Trees: Who is responsible, my neighbor or me?
Trees: Who is responsible, my neighbor or me? The hallmark of Florida single-family homes is trees. Even when they are listed for sale, it is common to describe the number of trees found there as one of their advantages. Of course, these plants, in addition to beautifying the environment, and providing shade and fruit, are sometimes a source of conflict.
“The tree at our house grows near the neighbor’s power lines.” “Our avocado tree bombards someone else’s roof, and the neighbors complain about the noise they produce at night.” “The huge royal palm tree next door is sick and I am afraid it will fall on my garage.”
What to do with the trees?
Trees are a reflection of the attention they receive from the owner. The owner who has trees in his house knows that he must take care of them so that they grow healthy and, as much as possible, that they do not disturb those who live in the adjoining properties.
If his tree has grown too much and is close to the electrical wires, either the neighbor’s or your own, before the strong winds of hurricane season arrive, it is necessary to request a professional service to prune it. Be careful, the contracted company must have a license and insurance. If when cutting a branch, damages the power lines, the insurance of that company will respond for the damages. If you lack insurance, you will be responsible.
If you have a tree that is a source of conflict with your neighbor, either because the branches are directed towards the roof of it and that is where the fruits fall and the neighbor cuts the branches that bother him. Don’t worry, the neighbor has every right to cut them down to the edge of his fence.
If your neighbor’s royal palm is diseased and you are afraid it will fall on his property, you should sue him to court. We advise you to document the illness with photos and keep some documentation of the claim. If during heavy rains or strong winds the palm finally falls over, you can prove to your homeowners insurance whose negligence was involved.
However, if the neighbor’s royal palm was healthy and the wind knocked it over his roof. It’s not the neighbor’s fault. You can claim your own homeowner’s insurance for the damage caused. It is one of the coverages offered by home insurance.
In short, having trees makes you responsible for their care and for the damages that this causes as a result of their neglect. Your insurance is responsible for the damage that these cause in your own home. Trees: Who is responsible, my neighbor or me?