We all know that a major storm or extended period of very bad weather can leave chaos in its wake. We’ve had a very wet winter in the UK and a lot of rain and even snow in the region we work in.
What if the damage is caused by a tree from your property being blown onto your neighbour’s property?
Contrary to popular belief, you generally will not be liable for the damage caused to your property as no-one is held responsible for damage caused by so-called “Acts of God”.
If one of your trees falls on your neighbour’s house, garden or outbuildings in a storm, it is their own insurance company who will usually cover the costs of removing it and repairing the damage – although items such as fences and sheds etc are not always covered. If their insurance refuses to pay out for these items then they could be landed with substantial repair and removal costs.
What if I knew the tree was likely to cause damage?
If the reason the tree fell was because it had been neglected or damaged and you knew or should have been aware of this, the standard position will not apply and you may well find yourself liable for the damage caused. In these circumstances, you would be considered negligent for not removing/repairing the tree despite the obvious risk.
It is vitally important that you regularly check the trees on your property or have an expert like us check them over before the bad weather hits to ensure that they are safe – especially if they’re mature trees with branches that spread across your neighbour’s boundary. The last thing you need is a claim against you for damage caused by a dangerous tree on your property.
With more bad weather set to hit the UK over the coming weeks, now is the time to check that you have adequate insurance in place and ensure that your trees and indeed your neighbour’s trees are safe.