Gold River, CA 95670, Click here to read our COVID-19 statement and related updates on COVID-19 legal changes. 5 and authorities cited.). If they refuse, then the neighbor should engage the services of a licensed arborist to trim the roots and branches is such a way as to reduce the property damage while not injuring the tree. There are some things to consider if you have a problem with a tree on a shared property line: Such a finding will typically pull in insurance coverage. But if that happens in your case, … For this reason, you may not be able to charge a neighbor for its removal. Before you can determine who is liable for damage caused by a falling tree or branch, you need to know who owns the tree. So for example, if by reason of cutting through your neighbour's tree roots, the tree is weakened and falls over, you would be liable for any damage it causes. Check us out on the Web at: www.bpelaw.com. California statutory law since 1872 provides that “Trees whose trunks stand wholly upon the land of one owner belong exclusively to him, although their roots grow into the land of another.”. Contact Turner Law Firm about your tree root issue: Turner Law Firm sponsors the Pacific Palisades July 4th parade, concert and fireworks, California Dept. Kidding aside, this really isn’t your problem. However, in general the damaged party still must prove that the owner was negligent… most often failure to properly maintain the tree. The owner of the tree may be responsible for damage caused to a neighbor’s property but only if it can be found that the tree’s owner failed to properly maintain the tree. According to the Claims Adjuster, State Farm has taken the same position in other matters. If they feel that a third party like a neighbor is responsible for the damage, then they will take care of you first, but then they will go after the responsible party in what they refer to as subrogation. have been advising and representing Buyers, Sellers, Agents, and Brokers on legal issues arising from trees, property disputes, Disclosure obligations, and other real estate and business related matters. High winds and heavy rains have caused numerous trees and branches to fall, often onto adjacent properties. 4. Trees can become an issue between neighbors if limbs or roots extend beyond the owner's property. See letter below. Use our free legal tool to consult with a … Tree ownership is based upon where the trunk is situated. Is the Tree’s Owner liable for any Damage? Q. But if the opposite is true, she just has to deal with it. Or did the owner trim the tree on his side only and thus render the tree unstable? Insurers generally limit what they’ll pay to remove the tree to $500 or $1,000, says the Insurance Information Institute (III), an industry organization. If your actions cause damage or ultimately kill a neighbor’s tree, you may be found liable for up to three times the replacement cost of the tree. As for nuisance, the majority rule in this country, which is followed in Florida, is that the owner of land is not liable to persons outside the land for a nuisance … In that matter, both the insured and neighbor were insured by State Farm. Not necessarily. Here are ways to ease the conflict, as suggested by mediators. What about branches and debris that falls into the adjacent property? If the tree is on the property line, both property owners share the value of the tree and are responsible for upkeep on their side of the boundary line. 1. Who Owns the Tree? That does not make sense to. Laws vary somewhat but most states say that if the roots of a homeowner’s tree damages a neighbor’s drive or home, then that’s the n… Property owner’s are often upset when a neighbor’s trees drop leaves, or fruit, or branches, or even limbs onto their property. The rule should always be: if the Seller thinks that this has been an issue, they can be reasonably certain that their buyer may feels the same. E-Books at the State Law Library You can borrow the e-books below with your library account. 2339 Gold Meadow Way Ste 101 The stereotypical tree dispute is a case of nuisance, where branches or roots from one neighbor’s tree extend into another neighbor’s property. However, an act of God is not always a successful defense from liability particularly if there has been personal injury or significant property damage. In other words, State Farm insured both neighbors. If you would like a consultation with us, please call our office at (916) 966-2260 or e-mail Steve Beede at sjbeede@bpelaw.com. Where this can be proven you could be compelled through court action to ‘abate the nuisance’, which may include removal of the tree and payment of compensation. For example, was the tree dead or dying from an insect infestation? If the fallen tree or limbs were the fault of a natural occurrence or an Act of God, the property owner is not generally held responsible for the damage. Simply cutting off encroaching tree roots or branches could actually kill the tree or render it unstable and dangerous thus exposing the cutter to substantial legal liability for all damage including replacement of the damaged tree. In most states, if a tree falls during a severe storm and damages another property, the tree's owner isn't liable. tree root damage to foundations. No such action should be undertaken without first seeking to get the tree’s owner to remedy the problem. I have seen every insurance company cover “third-party” tree roots damages claims, which means that if roots from a neighbor’s tree damages your property, such as clogging your drain or cracking or lifting your sidewalk, the neighbor’s insurance company would pay and settle the claim. Falling limbs or a falling tree can injure people and property. When it comes to property damage from a neighbor's tree roots, the general rule is that any part of the tree encroaching onto your property is your responsibility, including maintenance. You could also argue the tree roots caused the damage long … 3. 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