Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

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JustinCredible
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Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by JustinCredible »

A large section of a tree (healthy, not decayed) that is on my property fell on the neighbor's property (they are a condominium) during a recent storm.

However, no damage was done to either property, and it is not in anybody's way, (although it should be removed)

The caretaker of the property told me "the property management company wants to know when you are going to remove it"

I was under the impression that if it falls on your neighbors property, it is their responsibility.

Isn't that the law in New York City? (I am in one of the five boroughs)

I don't mind being neighborly, but don't want to be taken advantage of either, (perhaps either the homeowners association of condominium and /or property management company itself wants to get out of paying for something that they figure they can get me to do)...I'm not sure.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by jebmke »

Don't know what the law says but in my area (not NY), if my tree falls on my neighbor's property, it is my responsibility to remove it unless he won't allow my tree service on his property. That may be more the custom than the local ordinance - I've never looked into it.
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Stinky
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Stinky »

jebmke wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:38 am Don't know what the law says but in my area (not NY), if my tree falls on my neighbor's property, it is my responsibility to remove it unless he won't allow my tree service on his property. That may be more the custom than the local ordinance - I've never looked into it.
That's my general impression also - if it's my tree, it's my responsibility.
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Chuck107
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Chuck107 »

EDIT That's the way it is in Tennessee, act of nature, ownership of the fallen tree goes by property line.

Here is a link that might help
https://www.askfitz.com/who-is-liable-w ... onsibility.

Now NYC is a different animal in many ways.
It may be they would like you not to know better and remove it so they don't have to.
But then who knows? It is NYC
Last edited by Chuck107 on Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ddurrett896
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by ddurrett896 »

In my area...

If a healthy tree falls on their property, they clean.
If an unhealthy tree falls on their property, I clean.

My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
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JustinCredible
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by JustinCredible »

Thanks for the replies so far. I have put a call in to the city agency and they told me "someone will get back to you"

I was under the Impression that if it was decayed, it is my problem, but if otherwise healthy, it's their problem.
Chuck107
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Chuck107 »

Call your insurance company, they would know.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Independent George »

JustinCredible wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:36 am A large section of a tree (healthy, not decayed) that is on my property fell on the neighbor's property (they are a condominium) during a recent storm.

However, no damage was done to either property, and it is not in anybody's way, (although it should be removed)

The caretaker of the property told me "the property management company wants to know when you are going to remove it"

I was under the impression that if it falls on your neighbors property, it is their responsibility.

Isn't that the law in New York City? (I am in one of the five boroughs)

I don't mind being neighborly, but don't want to be taken advantage of either, (perhaps either the homeowners association of condominium and /or property management company itself wants to get out of paying for something that they figure they can get me to do)...I'm not sure.
I don't know what the legal requirements are, but as a general rule I think the right thing to do is to either remove it yourself or reimburse them for the cost of removal.

Typically the person who lives where it landed will remove it on their own because they need to use the property rather than spend months wrangling with their neighbor. Insurance might cover it, but most people don't file a claim because it's usually easier to just cover it out of pocket unless it damaged some property on the way down.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by MrBobcat »

ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
That's a good rule. I would not be a very happy neighbor if I had to go out of pocket to clean up a mess from their tree.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by marcwd »

JustinCredible wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:36 am A large section of a tree (healthy, not decayed) that is on my property fell on the neighbor's property (they are a condominium) during a recent storm.

However, no damage was done to either property, and it is not in anybody's way, (although it should be removed)

The caretaker of the property told me "the property management company wants to know when you are going to remove it"

I was under the impression that if it falls on your neighbors property, it is their responsibility.

Isn't that the law in New York City? (I am in one of the five boroughs)

I don't mind being neighborly, but don't want to be taken advantage of either, (perhaps either the homeowners association of condominium and /or property management company itself wants to get out of paying for something that they figure they can get me to do)...I'm not sure.
Do not remove the tree yourself. The property management company is testing your ignorance of the matter or is ignorant himself. As the tree was healthy, the fallen tree is considered an act of nature and your neighbor is responsible for its removal from his property. He can submit a claim against his homeowner’s insurance to cover the cost.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by marcwd »

MrBobcat wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:54 am
ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
That's a good rule. I would not be a very happy neighbor if I had to go out of pocket to clean up a mess from their tree.
You might not be happy, but that’s what your homeowner’s insurance is for. If it was a healthy tree before it fell, it’s your responsibility to remove it once it’s on your property.
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Artful Dodger
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Artful Dodger »

Chuck107 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:49 am Call your insurance company, they would know.
+1
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Stinky
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Stinky »

Artful Dodger wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:17 pm
Chuck107 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:49 am Call your insurance company, they would know.
+1
I agree.

