Who is responsible when neighbor's tree falls on your house?


If the tree is healthy and comes down simply by an act of God, the homeowner is responsible for the damage to their home even if it's the neighbor's tree.  If your neighbor's tree is diseased or dying and you put your neighbor on notice by certified mail, then your neighbor is responsible for any damage done by the tree falling down.


Nathan: In the back of our house in Summer Old County, we have this easement, where the neighbor across the way has a pine tree that's about 100 feet tall. It's a big, messy, old pine tree. But our concern is that if we have a hurricane and that thing falls on our property because it is leaning our way, and it does damage to our property, who is liable for the damage? I was told by a neighbor he heard from a lawyer on TV that actually the damage would be our responsibility if his tree falls on our property.

Attorney Tom Olsen: I get you. Nathan. But I hear you when you tell me the tree is on an easement, but who owns the land underneath that tree? Your neighbor.

Nathan: It's the neighbor.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Here's the Tree Law, Nathan. Nathan, if that tree is a healthy tree, nobody knows that it's unhealthy or damaged. If that tree comes down by an act of God, then it does damage to your house, you would be responsible for repairing your house. Now Nathan, if that tree was diseased or damaged and you wrote your neighbor a letter by a certified mail and said, "The tree that you own is on your property is diseased and damaged, and if that tree comes down and damages my property, I'm going to sue you," then you could. Nathan, what you're telling me if I think is that tree is healthy, you're just concerned.

Attorney Tom Olsen: If that tree comes down, you're going to have to repair your own home. If you're really that concerned about it, then you would want to get your neighbor's permission to cut it down. Of course, you cannot cut it down without your neighbor's permission. Nathan--

Nathan: At my cost of course.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Your cost, exactly. Okay, Nathan. Hey, folks, my name is Tom Olsen. The name of the show is Olsen Law, you're listening to News 965.