Legal Question in Real Estate Law in United States Minor Outlying Islands

property dispute

We have a large beautiful old tree in our

backyard. Our neighbors claim that its

roots have cracked their houses

foundation and are demanding that we

remove it. Do we have to? What is our


Asked on 6/29/09, 7:14 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Re: property dispute

Tree disputes of this nature can be complicated and neighbor disputes can be even more complicated.

Your neighbor's homeowners' insurance must pay to repair the damage to their foundation; and your homeowners' insurance must defend (provide a lawyer for) and pay any liability claims. Butyou and your insurer may have different ideas as to what should be done with your tree. Often in such cases a homeowner's lawyer works with a consulting arborist, an expert witness, to determine whether the tree did in fact cause the damage and what modification to the tree roots, if any, can be done without destroying your tree. Similarly, an engineering study will determine the extent and cause of harm to the foundation. These experts should be retained by your respective lawyers to keep their reports confidential; you or your insurer would want a court order to enable your engineer to inspect their foundation. If both of you are reasonable sane people maybe mediation could be a solution before the lawyer and expert bills get out of hand. Finally, if you live in a place with a homeowners' association....

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Answered on 6/29/09, 7:30 pm

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