There's a real diversity of opinion from those that have posted to this thread. It sounds like there may be variations as to what is required depending on your local rules.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by rkhusky »

ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
Even leaves?
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by livesoft »

Chuck107 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:49 am Call your insurance company, they would know.
This. You can tell the property management company that when they give you the money to have it removed, then you will get it removed. LOL!

If you have lived in NY, then you know that folks bluff all the time about getting others to pay for things they should pay for themselves.
Last edited by livesoft on Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rkhusky
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by rkhusky »

Just pull out your chainsaw and start cutting it up for firewood. Perhaps the neighbor will be concerned about liability and offer to do it themselves.
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vineviz
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by vineviz »

marcwd wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:16 pm
MrBobcat wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:54 am
ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
That's a good rule. I would not be a very happy neighbor if I had to go out of pocket to clean up a mess from their tree.
You might not be happy, but that’s what your homeowner’s insurance is for. If it was a healthy tree before it fell, it’s your responsibility to remove it once it’s on your property.
The OP should verify with their carrier but it is virtually certain that OP's insurance company will NOT pay for the cleanup.

For one thing, there was no damage to the OP's home (which is what homeowner's insurance typically covers) so the insurance company will have no obligation to pay for cleanup of the debris within the OP's property boundary. It's far LESS likely that the OP's carrier will have any interest in paying for damage to the neighbor's property. Unless and until the neighbor can get a judgement that the OP was negligent (which seems unlikely if the tree was healthy) and the damage was preventable, the legally responsible party is the neighbor.

I agree that the property manager probably knows that they are on the hook for the bill and is simply fishing to see if the OP is naive. Doesn't seem that is the case.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by marcwd »

vineviz wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:28 pm
marcwd wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:16 pm
MrBobcat wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:54 am
ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
That's a good rule. I would not be a very happy neighbor if I had to go out of pocket to clean up a mess from their tree.
You might not be happy, but that’s what your homeowner’s insurance is for. If it was a healthy tree before it fell, it’s your responsibility to remove it once it’s on your property.
The OP should verify with their carrier but it is virtually certain that OP's insurance company will NOT pay for the cleanup.

For one thing, there was no damage to the OP's home (which is what homeowner's insurance typically covers) so the insurance company will have no obligation to pay for cleanup of the debris within the OP's property boundary. It's far LESS likely that the OP's carrier will have any interest in paying for damage to the neighbor's property. Unless and until the neighbor can get a judgement that the OP was negligent (which seems unlikely if the tree was healthy) and the damage was preventable, the legally responsible party is the neighbor.

I agree that the property manager probably knows that they are on the hook for the bill and is simply fishing to see if the OP is naive. Doesn't seem that is the case.
You misread my post. I wasn’t referring to the OP’s insurance, but that of his neighbor’s.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Helo80 »

In college, I lived in a very middle-class home area with probably mostly blue collar workers and what not. There was an empty lot next to the home I was renting, and due to the way the lot was situated and the way my home was, it would be very reasonable to assume that this was part of the property my rental was on. My yard naturally flowed into this lot on the side.

Anyways, one rainstorm came through and this empty lot had a big tree that fell on it. It did not harm anything or anybody other than this giant tree on a lot is on its side. It was wholly within the boundaries of the lot owner, and honestly, they had no reason to do anything about it. It kind of looked natural in a way.

Let me tell you, I had people for weeks stopping by and trying to solicit their business or as a side hustle to cut up that tree and haul it away. I finally put a notice on the door that it was a different owner and provided the city's contact information if they had a problem with a fallen tree being there. It stopped the doorbell rings and knocks.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

rkhusky wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:27 pm Just pull out your chainsaw and start cutting it up for firewood. Perhaps the neighbor will be concerned about liability and offer to do it themselves.
Haha! That's sort of what I thought. I was going to ask how big it was. If it's less than 12" in diameter or so, I'd bring the little Husky 440e. If bigger, I'd break out the Husky 51.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by livesoft »

