What Happens If My Tree Falls on My Neighbor’s House in Santa Rosa, CA?

At Empire Tree Experts, your experts for tree removal in Santa Rosa, people ask us a lot of questions. One common one is, “What happens if my tree falls on my neighbor’s house?” In this post, we’ll look at the legal consequences of tree-related property damage, tree injuries, and more.

what happens if my tree falls on my neighbor's house

Who Owns the Tree? 

The first step in determining responsibility for a fallen tree on a neighbor’s premises is to work out who owns the tree. This depends on where the trunk is:

  • If it’s in your yard, it’s your tree, regardless of whether the canopy overhangs the property line. 
  • If it’s right on the property line, you’re both responsible. 

Who Bears the Liability?

Understanding who has to pay is why everyone asks, “What happens if my tree falls on my neighbor’s house?” This varies from state to state, but in most cases, it depends on why the tree fell. 

If it was due to an “act of God” like a storm, you’re not liable. They’ll need to claim against their home insurance coverage for tree damage. 

The exception is if you were negligent. If, for example, a branch died and you failed to cut it down, or if you didn’t take care of the tree and it died and then fell over, you could face problems. If your neighbors can prove you were negligent, you bear full liability for the tree falling on your neighbor’s house. 

Does Your Insurance Pay Out If You’re Liable? 

This depends on the insurer. Some pay out regardless of who was at fault, while others only entertain claims if you weren’t negligent. Other companies will cover specific damages, like to the home, but not services like landscape restoration. 

You should check your policy carefully or ask your agent. However, before going that route, see what costs are involved. If it’s only a small piece of fence you need to replace, it might be simpler to carry the cost yourself. 

Neighbor Dispute Resolution After Tree Impact

Hopefully, you and your neighbor are on good terms and can discuss the situation amicably. If that’s the case, find out how much the neighbor’s property damage from the fallen tree totaled and see if you can make an arrangement to pay it off. 

This is far better than the alternative, which might result in them taking you to court. If the situation is heated, which is common, make sure the law’s on your side. 

Check the municipal laws and share what you find. This ensures that everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities. You should ideally be able to find an amicable solution without going to court. 

If that’s not going to happen, it might be worthwhile to enlist the help of a mediator. 

Contact Us for Expert Assistance

One thing is sure when you answer, “What happens if my tree falls on my neighbor’s house?” Someone needs to remove the tree. Empire Tree Experts is your go-to team for tree removal and diagnosing other issues like signs of tree decay.

Call us at 707-521-2151 to schedule service today!

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