What to do if a neighbor’s tree fell onto our house?

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What to do if a neighbor’s tree fell onto our house?

I own a house and on Sunday, a dead and decaying tree fell on our house. The owner of the house said that he meant to cut it down a long time ago but never did. it caused a hole in our roof when it fell. Our insurance company says that we have to pay. Is this correct? I cannot seem to find the law online.

Asked on October 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) Check your policy: the insurance policy is a contract, and if under its terms, the insurer should pay, they should pay--and if necessary, you could sue them to force them to honor their contractual obligations. Don't simply take what they say at face value--insurance never wants to pay.

2) If the neighbor was aware that the tree was dead and decaying--that is, that it in danger of falling--but failed to take reasonable action, like cutting it down, the neighbor may well have been negligent, or unreasonably careless; that negligence could provide grounds for you to sue your neighbor and recover the cover of the damage from him or her.


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