A neighbor came over and told me their children were receiving a zip line as a Christmas present. The only way they could install the line is to use one of the trees over my property line and they asked if we would be OK with that. I am concerned about the potential for injury and just as important, any liabilities I might have if the zip line is attached to one of my trees just over my property line. Your opinion as to how I should answer their question for permission is greatly appreciated.
1 Answer from Attorneys
It sounds as if you are inclined to give your permission. If this is the case, you need to get a written liability waiver from them. You need to draft an agreement, that makes the following clear:
1. that no alternations are to be made to your property (without this, you may find that they make all kinds of changes to your property at any time to make their "adventures" more fun)
2. that you will make no alternation to your property unless you see fit at any time.
3. that you have the right to alter your property as you see fit at any time including, trimming or cutting down the tree (without this and you cut down the tree later, you may find yourself sued)
4. you need to also state that you are not certifying that the tree is safe for ziplining and that you cannot certify that injuries will not occur- they need to specifically initial or sign this section
5. you need a specific section that waives all liability ...if a person is injured on your property, due to the ziplining, that you are not liable for any injuries...this also needs to be signed by them
6. also, you need to list when it is acceptable for your neighbors and their guests to come over and that it is tresspassing for them to come any other time
7. you need to be explicit that you are not granting an easment in the use of your property (an easement would allow them to use it whenever they pleased)
8. you also need to be clear that they cannot use this to claim your treat by adverse possession (suqatter's rights in layman's terms)...have them sign this section
9. you need to make it clear that their guests can only use the zip line if they are supervising and that they can't give permission for others to use when they are not present
10. also consider any profit sharing if they decide to use this as a money making endeavor by charging other to use
As you can see there are a ton of issues to cover and I am sure that I missed a few...I honestly would decline to allow it.