Neighbor's tree fell on my property: chaos- what to do?

4 Replies

Due to hurricane Irma a large tree fell from my neighbor's property and was leaning scarily against one of our rental's trees. I had my tree guy come out to assess but didn't cut anything because the tree was/is on my neighbor's property and not mine to cut.

I contacted the neighbor and he contacted his landlord with a promise to resolve on Saturday. But they did nothing. Tonight my tenant calls in a panic - tree has come down barely missing the house but taking down the power line and ripping it from the side of the house.

Power was still on but power company came out and shut it off for safety reasons (live wire near gas line, etc). I was told that I need to get the tree removed and the electrical box repaired before they will turn the power back on.

My question is this: what responsibility does my neighbor have here? if I pay to get THEIR tree removed from my property and pay for repairs, do I have legal grounds to ask them to reimburse me or is it better to wait until they agree to help pay before doing anything? I don't want to leave my tenants without power so I have my tree guy ready to go Monday morning but it doesn't seem fair that I alone have to deal with the damage from their tree.

Any advice? Have you experienced anything similar?

Oddly, or not, the neighbor has no responsibility or liability.....unless this was an obviously diseased/damaged tree that they previously were put on notice about, which is likely not the case here.  Yes, it is yours to deal with, at least the portion on your property.  Your insurance co. will verify.

@Ericka G. - I hate to say this, but I believe whatever part of the tree falls on your property is just that. However, your insurance should be taking care of it, probably depending on your deducible/if it's worth it. If the neighbor is nice, they should take care of it as well. But legally, I don't think you have anything but I hope I'm wrong. I think what you're doing is the right thing, get it taken care of quickly, go over nicely, and ask if the neighbor will take care of it. If not, I think you may be stuck eating that one and just be happy there was no other damage! In Feb we had a tornado that was pretty much just 500+ year old trees completely uprooting and taking out entire buildings so if it's just the power lines...I'd say that's lucky!

And side note, just for fun, we had that happen with a "city tree" that's between the sidewalk and the street, which the city is supposed to keep trimmed away from the power lines, but when a branch came down and ripped our power line out, it quickly became "our tree" lol as well as the wires outside the box, because the box touched our house. Love that quick shift in responsibility! ;-)

I've been in your position  (city tree though). Not pleasant and costly. I carry high deductibles so insurance help was minimal. Chalked it up to cost of doing business.

Ok. The tree was obviously damaged and they were notified but I'm going to just get it handled and hope they will do the right thing.

I have an icky feeling the tree fell with some help from them in middle of the night. It's odd that right after they were notified that it suddenly fell.

Just asked my husband if he feels comfortable operating a chain saw, lol. He said no :( luckily, I have a good tree guy so I will get it taken of this morning