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Question DetailsAsked on 9/9/2015

I have a neighbor who has at least seven dead trees one fell one has roots ruining my wall what should I do?

He has seven dead trees one live tree going under my wall its roots in three years has opened the wall. He took no responsibility for cleaning up the tree that is so dead bugs lived in it. I have dogs one being a service dog his dead tree took out a fence section where it would be a six foot fall for my dogs. I was yelled at for cleaning it up by the adjuster who arrived 20 days later. Took his side immediately. Third party claim. He has all theses dead trees right out his window that he leaves to fall on my yard. I am planning to move but need the wall to be perfect. The root system is on my property can I remove what goes under my wall which now has to be rebuilt. Estimate 20 g. Clean up of dead tree rebuilding wall damaged top and cracked all the way to ground in another place the corner. This used to hold a pool so the retaining wall which was certified by an engineer was 450$ but three years later his tree is growing under the wall. The effeecacy of the wall is vital to sell.

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OK - for as $20K repair estimate for a retaining wall this must be one heck of a retaining wall and a lot of damage. I would say first of you need more bids - and maybe a cheaper fix design from the engineer, because there are not a lot of residential retaining walls that cost that much built from scratch, much less for a repair.

Generally you can cut intruding roots at your property line - but different states have requirements for legal pre-notification of the neighbor if doing such will destabilize or potentially kill the tree.

Damage to the wall from a falling tree of his and cleanup of the tree, if he does or will not do it, you could sue him for or file a claim with his insurance company for compensation for. Though yes, they have to be able to assess the damage before you clean it up, but the adjuster should not have yelled at you. IF this was recent (assuming adjuster was working for HIS insurance company) this could be good cause for you to appeal his decision on the situation with the insurance company and have them send out an adjustment supervisor to talk to you about your claim - might get something out of that.

Unfortunately, root damage is not claimable on insurance - his or yours generally - as is considered an act of god, though there have been cases where a person has notified a neighbor of intruding roots causing damage, and then won a court case over the damage later on on the ground they constituted a nuisance and controllable damage by his property. Using the same phiolosophy of claiming for damage from steep slopes that downhill neighbors warn builders or uphill neighbors about erosion or slumping from, then win cases after there is a major or continued slope failure, even if the failure might have been natural in cause.

On the dead trees - particularly since one fell already (hope you have pictures, and you at least have the insurance claim as evidence), you could send him a certified return receipt letter demanding they be abated - removed - as a hazard to your property. If he fails, then you can sue - and in some jurisdictions get government assistance in getting him to remove them as a public hazard.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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