What to do if we are renting a home and an oak tree which was in the front yard fell causing a lot of damage?

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What to do if we are renting a home and an oak tree which was in the front yard fell causing a lot of damage?

If fell on our home. We are not able to live in the home until is is considered safe and repaired. The hotel we are living in is a lot more than the rent we were paying. We are unable to get our furniture out at this time too which is why we are in a hotel. Is the landlord responsible for the difference in cost of rent and hotel?

Asked on November 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The landlord would only be responsible for the difference in rental vs. hotel cost, as well as for any lost/damaged personal property of yours, IF the landlord knew (or reasonably must have known; that  is, any landlord in his position would have known) that the tree posed some specific threat--that is, it was visibly and obviously sick, dying, dead, etc. If the landlord knew of a threat and refused or failed to take action, that could support finding him liable; without some knowledge of a threat, however, the landlord is not at fault--he did nothing wrong--and would not be liable.


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