Who is responsible for damage to my roof and carport that is being caused by my neighbor’s tree?

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Who is responsible for damage to my roof and carport that is being caused by my neighbor’s tree?

My neighbor has an extremely large live oak tree that has branches that extend well over into my yard and are damaging my carport, and the roof of my garage and house. Who is responsible for cutting back the tree and repairing the damage? His is a large tree and would require a professional to trim it.

Asked on September 19, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Most homeowners' insurance policies cover damage done by a tree on a neighboring property. After it compensates you, the company may turn sue your neighbor. Obviously, it's best to address such a situation before the branches cause damage to your roof/carport. You are within your right to cut back encroaching branches fro a a neighbor's tree back to our property line. As a courtesy you can inform your neighbor beforehand; hopefully they will share the expense of doing so. If the branches are near power, phone, cable lines, you notify the utilty company to step in and take action. Further, often local municipalities will take action to make an owner take care of dangerous conditions, such as a hazardous tree on their property. If that doesn't help, you can always sue your neighbor under the legal theory of "nuisance" since the tree interferes with the use and enjoyment of your property. You can ask the court to order the owner to remove the tree, however the impairment of your ownership rights would need be demonstrated.


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