What to do if a neighbor’s tree is in danger of falling on my property?

The tree is leaning and looks like it is about to fall into my yard. If it does it will certainly destroy my fence and possibly my shed. I will take pictures ASAP and send the neighbor a registered letter asking them to take remedial action. Does this cover me insurance-wise if the tree ultimately falls and causes the damage? Will the neighbor be liable?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If it appears that your neighbor's tree might fall onto your property causing damages, you should make sure that you have adequate homeowner's insurance to cover the possible damages that could result.

Unfortunately under the law you cannot force your neighbor to do anything about cutting down the tree if he or she does not wish to. If the tree falls on your property and damages things, your neighbor will have no liability for what happened in the the falling of the tree is deemed an action of nature.

I suggest that you offer to pay for part of the tree's removal or offer to remove it yourself and see what the neighbor's reaction will be explaining your concern that it may cause damage to your property.

Taking photographs is fine. Sending a registered letter seeking remedial action from the neighbor most likely will do more harm than good for you.

Good luck.


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