Your Tree Falls on a Neighbor's Shed

Page 2 of 6  
wrote:

Not true! To be applicable common law must be validated by statutory law in all states (with the exception of Louisiana, where common law is not the basis for their statutory law!)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to avoidspam, Greetings From The Future wrote: This thread is a zillion years old--but it contains really inaccurate info. The worst of which is given by the idiot "avoid spam" above.
There are very few states that codify landowner nuisance problems and resulting tort liability because it has been covered so well under common law.
In most states owners of trees are only liable for trees falling if 1) they know or should have known that the tree was in danger of falling; 2) and if the owner of said tree knows or should have known that the falling tree would result in the type of injury sustained.
In all cases, those with a possessory interest in land can protect their land (and in this case shed) through self help.
Examples: Lets call the owner of one piece of land "O" and the owner of a second piece of land "A".
O has a tree growing on her land, the top part of the tree is very large and has grown over onto A's land.
If A uses self help, A can remove the part of O's tree that is on A's land. Then A can sue O for the cost of the removal of the tree under a theory of nuisance and collect the cost of the tree removal.
If however A is aware of the danger and does not use self help to remove the danger of the tree falling on his own shed, then A has assumed the risk and can collect nothing.
If neither O nor A is aware of the danger of the tree falling on the shed, and the tree falls, then O is not liable to A for the nuisance and A cannot collect damages to his shed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 02 Sep 2016 21:14:01 +0000, Greetings From The Future

a registered letter to your neighbor, his lawyer, and yourself. Don't open yours. When the tree falls oof your neighbor knew or should have known the tree was a danger - and he is responsible for all repairs. If A removes part of O's tree and O decides A has damaged the tree he can sue - and win.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2016 5:09 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Step one might be going and TALKING with the neighbor about it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Taxed and Spent wrote:

About 30 years ago when we lived in Memphis , our neighbor had a very large tree right on the property line . That tree was splitting badly , and I asked him repeatedly to get it taken care of before it fell on our house . He didn't , it did , my insurance paid me , then recouped from his . His went after him for all or part of the cost , because he knew or should have reasonably known this was going to happen ... Next thing you know , we ain't friends any more and there's a 6 foot chain link fence between our properties . Talking with the neighbor doesn't always work - but it's a good place to start .
--
Snag



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 2 Sep 2016 19:09:05 -0700 (PDT), Uncle Monster

down butt end first on a roof. Through the roof and damaged the plaster ceiling below.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2016 6:18 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

You are never going to hear many stories that go "I saw my neighbors tree was dangerous, I talked to him about it, he had it taken down, neither house was damaged, and we are still goo old beer drinking buddies to this very day." But there are plenty of them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 2 Sep 2016 20:57:36 -0700, Taxed and Spent

If you drink enough beer, a fallen tree on your house dont matter, unless the tree landed inside your kitchen and the branches or the tree trunk are blocking the door on your refrigerator, where all the beer is kept........
Of course, there's always the corner bar, and they always got plenty of beer....... But if the tree fell after bar closing time, you're screwed, unless you can break enough branches to get to your fridge, or find your chainsaw before you sober up........
And dont forget, beer drinking buddies are like family. If they all get together, and hook enough ropes and chains to their motorcycles, they might be able to lift that tree off the refrigerator. After all, IT'S ALL FOR THE SAKE OF THE BEER!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A friend of mine experienced the opposite. There was a flood, and her (large) shed was moved into a neighbors yard, where it ended up standing on it's edge against the neighbors tree. After the flood water resided, I was one of several people asked to lower it from the tree, and move it back to the correct yard, with a tractor. I knew my tractor was not big enough for the job, but someone with a bulldozer did the job. The shed did survive, but it's contents (including a riding mower, snowblower, chainsaws, etc) were all ruined. The neighbors tree was not severely damaged, but both yards needed some repair. Neither person had flood insurance, but the guy with the dozer did the job for very little money, and helped other people in the area too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

FTR, NYS has codified all of its law and doesn't depend on common law for anything. Although I suppose they might find helpful examples from common law, they're not binding. I mention this only to tout NYS.

