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I have a tree on my property that has damaged a neighbor's…

Customer Question
I have a tree...

I have a tree on my property that has damaged a neighbor's pipe. We've both gone through our homeowner's insurance (state farm) and filed claims to get things fixed. Both claims were denied - his was denied because his policy doesn't cover damage to tree roots, and mine was denied because I wasn't being negligent, ergo, I wasn't legally liable (according to state farm). The HOA maintains our front lawns, but according to them "trees and/or shrubs are the responsibility of the homeowner", although I can't find any record of that appearing anywhere in the HOA agreement. In fact, under the section "Common Use Areas" in the HOA rules and guidebook, they state "The HOA will maintain, but is not required to replace the front yard landscaping of each lot". I guess my question is - State farm says I'm not liable for damages, but does the law agree?

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

Las Vegas, NV

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Just claims with our insurance company, both of which was denied. Nothing with anyone else

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

Off the top of my head? no

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/21/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 10 months ago
Gerald-Esquire
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,455
Experience: Over 30 years of experience
Verified

Hello,
Thank you for using Just Answer. Please bear with me while I review your question. I will respond fully shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Hello,

Thank you for your patience and thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

The laws regarding the natural encroachment of trees is well established. The owner of a healthy tree whose roots, limbs, or branches are encroaching on neighboring property has no legal obligation to do anything about the natural growth of that tree. Adjoining landowners would have the right, at their expense, to cut back to the property line any such encroaching components of the tree.

You are not liable to your neighbor for the damage caused by the tree.

If you want to be a good neighbor and split the cost of the repair to the pipe you may do so, BUT you are not obligated to.

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow-up questions, feel free to ask.

If you ask a follow-up question and I do not respond immediately, it is because I am temporarily unavailable. I promise to respond as soon as I return. Please note that I am often unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response, PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or, if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you, and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

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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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