' have been trimmed better, you are liable for the damage it causes. The idea being, if you choose to keep a tree on your property, you accept the risk that it might result in you owing damages to a neighbor. The tree gives you utility, but it falling on the neighbor's house takes away their utility. Why should they be liable for something over which they had no control?

The weather might be the proximate cause, but the tree itself was required to be there for anything to happen.

Source: A storm blew over a tree on my parents' property that broke a dividing wall along their property line and the neighbors. My parents had to pay the costs of repairing the wall. Although the wall was jointly owned, the tree was my parents', not the neighbors'.

TOJ
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:19 pm

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by TOJ » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:12 am

The OP should pay 100% of all damage. I am amazed this is even in question.

Having a too-large tree or a tree too-near the neighbors is negligent. Trees should never be allowed to hang over neighbor's property nor be allowed to get so big they'd fall on any house.

TOJ
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:19 pm

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by TOJ » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:20 am

jeffyscott wrote:IMO, that's another reason why the OP has no responsibility to pay anything, the OP had nothing to do with the neighbor's choice of deductible. Neighbor should've chosen $0 deductible, if neighbor wanted to pay $0.
Did the neighbor ask the OP to plant a large tree 15' from his house?

TOJ
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:19 pm

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by TOJ » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:27 am

mhalley wrote:Maybe a little off topic, but I have heard several experts talk about not filing homeowners insurance claims unless it is for big bucks, due to the insurance company tendency to raise rates and/or cancel. So the neighbor might be reluctant to file a claim.
Why should the neighbor have to pay a deductible and a premium increase for a tree he did not plant?

What's next, OP is going to shoot fireworks at neighbor's house, burn it down, and blame the neighbor for putting the house too close to the fireworks launching pad.

Nate79
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by Nate79 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:20 am

TOJ wrote:The OP should pay 100% of all damage. I am amazed this is even in question.

Having a too-large tree or a tree too-near the neighbors is negligent. Trees should never be allowed to hang over neighbor's property nor be allowed to get so big they'd fall on any house.
This is incorrect. OP is not responsible unless negligent. Insurance of the damaged property should pay.

edge
Posts: 3320
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Great Falls VA

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by edge » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:46 am

This interpretation is completely incorrect. Having trees within falling distance of houses is not 'negligent' by any real definition.

There are plenty of restrictions related to fireworks however.
TOJ wrote:
mhalley wrote:Maybe a little off topic, but I have heard several experts talk about not filing homeowners insurance claims unless it is for big bucks, due to the insurance company tendency to raise rates and/or cancel. So the neighbor might be reluctant to file a claim.
Why should the neighbor have to pay a deductible and a premium increase for a tree he did not plant?

What's next, OP is going to shoot fireworks at neighbor's house, burn it down, and blame the neighbor for putting the house too close to the fireworks launching pad.

kenner
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:45 am

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by kenner » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:27 am

dm200 wrote:We have two older Silver Maple trees on our property right next to neighbor's line and about 15 feet from their house. Earler today (according to my wife) a branch from our tree was blown off and did some damage to the neighbor's roof/house/ Not sure of the extent. According to my wife, the neighbor thinks we should pay for the damage (or, perhaps our insurance). Unfortunately (for this situation), my insurance agent says OUR insurance does not cover this at all. The "applicable" insurance for any claim is THEIRS.

While (to a limited degree) PERHAPS it might be construed that we could have (or should have) done things to trim back our tree, nonetheless if you have tall trees, branches blow down/off.

We seem to be in a conflicted financial and/or neigbor relations "complexity".

Ideas? Suggestions??
Ultimately, outcome will depend on applicable state and local law, combined with all material facts. Check Nolo.com for some guidance (search "tree fell on neighbor's garage: who pays?").

The best way to proceed may be for both you and neighbor to report the incident to respective insurance companies. The companies may agree on who pays.

Of course, you cannot necessarily control what neighbor does.

denovo
Posts: 4310
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

Post by denovo » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:00 am

dm200 wrote:We have two older Silver Maple trees on our property right next to neighbor's line and about 15 feet from their house. Earler today (according to my wife) a branch from our tree was blown off and did some damage to the neighbor's roof/house/ Not sure of the extent. According to my wife, the neighbor thinks we should pay for the damage (or, perhaps our insurance). Unfortunately (for this situation), my insurance agent says OUR insurance does not cover this at all. The "applicable" insurance for any claim is THEIRS.

While (to a limited degree) PERHAPS it might be construed that we could have (or should have) done things to trim back our tree, nonetheless if you have tall trees, branches blow down/off.

We seem to be in a conflicted financial and/or neigbor relations "complexity".

Ideas? Suggestions??
Based on the posts before me, it looks like your insurance won't pay since you're not liable. You basically have two options.

1. MEAN GUY RESPONSE: Hi Neighbor, my insurance and state law says I am not liable and responsible for this. Sorry, have a nice day.

2. NICE GUY RESPONSE: Hi Neighbor, my insurance agent says we're not liable, but I feel awful about what happened. Here's $500 to chip in for your deductible or any work that you need. Have a Merry Christmas!

Your call.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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