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I have a problem with my neighbors tree roots totally clogging my sewer line.' his trees are right next to his fence and my sewer line is about 2 feet on the other side of the fence. is he responsible for fixing this?

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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11/11/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: N Cal Attorney, Lawyer replied 5 months ago
N Cal Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 9,654
Experience: Since 1983
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Thank you for your question.

The answer is Yes, the owner of the tree is liable for damages caused by roots that encroach onto your property. The neighbor is not required to fix this but is liable for the cost of fixing it. This type of claim is probably covered by the neighbor's homeowener's insurance, assuming it exists.

I would first try to speak with the neighbor and try to resolve this calmly, but if that doesn't work, the next step would usually be to have a local attorney send a demand letter to the neighbor stating this is notice of a claim, please contact your insurer immediately. If they do not answer the demand letter, then you would have to file a lawsuit, but insurers usually respond to demand letters because they would rather settle cases with their own adjusters and not have to pay attorney fees. Dealing with adjusters is usually preferable to dealing with attorneys.

You will need an estimate from a suitable licensed contractor so you will know how much to ask for in the demand letter. Or you can make the repairs and then seek restitution. Also, you should probably look at your own homeowner's policy to see if it might cover this type of problem. If you are not sure, you can ask your insurance agent or insurance company. If your insurer covers it, then your insurer can go after the neighbor's insurer for reimbursement and leave you out of having to go to court.

You can get a free consultation from some of the attorneys listed by location here.

I hope this information is helpful.

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