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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36215
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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There is a tree leaning on my house, and it is not on my property,

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There is a tree leaning on my house, and it is not on my property, however the adjoining property. What is the legal way of approaching the other property owner?
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Is the tree actually touching your house or is it just leaning towards it across the property line?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


It is leaning toward the house. If it does fall on my house who pays the insurance claim, me or the owner of the tree? OR will the insurance pay at all due to this situation? The tree is growing up against a hill, and it is at, about a 30% angle.

Ok, if it is crossing over the vertical boundary to your properties, then you have a couple options, each differing in severity.
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First you can just trim the part of the tree that is crossing over the property line onto your property at your expense. You have to take care not to kill the tree if possible or the neighbor can hold you liable for the cost of the tree. If it wasn't possible to cut the part crossing the boundary without killing it, then you would probably want to try the second option or get something from a tree professional stating it was unavoidable along with lots of pictures.
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Second option is you can simply write the neighbor a letter stating that their tree is very close to falling and is creating an unreasonable danger of damage to your house. With that said, you are formally putting them on notice of the dangerous condition and are requesting that they have the tree taken down before it falls and damages your house or you will have to file suit under a private nuisance cause of action..
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By doing so, you have put them on actual notice of the dangerous condition and if something happens, they would be negligent per se because they are actually aware of a dangerous condition and don't do anything. The risk is your house is damaged and then you have to have it fixed afterwards if they don't take it down.
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The third option is to have an attorney send the same letter. When someone gets a letter from an attorney threatening to sue them, then it has a bit more "bite" and may convince them to take action.
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The fourth option, and most drastic, is to go ahead and file a lawsuit against them in small claims court for "private nuisance". A private nuisance is an interference with a person's enjoyment and use of his land. The law recognizes that landowners, or those in rightful possession of land, have the right to the unimpaired condition of the property and to reasonable comfort and convenience in its occupation.
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Since the tree is creating a dangerous condidtion that is interfering with your use and enjoyment of your house, you can get a judge to order the owner to remove the tree before it damages your house.
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Depending on whether you know your neighbor personally or not, I would probably start out with a letter personally or from an attorney and then move up to filing suit if they didn't take action.
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Thanks
Barrister
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