Helo80 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:36 pmLet me tell you, I had people for weeks stopping by and trying to solicit their business or as a side hustle to cut up that tree and haul it away. I finally put a notice on the door that it was a different owner and provided the city's contact information if they had a problem with a fallen tree being there. It stopped the doorbell rings and knocks.
In New York, a person in your position would have sold the fallen tree to someone to cut it up and sell it for firewood. That is, they would have made money off the fallen tree at no cost to themself.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by squirm »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:42 pm
rkhusky wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:27 pm Just pull out your chainsaw and start cutting it up for firewood. Perhaps the neighbor will be concerned about liability and offer to do it themselves.
Haha! That's sort of what I thought. I was going to ask how big it was. If it's less than 12" in diameter or so, I'd bring the little Husky 440e. If bigger, I'd break out the Husky 51.
i was going to ask if it's something even a sawzall could handle.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by oldfatguy »

MrBobcat wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:54 am
ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
That's a good rule. I would not be a very happy neighbor if I had to go out of pocket to clean up a mess from their tree.
It's happened to me a number of times, in both directions (my tree on a neighbor's property, and a neighbor's tree falling on mine). As long as the local ordinances are applied consistently, it seems to even out in the long run.

A couple of years ago, though, a storm took down one of my trees and it broke a section of a neighbor's split rail fence. I helpfully removed the section of the tree that was on his property, since I was already cutting up the part in my own yard. About 6 months later he showed up at my door to tell me he got tired of waiting for me to replace his fence, so he did it himself, and he wanted me to reimburse him for it. I told him to check with his insurance company and have them contact me if I was responsible for it. Never heard another word.
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JustinCredible
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by JustinCredible »

Thanks for the replies. I was even approached by the caretaker of the property and he said "I can give you an estimate to remove it" (he's not a licensed tree remover, just the person who lives on the property) and sweeps up, brings in garbage cans, etc.

I do believe they are fishing to see if I can pay for it.
HomeStretch
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by HomeStretch »

Your responsibility depends on your state and local laws and regulations.

In my state (not NY), the owner of the property that the tree (healthy or not) falls on is responsible for removal/repairing damage. Unfortunately I know this first hand. If I can see (without trespassing) an unhealthy tree that is a danger to my property, I can notify the owner (copy to my insurer) in writing accompanied by an arborist’s attestation. After that, it becomes the tree owner’s responsibility.

I personally would remove/repair damage from any tree/branch of mine that fell on a neighbor’s property. However, in your case as your neighbor is a condo association, I wouldn’t remove it if it wasn’t my responsibility unless they gave me a notarized binding letter saying the association would do the same for me in the future even if not legally obligated to do so.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by bighatnohorse »

Tree branches that extend over my property from an adjacent property can be legally removed by me.
This is true in all communities to my knowledge.

You have no right to go onto the condo property.
The condo property has the right to cut the limb - they didn't.
It's their responsibility.
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Stanczyk
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Stanczyk »

I was in a similar situation last year. A neighbor's tree fell on my property damaging my garage wall and roof and destroying my fence. Initially, my neighbor told me that "they will take care of it." Once they realized they they are not liable, I had to pay for everything.

His trees were leaning and I along with other neighbors urged him to remove them, but he did not. I think I could have taken him to small claims, but decided not to waste my time.

Honestly, if I was in your situation, I would remove the tree if it was my "regular" neighbors. I would not do that for an apartment complex. My experience with my neighbor taught me that good things happen to bad people and that it does not pay to be nice. This was in TX.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by michaelingp »

marcwd wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:16 pm You might not be happy, but that’s what your homeowner’s insurance is for. If it was a healthy tree before it fell, it’s your responsibility to remove it once it’s on your property.
I'm pretty sure my home owner's insurance doesn't cover removing a tree that causes no damage. I've also been told that if "my" tree damages my neighbor's house, it becomes "God's" tree, and his insurance comes into play, not mine. The exception is if he has let me know in some official way that he thinks my tree is dangerous and I don't do anything about it. In practice, I've split the cost when a neighbor complains about my tree that hasn't fallen yet.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by tomd37 »

I have been on the board of a homeowners association (HOA) here in Tennessee and have experienced numerous claims by residents that trees from HOA common areas have fallen on their property and want the HOA to pay for removal. We had the property management company have a lawyer review the situation. The answer in all cases was since the tree was not reported and assessed to be diseased/dead, the HOA had no responsibility to pay for the removal of the tree on a homeowners property.

