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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55452
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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My neighbor in Indiana has a large number of dying and dead

Customer Question

My neighbor in Indiana has a large number of dying and dead ash trees. These trees are very tall, 50-60 feet. Because of the ash bore we had to remove 13 infected ash trees, this past year. The entire neighborhood is very wooded. Therefore, many of our neighbors have also removed dead ash trees.
Our neighbor has refused to cut down their dead and dying trees. Some of them are leaning and over hanging our home. They present both a structural hazard and a safety hazard to our home. One large tree in particular hangs over our bedroom and if it fell could cause bodily harm to my wife and I when we are asleep. Our neighbors comment is, if the trees fall over and damage your property then insurance will cover the damage. We feel in danger, can we protect ourselves and our property?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You are absolutely correct to be concerned. And, because they are diseased and dead, if they should fall, your neighbor and the neighbor's insurance company is going to be liable. But, that doesn't help you if you were to get injured or killed. So, you want to raise the stakes on them. First, you want to create a smoking gun situation for them. Send them one more registered letter or have it delivered by courier so you have proof it was received and when informing them of the trees and demanding they be removed within a short specified period of time. Let them know if they have knowledge of these trees and do nothing and they fall and cause damage, they will be liable for not only your actual damages but also punitive damages due to what will constitute either gross negligence and/or intentional bad faith. Second, I would call the city/county and inform them of the dangerous condition and ask them to come inspect the trees and issue the neighbor a citation. This will likely result in your city/county doing your work for you. Third, I would look up in the property records to determine if there is a mortgage on the property and if so, I would contact that mortgage company by sending them the same letter you send the neighbor as the mortgage company will likely also contact the neighbor's insurance company who will then threaten the neighbor with cancellation of their insurance if they don't remediate the issue.

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