Who Is Responsible For A Fallen Tree?

Who is liable for a fallen tree and does house insurance cover damage caused by trees? These are two of many great questions we’ll be answering in this new post.

It’s quite rare for a tree to fall down, but when they do, it’s usually due to high winds and storms. However, trees that fall during storms often have an underlying condition which made them weak enough for the storm to cause them to fall, such as tree rot and diseases. This is why it’s important to get your trees assessed by a qualified tree surgeon

Who does a fallen tree belong to?

A tree belongs to the person who owns the property where the tree trunk originally grows. This is usually easy to determine as most tree trunks grow within the boundaries of a property, but there can be times when a tree trunk grows on a property boundary which makes both property owners the owners of the tree. 

When a tree falls down it remains the property of the original owner, even if it has now fallen onto someone else’s property. For example, if your tree falls into a neighbour’s garden after a storm, it is still your property and you will need to deal with it. 

Can I force my neighbour to cut their tree?

You cannot force your neighbour to cut down their tree unless it is blocking sufficient light, in which case you could speak to them about it or make an application to your local council. However, you can cut any part of your neighbour’s tree that overhangs into your property, such as branches. 

If you’re concerned about a tree and its potential to fall and damage your property, it’s best to speak with the neighbour directly and express your concerns. More often than not, they will have the same concerns. 

What if a neighbour’s tree falls and damages my property?

If a neighbour’s tree falls and causes damage to your property it will be the neighbour’s obligation to have the tree removed. Your home insurance should pay to cover any damages caused by the fallen tree, but this will depend on your home insurance policy. 

If you’re already concerned about the risk of a nearby tree, including your own trees, then you should check your existing policy to make sure you’re covered. The good news is that fallen tree damage is usually covered within most home insurance policies as standard, rather than a paid-for extra. 

Can I sue my neighbour for tree damage?

You might be able to take civil action against a neighbour if their tree has fallen and damaged your property or caused you injury. However, you would probably need to prove that the neighbour was grossly negligent in maintaining the tree, which then directly resulted in causing it to fall down. This isn’t always easy and you should get advice from a qualified lawyer based on your exact situation. 

What if a council tree falls and damages a property?

If a council tree falls and damages your property, you should be covered against damages within a standard home insurance policy. 

You should contact the council to let them know what has happened. They could then engage a local tree removal company to remove the fallen tree from your property safely.

What to do after a tree has fallen

After a tree has fallen it will need to be removed, which should only be undertaken by qualified tree removal specialists. It can be unsafe to remove trees without the required training, safety knowledge and equipment. Any further damage caused by trying to remove a fallen tree by yourself may not be covered by insurance policies. 

The better news is that many home insurance policies will cover the cost of getting the tree removed if the tree caused damage. If the tree did not cause damage or only damaged a boundary fence, they may not offer to pay for tree clearance services. 

After the tree has been removed by a certified tree removal company, it’s wise to get tree experts to check the health of other nearby trees. If tree disease contributed to the tree falling down then you should check to see if other trees are also showing signs of disease and are at risk of falling. 

Tree clearance services in Kent

If you need to get rid of a fallen tree in Kent, call NJ Apps tree experts to discuss our Kent tree clearance services. We have the professionals and equipment to remove fallen trees of all sizes without causing further damage to your home. Speak with us today for more info and an accurate quote.