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Old 05-07-2009, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
29,118 posts, read 28,147,382 times
Reputation: 36744

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If a tree falls in the woods...nobody cares if or who hears it. If it falls in your neighbor's yard, you could be in for a world of grief, if not financially then maybe emotionally.

I was awoken by the police at 4 in the morning. What, what? It seems that a pine tree in the side yard had fallen onto his property. It took out a small section of both of our fences: one post and two fence panels of ours, one post,
one panel of theirs, much of his deck. The house wasn't damaged, no one was hurt, thank God.

I don't really need an answer to this question, but why would someone call 911 at four in the morning for a damaged deck? Panic I would guess?

The neighbor, husband, and the police are outside for a bit, police leave, husband comes in and I ask a few questions. No, I didn't ask a lot of questions; it was 4:30 in the morning. DH says that the neighbor called the police because "our tree" caused serious damage to his property. Now I'm a little worried. We had a discussion about the offending trees last summer. My husband wanted to remove one because he thought that it would become a hazard; it would be better to take it down sooner rather than later. The neighbor said that it wasn't his tree so we could do whatever we wanted.

I recall that when we had the property surveyed, the six trees which straddled the property line were brought to out attention because they could be a problem in the future. The future is now.

We talked to the guy a little while ago and it seems that his insurance will pay, up to a certain amount for the tree removal and cover his deck after the deductible. ---> I don't trust him <---

I think that we could have the property line surveyed again because two of the markers on that line are gone. I wonder if he's going to sue us for tree removal remainder and the insurance deductible.

I've read some ugly things online today about court decisions which went in an unexpected direction.

Does anybody have any experience with this? Any advise?
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:42 PM
 
Location: NJ/FL
220 posts, read 692,393 times
Reputation: 123
Yikes, do you normally get along with these neighbors? Seems they have already determined the tree is "your" problem. I can understand a little panic early in the am, woken out of a deep sleep to this horrendous crash, maybe afraid to open up the door and look out... Just guessing. But, you may be better off contacting your insurance company and ask their opinion. You could be living next to a very disgrunteled neighbor person after the fact, especially once they find out their insurance rates will go up just for filing a claim. Emotionally? You gotta live there, I would do my best to make it as amicable as possible to everyones agreement. Thankfully, no one was hurt, power lines pulled down, etc. Once the dust settles it will all come down to inconvience. I wish you well, Good Luck
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:55 PM
 
9 posts, read 48,736 times
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Default Fallen Tree Issue

Hi, here's my experience with a fallen tree: My neighbor (behind my property, and one over, so the back corner of his backyard meets the back corner of my backyard) had a tree that was located just on the other side of my fence, right in the back corner of his property. The tree (a good sized one, maybe 40-50 ft tall) was apparently diseased and during a minimal rain storm, the tree fell onto my fence into my yard. Took down about two and a half fence sections, ruined shrubs an other plants. I took photos of it shortly after it happened. He had some tree company come and remove the tree, but left my broken fence sections in my yard. The guy, whom I didn't know, was quick to tell me his insurance told him he wasn't responsible. I called my own (USAA) and they told me that he is correct, that I could submit the repair costs to my own homeowners insurance, but also advised me that my property insurance premiums might possibly go up. Also, they do not cover shrubs and plants. I was annoyed, but the insurance rep told me that if I had ever previously spoken to the neighbor about the possibility that the tree was diseased, and expressed concern that it might fall on my property, then he would have been given a "warning" and he would have been responsible if/when the tree fell onto my property. Unless you put something like that into writing, or audio tape him, or have a witness, I don't know how you'd prove you've had that conversation, but that's what the rep said. It cost me just under $600 to get everything repaired, and I sent the neighbor a copy of the bill, suggesting he pay a portion of the expense. Never heard from him, never saw him again.

I think your idea to get a survey (get the permanent metal pipes into the ground) and maybe that will help clarify things.

Keep us posted on how it turns out.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:09 PM
 
Location: NJ/FL
220 posts, read 692,393 times
Reputation: 123
Hi Tootsie, now I am confused, doesn't take much, LOL. But "his insurance company said he was not responsible", end of story or did you get any information as to his company. Why even bother to spend the money for a survey then, to mark property lines. There is a tree on my neighbors property, a big ole pine. This tree is just more and more leaning toward our power and cable lines. We also park company vans in that area. So, your advice would be to take pictures and let our neighbor know our concern NOW just in case? Makes sense I suppose, just so sad to think we are all under the gun anymore with regard to higher rates if we file a claim for which we have been paying in the event of any problem. Good ole zoo jersey.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
29,118 posts, read 28,147,382 times
Reputation: 36744
Thanks. After reading for some time today, I came to the conclusion that A) the tree wasn't dead, dieing, neglected, I shouldn't be deemed negligent B) thought the tree is probably on the property line, even if it weren't, property damage is covered by his insurance.

