in Denver we had the blizzard 3 weeks ago and branches off our tree fell into the neighbors yard and damaged a section of trellis in their yard we removed the branches without entering their yard as soon as the snow allowed us access a week later we were contacted by the home owners with pix of the branches demanding we remove them and replace the trellis (est.value20.00)the home is a rental so the owners had no knowledge the branches had been long gone. We explained the fallen branches and broken trellis were an act of god and in his airspace and really not our responsibility they have since contacted an attorney and we were sent a letter demanding we repair or pay to get get the repairs done claiming the "fallen Tree" "resulted from your/our failure to maintain" which is not the case we spent hours each year we lived here trimming and caring for the tree. It has become a principle thing for me and is his burden of proof to prove we did not maintain the tree. It was branches that fell like millions of others as a result of the blizzard not the tree as alleged in the letter whose right and what can they do if we refuse to do the repairs???? please help thanks Dave Menges
Anyone can sue anybody for anything. Your real questions is - can they win?
In this case, I like the neighbor's case better than yours. Did the tree branches drop straight down onto their property? If so, it would appear that your tree was encroaching on their property. You probably should have trimmed your tree so that the branches did not hang over the property line. If you can show that the snow caused your tree branches to break and fall diagonally so that they only crossed the property line when they fell, then the "act of god" defense might work, but this is hard for me to visualize.
You might want to contact your homeowner's insurance and let them sort this out. Otherwise you might end up in small claims court.
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Make sure you report this claim to your homeowner's insurance carrier and let them handle it, making a determination as to coverage. If your insurer denies the coverage and your neighbor continues to pursue compensation from you, then I would hire a local attorney with litigation experience as well as experience handling such disputes. If you have an HOA, you can put them on notice as well. Also, if you have an HOA, you might want to check the neighborhood covenants regarding tree and tree care, if any.
This is about $20.00?
If the tree is growing on your property and the branches hang over your neighbor's property, you may not get very far referring to it as an Act of God. Please don't let this dispute rest on principle; you may expose yourself to more liability, and you'll certainly wind up spending more than the dispute is worth. Your neighbor is being awfully petty about the matter, but if you can make it go away by paying 20 bucks, do so.
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