Damage to property

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Damage to property

During hurricane my neighbors trampoline damaged 2 privacy fences, became

airborne and damaged my son porch. A branch also broke off of her tree and part of it was on my property but the tree has roots that are above ground and feel that it will fall on my house. Does she have to pay for repairs to my sun porch and fences, should she remove the tree?

Asked on September 22, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) You write this happened during a hurricane. A property owner is only liable or responsible for damage IF she was at fault in causing it, such as by being unreasonably careless. Unless you can show that she did not secure the trampoline the way you are instructed to or which reasonable people do AND that if she had secured it that way, the hurricane could not have picked it up, she would not be liable. She is not at fault in causing the hurricane and also would not be at fault if she did what was was supposed to in regards to securing a trampoline--or even if she failed to secure it as she should have, if such precautions would have been ineffective against this storm.
2) She probably *should* remove the tree, but you can't force her to. You can put her on written notice (send it some way you can prove delivery) of the perceived threat and if she fails to take precautionary actions after being notified of the threat, you can likely successfully sue her for any damage if the tree does fall, since failing to mitigate a known threat would be unreasonably careless.


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