As a homeowner I had this exact situation happen to me years ago and the HOA refused to reimburse me. Since there was still a significant portion of the dead tree left and very apt to fall on my property in the future, both I and the HOA had a certified arborist evaluate the situation and present a document saying the remaining portion was diseased. Five years later I used that document to force the HOA to pay for the removal when it finally fell on my property.

Three months ago a huge thunderstorm with 60 mph winds went through our subdivision and numerous trees from other properties fell onto our common areas as well as common area tree falling onto resident's properties. You can surmise who paid for what based on what I said above. :dollar :dollar
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Watty »

ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
+1

I have not been directly involved but I have seen minor neighborhood feuds where everybody lost.

It sounds like it would just take a couple of hours to do it yourself or a couple of hundred dollars to pay a tree service to take care of it.

If this happened to me and a neighbor told me it was my problem I would likely just cut up the branches enough to throw them back on his property.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by TooOldForThis »

So...not to derail, but...

How would you handle this situation:

Dead tree (2, actually - 40 footers, immediately adjacent to each other). They're on what I would (probably inaccurately) call my neighbor's "Parkway." Technically this strip of land is for public access and belongs to the county/township (this is in Illinois BTW), yet homeowners (we are in an unincorporated area, so there is no village/city ownership) are fully responsible for taking care of trees, weeds, leaves, etc. on the "parkway" so I think that my neighbor is responsible for these trees, but have no idea.

So...if I want to let someone know that I'm concerned about the dead trees (which are likely to crush my shed and garden if they fall) in order to satisfy insurance requirements should the trees eventually come down and damage my property with whom do I lodge my complaint/concern? My neighbor? The county?

I'd happily share in the responsibility of removing the trees, but, unfortunately we aren't on speaking terms with this particular neighbor.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Mudpuppy »

Stinky wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:23 pm
Artful Dodger wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:17 pm
Chuck107 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:49 am Call your insurance company, they would know.
+1
I agree.
I disagree. There is absolutely no point to the OP calling his insurance company about a tree limb in his neighbor's yard. His insurance would not cover this incident and they might even demand that he remove the tree now that it has been damaged by the storm. It's a can of worms the OP should not even open since it will provide no benefits to the OP and could cause additional headaches for the OP.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Dottie57 »

Watty wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:13 pm
ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
+1

I have not been directly involved but I have seen minor neighborhood feuds where everybody lost.

It sounds like it would just take a couple of hours to do it yourself or a couple of hundred dollars to pay a tree service to take care of it.

If this happened to me and a neighbor told me it was my problem I would likely just cut up the branches enough to throw them back on his property.
+100 on the rule.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by depressed »

Chuck107 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:45 am EDIT That's the way it is in Tennessee, act of nature, ownership of the fallen tree goes by property line.

Here is a link that might help
https://www.askfitz.com/who-is-liable-w ... onsibility.

Now NYC is a different animal in many ways.
It may be they would like you not to know better and remove it so they don't have to.
But then who knows? It is NYC
I am curious. What does "But then who knows? It is NYC" mean? Is it harder than usual to find out the ordinances in New York City?
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Random Musings »

If an emergency comes your way in the future and you need your neighbors help.....

They couldn't hear you, it was an act of nature.

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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by 8foot7 »

If I get along with my neighbor I’m helping to clean up regardless of if it’s my problem. It’s the right thing to do. If I don’t like my neighbor I am not doing anything I don’t have to do.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Chuck107 »

depressed wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:41 pm
Chuck107 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:45 am EDIT That's the way it is in Tennessee, act of nature, ownership of the fallen tree goes by property line.

Here is a link that might help
https://www.askfitz.com/who-is-liable-w ... onsibility.

Now NYC is a different animal in many ways.
It may be they would like you not to know better and remove it so they don't have to.
But then who knows? It is NYC
I am curious. What does "But then who knows? It is NYC" mean? Is it harder than usual to find out the ordinances in New York City?
NYC is a bit different than Tn right?
I know it is, I was born there.
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mancich
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by mancich »

I'd pay to clean it up, seems like the right thing to do.
conservativeinvestor
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by conservativeinvestor »

If the situation was reversed what would you expect to happen?

If a part of a neighbors tree fell in my yard I would sure expect them to clean it up regardless of what the laws are. Unless you don't care about being a good neighbor then just let it lay there until you figure out who is ultimately responsible based on your local laws.