No objection to your post except that: Everyone says "registered letter" but when I was a mailman, I learned that the difference between a certified letter and a registered letter was that registered cost more money and included insurance on the contents, and when the contents are only text, there is no point to insuring it. They told us this specifically during training. Still true.
http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm100/extra-services.htm

A is entitled to remove any part of O's tree that overhangs A's property, but not a bit more of course. He or the person he hires may not go without permission on O's land to do this. The part removed doesn't have to be in danger of falling. A doesn't need any reason, although it might well make the tree look ugly and probably both A and O have to look at it.

True. But here's another example like yours. When my friend was in law school he had some sort of summer job on Staten Island. Staten Island was only accessible from NJ by bridge, or from NYC by ferry until 1964, and still had farms there until then. But the Verrazano Bridge made it accessible and commutable from to many people who'd never owned their own homes before. In some n'hoods, two houses would share one driveway, which would split in two behind the houses so each person could drive into his own garage. My friend saw one case where one neighbor built a fence, not just between the properties, but between the properties and down the middle of the driveway. So neither could use it! Of course this isn't legal and each owner has an easement on the half of the driveway he doesn't own but needs to reach his garage, so I'm sure the judge made the first guy tear down the fence.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2016 7:15 PM, Taxed and Spent wrote:

Always the best course to pursue. But some people will let you talk to them about it, but will not anything about it. Especially if it costs them money, but sometimes even if it doesn't.
I've got a lifelong neighbor like that. I had to kill one of her trees before she'd remove it (on our property line, had caused damage to my property twice, which she'd ignored), and I had to rent a bucket truck to hack away at another one that's in her back yard, but grew to overhang my garage, driveway, and house. She's got a line of invasive shrubs and junk trees on the property line, too, and she refuses to get rid of them for 'sentimental reasons'. So last weekend I borrowed my nephew's brush hog while she was up at the cabin. She and her daughter came home on Monday to dirt where the shrubs and junk trees used to be.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/8/2016 7:11 AM, Moe DeLoughan wrote:

I have to wonder what her side of this story is. I bet she has a pet name for you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 10:11:22 AM UTC-4, Moe DeLoughan wrote:

That should go a long way to leading to peace and tranquility in the neighborhood. She's probably on her way to her lawyer or out to get some dog poison.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Friday, September 2, 2016 at 5:14:05 PM UTC-4, Greetings From The Future wrote:

That part is correct.

You can sue all you want, but it's unlikely you will win. In most areas of the US, you have the right to trim the portion of the tree that is overhanging your property. You neighbor is not required to pay for it just because you don't like it, or some of it grows over the property line. If the portion is dead, decaying, clearly poses a danger to your property, or actually interferes with your use of your property in some real way, then you can win. Just because you think it's a "nuisance" doesn't make it one under the law. A better example of a "nuisance" is where the roots from the neighbor's tree are pushing up your sidewalk or damaging your foundation. A large tree on a neighbor's property, where some of it extends over the property line onto your large lot, but isn't interfering with your use of the property, that I don't think you're going to win, ie be able to force the neighbor to trim it. If you could, you'd have all kinds of OCD neighbors forcing people to spend all kinds of money trimming stuff.

I think this is mostly BS too. If there is a partially dying tree in your neighbor's yard that could fall over and hit your house what self help are you supposed to do? Hire a tree service to go on their property and cut down the tree? In such a situation, if you point it out to the neighbor, you've done enough. I would send a letter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You clearly do not know Pennsylvania law.
Jones v. Wagner, 624 A.2d 166 (1993),appeal denied, 536 Pa. 626 (1993).
"When tree branches overhang a property line, the aggrieved landowner is not limited to seeking monetary relief for any damage that may have occurred. When tree limbs grow over onto another person's property, there is a trespass. In fact, in the case of tree limbs, there is a continuing trespass occurring by the mere fact of the overhang and the possessor of land is entitled to pursue various remedies, including self-help. With regard to self-help, an aggrieved landowner is entitled to trim the branches back to the property line, and this is true even if the overhanging branches do not damage the property. Also, if the landowner has incurred reasonable expenses in the course of exercising a self-help remedy, he may recoup those expenses from the trespasser."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Saturday, September 3, 2016 at 1:42:48 PM UTC-4, catalpa wrote:

To start with, I never claimed to know PA law, I said in most of the US.
K, let's look at the PA case you cited Jones v. Wagner. It's not a case about a homeowner cutting tree limbs from a neighbor's tree that overhang his property and then suing to make the neighbor pay for the cost. It's a case of a homeowner doing exactly what I said they could do and that you agree they could do, which is cutting the branches back to the property line and then the neighbor who owns the tree sued *them* for damages. The alleged damages being the replacement cost of the trees because the neighbor objected to those branches being trimmed. And while the court cited what you say, they also clearly said:
"While there does exist some conflict regarding when a landowner may instit ute an action for injunctive or monetary relief *106 against an adjoining l andowner whose trees overhang the property line, one common thread connects all of these cases: the landowner whose land is encroached by the overhang ing branches may trim the limbs to the extent of the encroachment. As the D istrict of Columbia Court of Appeals cogently stated in Sterling, supra: "[ W]e think that the cases are in agreement that trees ordinarily aren't nuis ances; that overhanging branches which merely cast shade or drop leaves on the land are not nuisances; that if under any circumstances overhanging bra nches or protruding roots do constitute a nuisance it is only when they do sensible or substantial harm; and that, whether nuisances or not, a landown er may always cut away to his property line branches and roots from trees o f the adjoining owner." Id. at 147 (emphasis added)."
They cite the Columbia Court of appeals saying exactly what I posted, that a neighbor's tree limbs, simply overhanging you property, is not typically a nuisance under the law that would force your neighbor to pay for the trimming. They say, like I said, that you may trim them on your own up to your property line. Pay attention to this part:
"trees ordinarily aren't nuisances; that overhanging branches which merely cast shade or drop leaves on the land are not nuisances; that if under any circumstances overhanging branches or protruding roots do constitute a nuis ance it is only when they do sensible or substantial harm; "
Which is exactly what I said in my post, that just because some branches overhang onto your property, that doesn't mean they meet the legal definition of a "nuisance". And for good reason. If the standard which you claim was in effect, you'd have a lot of neighbors who don't like each other forcing people to do silly trimming because branches of natural trees simply overhang a bit into their mostly open yard. If you really object to them, as always, you're free to do the trimming yourself.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 07 Jul 2004 18:47:05 GMT, "Art"

Exactly.
Unless there is gross negligence on the part of the tree owner, he would not be liable for any damages to the shed.
Have a nice week...
Trent
What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How about:
0. Talk to neighbor about it, as to how to settle it.
If I were your neighbor, unless you happen to be a carpenter or contractor of good repute and we have a decent relationship, I wouldn't want you fixing it. And maybe even in that case maybe I woudln't want you fixing it. I couldn't be sure of your knowledge or expertise, or even motivation to do more than a passable job on what after all isn't your shed. I'd want to get insurance, or you (through a claims court if necessary - hopefully not), to pay and I'd get bids on the work. Or do labor myself if *I* were confident about it, but I'd still want materials and possibly something for my labor, depending on the original condition and value of the shed.
So think of it from your neighbor's point of view, and be prepared for the neighbor to want to collect and get someone else to fix it. But start by talking to them.
Banty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had a tree fall on the neighbors deck called state farm they asked if I had done anything to the tree and when I said no they told me it was then an act of god and they would pay for the tree to be removed but the neighbor insurance would have to cover his loss .But if I had done anything to the tree they would then cover his lose and I would be on my own for my loss. Mark H.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Did you cause the tree to fall(cutting, etc.)? If you had nothing to do with the tree falling over then the neighbor's insurance will be responsible for the damage.
My 2c,
Matty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.