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Due to Hurricane Irma, a tree fell on my mother's mobile…

Due to Hurricane Irma...

Due to Hurricane Irma, a tree fell on my mother's mobile home. The tree that fell originated on the adjoining property, however, appears to have been alive when it fell. The mobile home is owned by my mother's estate and the lot is rented from the retirement community's mobile home park owner. Who is responsible for the tree removal cost and damages that occurred to the home?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

I apologize, it is in Florida.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

What type of paperwork? The storm just occurred this past weekend and all county offices have been closed.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

That should be about it except I need to act upon this as soon as possible since the tree is still on the home. If the owner is responsible for the removal, am I allowed to chose a reputable, licensed service to do the work?

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
9/14/2017
ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,305
Experience: Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry very to hear about your situation.

If there is sufficient evidence that the landowner knew or should have known of the unreasonable risk, the landowner might be liable for damage caused by a tree. If there is any evidence offered, the jury would decide if the evidence was sufficient to prove notice of the defective condition of the tree/trees.

A court may consider the defense that a falling tree was an act of God. In the legal sense, an act of God is an extraordinary manifestation of the forces of nature without the intervention of man. An act is not considered an act of God, in the legal sense, if it could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable diligence or ordinary care.

It appears from prior court cases that if a healthy tree falls into your yard because of an act of God, the disposal of that fallen tree is now your mother's responsibility. It wouldn't be the park owner's or the other owner's liability.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
The property management was notified several times of the potential hazards of the trees bordering my mother's property. I have pictures prior to the storm showing them leaning towards her home. Other tenants have complained and one had already fallen down in my mother's driveway that management came and cleaned up. So I believe that I will have sufficient evidence to pursue payment from the current property owner. Thank you very much for your time and expertise.

Were they sick?

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Okay, if you feel that way, that they constituted a substantial hazard, then that should be fine.

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ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,305
Experience: Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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