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Home » homeownership » Great to know after last week storms around GA!!! | Tree Falls Over Property Line: Who Pays? Who Picks Up the Pieces?

Great to know after last week storms around GA!!! | Tree Falls Over Property Line: Who Pays? Who Picks Up the Pieces?

tree-falls-neighbor-noaa_3x2_2fd156fb5824e720dde3bbe43c2f3722_jpg_300x200_q85If a neighbor’s tree falls over your property line, file an insurance claim for  repairs and cleanup. No house damage? Check if chopping and hauling debris is  covered.

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.

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