If my car was damaged by a fallen tree limb at my rental and the tree was in need of pruning, who is responsible for damages?

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If my car was damaged by a fallen tree limb at my rental and the tree was in need of pruning, who is responsible for damages?

Asked on January 26, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord may or may not be liable; you did not provide much by way of details. The fact is that a landlord is not automatically responsible for a tenant's loss simply because the loss occured on the tenant's land. Instead, there must be fault. In other words, the landlord must have done something wrong or been negligent in some way. If the tree was rotten, falling down, leaning, etc. and the landlord knew or reasonably should have known that, then they would likely be liable. However, the opposite is true if an otherwise healthy tree simply succumbed, without warning, to a bad heavy storm or the like. There would be no fault and therefore the landlord is most likel not reponiblep becuse they did nothing wrong. The fact is that a tree that merely needed pruning may not be enough to establish liability.


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