Removing a neighbors tree

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Boycea, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Boycea

    Boycea LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 451

    I recently have purchased a house and have been fixing up the interior for the last few months and now its on to the exterior. My back yard is not that big and has a fence going along the rear of the property. Behind my yard is a rental property and the yard is not in the greatest shape. Their is a very large dead ash tree that is right behind the fence on my neighbors property. During a storm a few weeks back a branch came off and ripped a section of gutter off of my house. The tree is about 18 feet away from my house and if it came down in a storm it would take the house with it. My question to you is do you know if an insurance company would pay to have the tree removed due to its close location to my house, the fact that its dead, and the fact that it has already damaged my house? I have talked to the owner of the rental property and he doesn't seem too interested in removing the tree since its not his main property. I also recommended that he run it by his insurance company, but he didn't agree. Any suggestions.

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    I say its his responsability (SP) for the damage I would persue his ins agency.
    Home owner policy cover this Like and act of god policy.Im not a lawyer.
  3. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    An insurance company will not pay to have the tree removed. Even if the tree fell on your property they will contribute nothing to the cost of removing the tree; they only cover damage to the insured structure. Depending on the regulations in your state either your insurance company or your neighbor's would pay for any damage that the tree does to your house.

    You could try contacting your city arborist. I had a client who refused to remove a dead tree near the neighbor's house. The neighbor contacted the city and they notified my client that the tree had to be removed within x number of days.
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    If nothing else, write a letter to the property owner expressing your concerns and keep a copy of the letter. I know you talked to him, but this will put on record your communication about it to him. Send it certified and he can not deny that he received it. Maybe that will make him nervous enough to address it. Maybe you'll have no leg to stand on if it does cause damage, I don't know. If you do, having documentation that you notified the owner will help a lot (assuming that the tree does not kill you).
  5. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Actually, I think the guy's insurance should have to pay a portion of the damage to your house due to his negligence.
  6. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    Cut off everything overhaning on your property as high as possible. Then if it should fall, the weight of the branches on his side should cause it to fall away from you. IMO
  7. Fordsuvparts

    Fordsuvparts LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    I agree with what grasswhacker says, Our company does that all the time to deadbeat homeowners who let dead tree's just fall on there neighbors property. There is nothing against the law for cutting the limbs that hang over your property. Most the the time after we start cutting the other owners will agree to pay for half or better of the cost.
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    I regularly read the Q&A columns in the home section of the paper. And I actually approached my insurance company about a dead tree on my property.

    I was informed that by knowing about a dead tree and failing to engage in corrective actions to mitigate any future losses I could be in breach of my Home owners Insurance Policy.

    In cases like this the folks who right the column suggest witting a letter and sending to your neighbor, certified, return receipt, and send one to your insurance company certified, return receipt. Explaining that the tree is dead, pictures would be nice as well. Knowing that the tree is dead, the property owner is now negligent, and your insurance company is also aware. So now the whole "Act of God" clause is out of the equation and culpability will fall to the neighbor if he fails to act.

    Don't' you hate it when neighbors are ashats like that....
  9. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Listen to Marc! Documentation is what always covers your tail.
  10. d&rlawncare

    d&rlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    In Mi if the tree falls in your yard and does no danage to property then its up to you to take care of it. If it falls on a fence, shed, house etc then they pay for the damage and tree removal. Both happened to a friend of mine this past summer. I guess it could also depend on who and how your home owners ins. is written up.

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