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Question DetailsAsked on 9/19/2016

tree company will use my yard to cut trees down on my neighbors property. Any thing I should know to watch out for?

Don't mind trucks being closer to get job done but want to protect myself from any problems that could happen. Does chipper debri ruin the lawn?

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1 Answer


Sounds like you have already agreed to this - if that were not the case I would be relulctant to permit this, because while it might save your neighbor some money, it does open up some liability for you in allowing them to operate on your property with your permission. Basically, any normal trafficking or working damage they cause to your property that would be considered "normal" for that type work is not something you could recover from them for - ditto to damage to unseen utilities - power or communications lines, buried pipes or drain lines, etc. Also, you would be exposing yourself to potential liability if a worker gets injured on your property, or if some third-party is injured or suffers damage from their work while on your property. This exposure is likely to be less protected (for you) than if they were actually under contract to you, because commonly contractor insurance protects the company and the customers to a significant extent, but not so much third parties - and you would be on the lesser covered side because you would not be a "customer" because you are not paying them to work on the neighbor's trees.

Issues I would consider if you allow it:

1) because you are not the customer, your protection under the contractor's insurance isnot as much as if you were - you should at least require that they give you proof of liability insurance with you as an additional insured for the period while the work is under way.

2) if they would be driving on lawn, expect some rutting and tire imprints and maybe spinning damage, especially if wet - certainly do not water for several days before the work to minimize that issue.

3) if you have unusually shallow buried utilities there is a risk of them damaging them driving on them - which would be considered probably at your risk since you are authorizing them on the property. Ditto to driveway damage if their truck cracks or breaks down the edge of your drive. Ditto to damage to low-hanging trees that their trucks might break branches off or they might cut to gain access.

4) chipping/mulching - certainly any thickness of residual mulch or chips can smother a lawn - wood chips also tend to pull nitrogen out of the soil so it may affect your grass, through if not actually "covering" the grass probably will survive it OK. Should require it be well raked up and remove chipper debris and stray twigs on your property - and since you are not paying them you do not have withholding the payment as a handle on making them do that, so that should be included as a requirement in the neighbor's contract and you should convince him not to pay until your yard is well cleaned up.

5) certainly if there are overhead lines in the work area, or low enough their truck could clip them, beware of that

6) if you have planters or such that might be near the driving area put up stakes with flagging to mark them so drivear can see them

7) don't allow driving over septic tank especially, and preferably not over leach field either because it compacts the soil and reduces infiltration capacity, and in some cases can crush the drainfield pipe or cause connections to break.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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