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Old 08-01-2018, 10:02 AM
 
4 posts, read 1,041 times
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Always ask for proof of Insurance before work starts. Its easy and common for their insurance company to email you a copy. There is no excuse.
With the Colorado wildfires, drought, and disease more property owners are paying attention to tree trimming. Clearing trees on property lines and taking out mostly dead trees can reduce risk.
As a policy, we have all contractors send proof of insurance before work starts.
Many simply won't ask for proof of insurance in the realm of tree trimming.
What could possibly go wrong with someone climbing up 20 feet, cutting a 200 pound limb over your house or other structures? What if the contractor is cutting a limb or branch over your neighbor's property and something unexpected happens?
In the case of trimming a neighbor's limb that finds its way over your property line, Colorado Self-Help rules apply. Be responsible and take care of what is over your property yourself. Don't automatically take responsibility for trimming larger branches that leave your property. If the neighbor left the branch there, they may be enjoying the benefit of shade or curb appeal. Imagine if you cut a large branch on your fence line so the branch falls onto your neighbor's lawn. What if something, even a water sprinkler head is damaged? Maybe worse, it pulls down a cable or electrical wire. Liability is a slippery slope.
Instead, you have the right to cut all growth including branches and roots up to your property line.
There are property owners that complain about their own property's responsible for the maintenance.
When leaves blow down from a storm, when fruit falls on their property, when branches fall off, and more. This is part of being a property owner.
Some neighbors complain about birds flying out of your fruit tree pooping on the car over in their property. That is what we call a "First world problem". Poor me, I have a home and car that I must maintain.
There are owners that live in the same place for 20+ years, never ever trim a branch. Then, all of a sudden want to hold the neighbor responsible for trimming on their property. In Colorado, the courts evidently don't want to hear about it. A situation that could have been clipped without much effort could take up hours of court time times 50,000 citizens a year. Why should renters and good stewards of their own land pay for these land owners court cost?
On Tree Removal Regulations by State: Denver Parks and Recreation, which handles the urban tree landscape of Denver, outlines that private property tree removal responsibility lies completely with the owner. If the tree is a right of way or in common with city property, apply for a permit.
Those who want the cheapest work and don't ask for proof of insurance also cost all of us. If something unexpected happens, then one property owner's insurance company must deal with the neighbor's. The insurance commission looks at acceptable rates for all of us as a whole. Had the property owner simply asked for proof of insurance, it could avoid many issues.
Another reason to ask for Proof of Insurance for a tree trimmer is to avoid non-certified legal advice.On ArborScapeServices dot com on Denver Tree Pruning Ordnances - a licensed tree service will have training. My neighbor hired a guy who reportedly informed my neighbor he could cut a limb over the neighbor's property, and hold me, the neighbor responsible for payment. It is printed that "If you have a dispute with a neighbor over a tree, it is a negotiated civil matter. City arborists cannot intervene unless a tree is a legitimate structural hazard." This is the same neighbor that just finished planting four large growth shade trees 18' apart near our property line when this site quotes city regulations as "Shade trees are required to be 35 feet apart".
To this point, if ever buying a house, pay out of your own pocket for a certified insured arborist to look at the property and provide a report. You might even get the seller to correct the issue. Take responsibility as a property owner early in the game.
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