UK Property Law
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I have not spoken to the neighbour yet. I wanted to get some advice before I approach them. It is a tall pear tree that grows fully on their side of the fence.
Is the best next step to call the council? I live in uk, London.
Save your time and money ringing the Council. It is nothingwhatsoever to do with the Council unless next door is a Council house which isrented. Even then, the council will simply say that it is the tenant'sresponsibility.
And indeed, it is the tenants responsibility under the OccupiersLiability Act also in common law negligence.
Provided there has not been a horrendous storm which would havebroken even a tree in good health and that the branch has broken through lackof maintenance/care/trimming/pruning you have a claim.
The breaking of the branch incident must be reasonably foreseeableand so must the damage caused.
The second one, the damage, causes no problem because that isindeed reasonably foreseeable that of a branch falls on your shed, it willcause damage.
The first one is more problematical because it would depend on thestate of the tree before the branch broke. If the branch looked dangerousbefore the event, or the tree was diseased or the branch was partly broken ordangerously long, then it is reasonably foreseeable that it will break.
My suggestion would obviously be to speak to the neighbour andtell them that the tree has damage your shed and ask them to pay for it and ifthey will not, you are then faced with doing the repair and suing them in theSmall Claims Court to recover the costs.
You can do it quite easily here www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
and let the judge decide the issue.
Does that answer the question? Can I clarify anything?
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Thanks for your help.
A final few questions
- How hard is it to go through the small claims. Would I have to go to the court a couple of times and would it take a while to finish? Also should i go through small claims after having the shed repaired?
- I guess my insurance also covers the shed. I might also give the insurance company a call and see if they can help.
Depending on the cost of repairing the shed, you might not wantto put it through your insurance company because it may be that the increasedpremium next year is more than the cost of the repair!
It is always better to go to court having done the job than to gowith estimates.
If the cost of the repair is only a couple of hundred quid, thereis a bit of paperwork to and fro initially but there is just one court hearing.
If the neighbour takes advice, he will simply pay up when you askhim to pay, based upon the facts that you have given me.
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