It seems that a lot of times that insurance doesn't pay, or at least not in full for the tree removal. My husband has a chainsaw and we know a few guys out of work who'd be happy to have something to do for the day.

I'm a bit uncertain of him. We've lived next door to the couple for five years and they pretty much keep to themselves. The wife seems OK when I see her; never seen him joke around, laugh or even smile (literally) in all the time I've known him. Relatives from out of town are more conversational.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tootsie01 View Post
Hi, here's my experience with a fallen tree: My neighbor (behind my property, and one over, so the back corner of his backyard meets the back corner of my backyard) had a tree that was located just on the other side of my fence, right in the back corner of his property. The tree (a good sized one, maybe 40-50 ft tall) was apparently diseased and during a minimal rain storm, the tree fell onto my fence into my yard. Took down about two and a half fence sections, ruined shrubs an other plants. I took photos of it shortly after it happened. He had some tree company come and remove the tree, but left my broken fence sections in my yard. The guy, whom I didn't know, was quick to tell me his insurance told him he wasn't responsible. I called my own (USAA) and they told me that he is correct, that I could submit the repair costs to my own homeowners insurance, but also advised me that my property insurance premiums might possibly go up. Also, they do not cover shrubs and plants. I was annoyed, but the insurance rep told me that if I had ever previously spoken to the neighbor about the possibility that the tree was diseased, and expressed concern that it might fall on my property, then he would have been given a "warning" and he would have been responsible if/when the tree fell onto my property. Unless you put something like that into writing, or audio tape him, or have a witness, I don't know how you'd prove you've had that conversation, but that's what the rep said. It cost me just under $600 to get everything repaired, and I sent the neighbor a copy of the bill, suggesting he pay a portion of the expense. Never heard from him, never saw him again.

I think your idea to get a survey (get the permanent metal pipes into the ground) and maybe that will help clarify things.

Keep us posted on how it turns out.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:00 PM
 
1,787 posts, read 5,258,923 times
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Since the trees are on the property line and no one can prove who owns them, I would think you and your neighbor would be responsible 50/50, no?

I had three trees cut down that were on my property line to avoid what you are going through. The neighbor was suppose to cut down the last big tree. When he found out how much it would cost, he did nothing. Guess what? The tree lost a few gigantic branches that went through the roof of his shed. He never asked me for money to repair the shed or the new vinyl fence it took out. Now, we have this huge tree that sits in the corner of the yard and is actually on three properties. When this falls, I'm offering to pay a third to cover damages.

It stinks that you should have a new survey done, but it does sound like a good idea. Someone should be home when it's done. (take pics)

good luck~
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
29,118 posts, read 28,147,382 times
Reputation: 36744
Thanks everybody, I think that we're going to be just fine (guess he was just upset when the tree fell). Husband told him that we knew a tree guy and he (neighbor) said that if we could get him to come right away, tomorrow, he'd use him, wanted the thing off of his deck. The other people that he'd called would take days just to come for the estimate. Then he said that he wanted the two trees next to the one that fell taken down; these are the trees that DH approached him about taking down last year.

We got him a good price! Husband is going over there tomorrow morning to limb up so that the trunk will be ready for the guys with the big chainsaws.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:42 PM
 
Location: NJ/FL
220 posts, read 692,393 times
Reputation: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Thanks everybody, I think that we're going to be just fine (guess he was just upset when the tree fell). Husband told him that we knew a tree guy and he (neighbor) said that if we could get him to come right away, tomorrow, he'd use him, wanted the thing off of his deck. The other people that he'd called would take days just to come for the estimate. Then he said that he wanted the two trees next to the one that fell taken down; these are the trees that DH approached him about taking down last year.

We got him a good price! Husband is going over there tomorrow morning to limb up so that the trunk will be ready for the guys with the big chainsaws.
I am happy for you, bet you'll sleep better tonight! Now I am wondering, a big ole pine leaning our way, ummmm, maybe I should have a little chat with neighbor very soon. Just in case. I love happy endings.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
29,118 posts, read 28,147,382 times
Reputation: 36744
Thanks LuLu. Maybe you should. The tree that fell is a pine; they have shallow roots.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Stewartsville, NJ
7,577 posts, read 21,010,928 times
Reputation: 1253
Gerania - I would let your insurance company know as well. In my opinion, your ins. company, if it was indeed your tree, should pay for the damage to the neighbor's property. I wouldn't doubt it if your neighbor's ins. company calls your ins. company to try and recoup their costs. So, my recommendation, put your ins. compnay on notice of a potential claim by the neighbor... they should protect you from any future law suits.
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