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Old 11-06-2011, 03:32 PM
 
51 posts, read 100,783 times
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Due to last week's storm, we have several high branches half-broken and hanging over the neighbor's yard. One branch has broken and is lying on top of the roof of one of neighbor's outhouses.

Who normally bears the repair costs (branch on outhouse roof)? Who bears the clean-up non-repair costs (branches on top of neighbor's yard that could break and fall)? Are they typically shared?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:10 PM
 
13,563 posts, read 16,066,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTC2 View Post
Due to last week's storm, we have several high branches half-broken and hanging over the neighbor's yard. One branch has broken and is lying on top of the roof of one of neighbor's outhouses.

Who normally bears the repair costs (branch on outhouse roof)? Who bears the clean-up non-repair costs (branches on top of neighbor's yard that could break and fall)? Are they typically shared?

Thanks in advance.

If you have an apple tree, any apples that grow on branches overhanging your neighbor's yard are rightfully his property.
Under the same legal principle, branches from your tree that fall onto his property become his problem.

If he didn't want any part of your tree overhanging his property, he could have trimmed them. Since he didn't, he now gets to deal with the fallout.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:03 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,060 posts, read 4,020,039 times
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Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
Under the same legal principle, branches from your tree that fall onto his property become his problem.
really?!! i didn't know that. thanks to OP for the post and Retriever for the information.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:36 PM
 
1,787 posts, read 4,798,087 times
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If the branches cause damage to the neighbor's house, the neighbor might have to go through their insurance company for repairs (that's what my insurance company told me).

If my branches fell on my neighbor's yard or building(s), I would clean it up. I don't think you would be too happy, if your neighbor had tree branches all over your yard and said it's your problem.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Randolph, NJ
4,074 posts, read 7,045,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timneh5 View Post
If the branches cause damage to the neighbor's house, the neighbor might have to go through their insurance company for repairs (that's what my insurance company told me).

If my branches fell on my neighbor's yard or building(s), I would clean it up. I don't think you would be too happy, if your neighbor had tree branches all over your yard and said it's your problem.

There's the law... and then there is doing what is needed to maintain good neighbors.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:00 AM
 
1,787 posts, read 4,798,087 times
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Originally Posted by HalfFull View Post
There's the law... and then there is doing what is needed to maintain good neighbors.
This is worth more than you know!
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:10 PM
 
51 posts, read 100,783 times
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Thanks to all for the replies.

Here's a follow-up question:

So, it seems that legally, taking care of the fallen branches should be the neighbor's responsibility in this case. However, if one of the branches falls and causes personal damage in neighbor's yard, who's responsible for the ensuing liability claim: neighbor's insurance or mine?

Not a real situation, just hypothetical - trying to understand the law here.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:21 PM
 
13,563 posts, read 16,066,095 times
Reputation: 18028
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTC2 View Post
Thanks to all for the replies.

So, it seems that legally, taking care of the fallen branches should be the neighbor's responsibility in this case. However, if one of the branches falls and causes personal damage in neighbor's yard, who's responsible for the ensuing liability claim: neighbor's insurance or mine?
If your neighbor informs you (in writing) that your tree presents a hazard to his property, and it later falls and causes damage to his property, then you are responsible because you did not remediate this hazard that he made you aware of.

However, since--in the vast majority of cases--people do not notify you ahead of time that your tree constitutes a hazard, when it falls it is considered to be an Act of God for which you are not responsible. In this type of case, his Homeowner's Insurance policy is his recourse for reimbursement.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,310 posts, read 4,813,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
If your neighbor informs you (in writing) that your tree presents a hazard to his property, and it later falls and causes damage to his property, then you are responsible because you did not remediate this hazard that he made you aware of.

However, since--in the vast majority of cases--people do not notify you ahead of time that your tree constitutes a hazard, when it falls it is considered to be an Act of God for which you are not responsible. In this type of case, his Homeowner's Insurance policy is his recourse for reimbursement.
I believe this is only true if the tree is dead or damaged. I don't think a neighbor can look at your healthy tree and decide that it presents a danger to their home. This knowledge comes mostly from watching The People's Court so look into it more! But really it makes sense - my neighbor doesn't like one of my trees but there is nothing wrong with it. In a tornado, sure it could hit part of their house. But just saying that it "could" present a hazard should not put me on the hook for having it taken down.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Piscataway
278 posts, read 898,619 times
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If we are talking about a county tree growing between the sidewalk and street, then if that tree branch falls you bet the county is not going to do jack except clean up the debris....so any damage to cars parked under that tree is not their fault......same should hold for the neighbor. An unforseeable act of God.....that is what insurance is for.
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