I originally was going to say if you don't care about being neighborly you could just leave it there and they will probably give up and clean it up themselves, but if this happens they may send you the bill which is probably going to be more than if you have a couple people come out to give you some quotes.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by vested1 »

squirm wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:49 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:42 pm
rkhusky wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:27 pm Just pull out your chainsaw and start cutting it up for firewood. Perhaps the neighbor will be concerned about liability and offer to do it themselves.
Haha! That's sort of what I thought. I was going to ask how big it was. If it's less than 12" in diameter or so, I'd bring the little Husky 440e. If bigger, I'd break out the Husky 51.
i was going to ask if it's something even a sawzall could handle.
Since we moved into our home in SC 11 months ago 13 trees have fallen or have been threatening to do so on "our" property, so we removed them. Some of them fell on our property from the neighbor's yard. We took the responsibility of removing the ones rooted on our property and our neighbor did the same, so add two to that number from my neighbor's yard. That attitude makes for good neighbors.

I cut up and removed the 1st one that fell, a 60 footer that took 8 truck loads in my full sized tacoma to haul to the burn pile at our HOA. I paid for the next 11 because, at 68, the amount of effort to do so at my age was daunting, and there's a local tree service that is extremely cheap. Most of these trees were from 70 to 85 feet tall and one missed our house by a foot.

When the last 60 footer fell a week ago I went out and finished cutting it down as it had broken in half, and I was in the process of cutting off the limbs and sectioning the trunk when I stumbled and hurt my foot. I called the tree guy who came out immediately, finished cutting up the one I had been working on, cut down another 65 footer that was dead, and removed them, all for $100. The total I have spent this last 11 months with having those 12 trees cut and removed was $1,400.

If I had to spend as much money on a tree service as others do in any other location I would be more concerned about whose tree the one which fell was rooted from. Maintaining good relations with your neighbor is one thing, maintaining a healthy balance of emergency funds is quite another.

In our case, the Corp of engineers owns the land between our property line and the lake, a little over an acre (100' wide and 450' deep) that can never be built on, but we are expected to maintain it. If a tree falls or is removed that was going to block our access to the lake, or has partially fallen creating a hazard, we have to replace it after it's removed to maintain a distance of a minimum of 18' from the nearest tree. This helps control erosion from runoff. 10 of the trees were in that section, and if we want to remove one that's in danger of falling we have to get permission from the Corps to cut it down, via a simple email, which is always approved.

Our own property is .61 of an acre with trees in the front, sides and back. I haven't counted the trees on our property and the Corp's, but we still have plenty and the missing ones are barely noticeable. 90% of them are still healthy, and all of the ones on our property are too.

Sometimes I miss our old property in California, which was only .1 of an acre and which had two diseased pine trees on it which I had removed 25 years ago shortly after moving in, by getting expensive permits and paying a premium price to a tree service, multiples of what I paid to remove 12 trees here in SC.
Silverado
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Silverado »

Watty wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:13 pm
ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
+1

I have not been directly involved but I have seen minor neighborhood feuds where everybody lost.

It sounds like it would just take a couple of hours to do it yourself or a couple of hundred dollars to pay a tree service to take care of it.

If this happened to me and a neighbor told me it was my problem I would likely just cut up the branches enough to throw them back on his property.
Yeah, I’d hate to have you as a neighbor. This is such a horrible action to take. Why would you fire the first shot on a potential feud after just stating that you have seen them where everyone lost? That makes no sense.

Yeah, great idea, trespass and do work where there is a potential to hurt yourself. Then what about any damage to the lawn? Would you then hire a lawn service?

If this was a single small branch and I was standing there with the other property owner I’d offer to grab as I went back to my yard. But anything I could not take while still holding my coffee? Nope.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Spirit Rider »

rkhusky wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:24 pm
ddurrett896 wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 am My rule: if anything from my property ends up on someone else's property, I clean.
Even leaves?
Under my rule, it depends.
  • Falling leaves are obviously the responsibility of whose property they land on.
  • However, I do feel an obligation to clean the leaves that fall on my property in a reasonably timely manner after a neighbor has cleaned their lawn. Such they don't blow on that neighbor's clean lawn.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by KESP »

Just had my neighbor’s tree fall on our house. Second time in 9 years. Cost $1000 to get it off our house. Both times the neighbor did nothing and we got an oh sorry, we feel bad. If one of our trees fell in their yard we will return the favor and do nothing. If it was the neighbor on the other side, I would pay to have it removed.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (insurance).

