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What to do, neighbors tree is dead and leaning over my home


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#1 jmp5664

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

Move in my home about 3 years ago to find out the neighbor on one side was incapasitated (SP?) or something like that, didn't have a will or something. Finally found some county paperwork on the door that led me to a mans address who supposedly was left the property or something along those lines. Contacted him and left a message, called back by him and said he was out of town and would call when he got in, thats was the end of that because he shortly after moved. Went to the County and found out it was going to a tax sale, then I saw guys cleaning up the yard who said they were working for somebody, wouldn't tell me who but all the searches on-line have led me nowhere. Guess I need to go up to the county and have the records checked. Its in Baltimore co., Maryland.

I've heard if it comes down during a storm that its an ack of nature. I hope if I make an effort and notify the owner that they end up being responsible for the tree. I just can't afford to have it taken down myself and don't want a tree falling on me when I'm sleeping.

#2 adjusterjack

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

I've heard if it comes down during a storm that its an ack of nature.


Not necessarily.

If the storm is strong enough to blow down even a live tree, then there would be nowhere to go with a claim agaiinst the owner.

However, if the tree is visibly defective or dying where the owner "knew or should have known" abou the condition and failed to remedy it, there could be a negligence claim against the owner which your insurance company would pursue if it pays a claim for tree damage to your home.

I hope if I make an effort and notify the owner that they end up being responsible for the tree.


I suggest you take dated photos of the condition of the tree and continue your efforts to determine the current owner of the property and make sure you put your notices in writing.

Unfortunately, if this is a foreclosure situation, there might be several changes in ownership with nobody accepting responsibility for the tree.

I just can't afford to have it taken down myself.


Then you take your chances and then rely on your homeowners insurance.

don't want a tree falling on me when I'm sleeping.


Nature doesn't conduct itself based on the wants of the people that crawl all over its planet.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#3 Fallen

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:19 PM

It's unclear why your post doesn't address the topic of you contacting a professional about addressing the tree yourself (may be less than your deductible on homeowner's, and certainly less expensive than the overall hassle of dealing with home damage).

I'd like to think that the property tax assessment folks haven't been sending bills to the current address if they've reason to believe the owner died. Have you checked the local probate court to see whether there's an estate opened in the name of this dead neigbhor; if so, there should be an executor listed and you'd be free to write to that person as executor/admin of the estate of so-and-so.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

To learn more about your rights regarding this subject matter, you may visit the Real Estate Law Center: Neighbors and read Neighbors and Trees as a good resource.

#5 BLESSEDB_6632

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:04 PM

Sorry to hear,unfortunately i'm in that situation. I Work in a home thats in a trailer park (home health), was at work, tree fell on van.I have had to sue property owner. The weather was calm, no rain or anything. I have gone to small claims, mediation, now district court, of course now he has a lawyer which i can't afford. Of course after the tree fell i saw it was rotten from the base. So wish me luck! My advice to you is, find the owner before it does any damage! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!

#6 adjusterjack

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:42 PM

Sorry to hear,unfortunately i'm in that situation. I Work in a home thats in a trailer park (home health), was at work, tree fell on van.I have had to sue property owner.


No damage insurance on your van?

The weather was calm, no rain or anything. I have gone to small claims, mediation, now district court, of course now he has a lawyer which i can't afford.


Lawyer was likely assigned by his homeowners' insurance company and moved to the higher court if lawyers weren't permitted in small claims court.

Of course after the tree fell i saw it was rotten from the base.


You saw it was rotten AFTER it fell? That could be a problem. Did it show any sign that it was rotten before it fell? If it didn't then the owner wouldn't have known it was rotted and therefore wouldn't be negligent. Without negligence, you might not win.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#7 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:17 PM

It's unclear why your post doesn't address the topic of you contacting a professional about addressing the tree yourself (may be less than your deductible on homeowner's, and certainly less expensive than the overall hassle of dealing with home damage).


I'll guess then that you didn't read the post that carefully, because the OP did address that:


I just can't afford to have it taken down myself and don't want a tree falling on me when I'm sleeping.






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