If a storm causes tree branches to fall on a neighbor’s property, who is responsible for cleaning them up?

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If a storm causes tree branches to fall on a neighbor’s property, who is responsible for cleaning them up?

The tree owner or the neighbor?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Dakota

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, the property owner on whose land the tree branches landed on after the storm ended would clean up the debris on his or her property even if the branches are from a tree on a neighbor's property prior to the storm.

For example, leaves in Autumn blow in from all over the neighborhood and land on the the properties of various people. Don't the people who have the leaves blown onto their property simply rake them up and hopefully put them in the green waste container for recycling?

Same holds true for tree branches that are storm blown. Makes sense?

Is there a dispute between neighbors over the tree branch issue?


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