Several of my neighbors had trees fall onto their property due to Tropical Storm Isaias. In PA:

- If there is no damage to the building, it's not covered by homeowners
- What falls on your property is your responsibility

One neighbor had the tree service remove a few branches that fell on his neighbor's property. He was being polite and knew that he didn't have to do that.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by CyclingDuo »

JustinCredible wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:53 pm Thanks for the replies. I was even approached by the caretaker of the property and he said "I can give you an estimate to remove it" (he's not a licensed tree remover, just the person who lives on the property) and sweeps up, brings in garbage cans, etc.

I do believe they are fishing to see if I can pay for it.
Pull out your chainsaw and chew it up.

In our neck of the woods, if a tree falls there will be a half a dozen guys out with their man tools to take care of it before nightfall. :beer
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by sjt »

CyclingDuo wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:56 am
JustinCredible wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:53 pm Thanks for the replies. I was even approached by the caretaker of the property and he said "I can give you an estimate to remove it" (he's not a licensed tree remover, just the person who lives on the property) and sweeps up, brings in garbage cans, etc.

I do believe they are fishing to see if I can pay for it.
Pull out your chainsaw and chew it up.

In our neck of the woods, if a tree falls there will be a half a dozen guys out with their man tools to take care of it before nightfall. :beer
This is a good answer. OP - do you know what type of tree it is? If it's a hardwood and healthy as you say, and a decent size, I bet there are people near you who would want it for firewood. Can you take a photo and put it on nextdoor or facebook marketplace?

In my neighborhood, I'm the guy nosing around any time some good firewood falls in a yard or a tree service removes an oak or hickory 8-)
"The one who covets is the poorer man, | For he would have that which he never can; | But he who doesn't have and doesn't crave | Is rich, though you may hold him but a knave." - Wife of Bath tale
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by SQRT »

Neighbour’s large diseased Basswood tree fell partially on our property recently. I’m dealing with it. Probably her responsibility but I’m more proactive than she is and can’t be bothered dealing with her about it. Large property so maybe she isn’t even aware of it.
Last edited by SQRT on Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Trees from one neighbor onto our property:
During Katrina 15 yr ago clipped the corner of our house which needed significant repair. I was less than happy to discover our insurance was responsible. Neighbor cleaned up the tree and removed it.

7 yr ago fell onto an AC compressor which had just been replaced and needed replacing again due to damage & very minor roof damage. I wasn't happy but at least I wasn't surprised that the financial burden was ours. Neighbors were on vacation at the time so I cut and removed the small tree.

3 yr ago a larger tree fell onto a big tree of ours farther from the house and destroyed a metal cart we pull behind our lawnmower we had stored there. No big deal and a only a very minor financial hit. But the tree stayed there for several days before we left on vacation still puzzled that the neighbor had not removed it. I was not looking forward to dealing with it when we got home. By the time we got home it had been removed. Neighbor later said he didn't even know it had fallen and would have taken care of it sooner if I had asked.

After the second incident he offered to cut down any trees he had that we believed to be a threat to our home. I took him up on a "leaner" which he removed shortly after I expressed concern. So far none of our trees have fallen on anyone else's property. When/if they do, I would consider it a moral, if not legal, obligation to assist in removing the fallen tree or limbs. (The extent and timeliness of that assistance might well depend upon my relationship with the neighbor.) However, I would allow their homeowner's insurance to handle any property damage expenses as I have learned that is applicable in my area.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by AAA »

marcwd wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:11 pm Do not remove the tree yourself. The property management company is testing your ignorance of the matter or is ignorant himself. As the tree was healthy, the fallen tree is considered an act of nature and your neighbor is responsible for its removal from his property. He can submit a claim against his homeowner’s insurance to cover the cost.
In my area it would also be the neighbor's responsibility. I believe, however, that their insurance will cover it only if there was property damage.
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Re: Tree section fell on my neighbor's property...who is liable

Post by Mudpuppy »

SQRT wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:18 am Neighbour’s large diseased Basswood tree fell partially on our property recently. I’m dealing with it. Probably her responsibility but I’m more proactive than she is and can’t be bothered dealing with her about it. Large property so maybe she isn’t even aware of it.
Check your state and local laws. In many areas, if you did not previously express to your neighbor, in a documented fashion, your concern about the diseased tree, anything that falls on your property is your problem to clean up. Now, the original tree owner can decide to have a tree company remove everything, or do it themselves, to be neighborly, but what's legal and what's neighborly is not always the same thing.
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