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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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A few branches from the neighbours pear tree has broken and

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A few branches from the neighbours pear tree has broken and fallen on top the roof of my shed. Subsequently, the roof started to leak. Please advice on the best course of action to get this resolved.
The neighbour is responsible for this. Have you spoken to them?
Can we have fullest details please? Thanks
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

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 nothing
whatsoever to do with the Council unless next door is a Council house which is
rented. Even then, the council will simply say that it is the tenant's

And indeed, it is the tenants responsibility under the Occupiers
Liability Act also in common law negligence.

Provided there has not been a horrendous storm which would have
broken even a tree in good health and that the branch has broken through lack
of maintenance/care/trimming/pruning you have a claim.

The breaking of the branch incident must be reasonably foreseeable
and so must the damage caused.

The second one, the damage, causes no problem because that is
indeed reasonably foreseeable that of a branch falls on your shed, it will
cause damage.

The first one is more problematical because it would depend on the
state of the tree before the branch broke. If the branch looked dangerous
before the event, or the tree was diseased or the branch was partly broken or
dangerously long, then it is reasonably foreseeable that it will break.

My suggestion would obviously be to speak to the neighbour and
tell them that the tree has damage your shed and ask them to pay for it and if
they will not, you are then faced with doing the repair and suing them in the
Small Claims Court to recover the costs.

You can do it quite easily here

and let the judge decide the issue.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

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 want
to put it through your insurance company because it may be that the increased
premium next year is more than the cost of the repair!

It is always better to go to court having done the job than to go
with estimates.

If the cost of the repair is only a couple of hundred quid, there
is 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 ask
him to pay, based upon the facts that you have given me.

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