There is a big tree in a vacant lot behind my home. The ytree is leaning toward us, and I am scared it will fall onto the house in a wind storm. I cannot find the property owner whose land the tree sits on. Contacted the county assessors office, and was given info that leads to nowhere. Who is responsible for repairing my home if the tree falls on us? And how do I find the owner of the property when even the county maps say the ownership is "unknown"?
1 Answer from Attorneys
This raises several interesting questions. First, I would question that the assessor doesn't know and I wouldn't necessarily rely on the "county maps" of the assessor. However, if he truly doesn't know, find who is paying taxes on the land. You need to check with the treasurer also. In addition, you need to check with the auditor who records deeds. In addition, who uses the property? I seriously doubt this is an orphan.
An attorney could probably assist you in answering these questions. He could also advise you on adverse possession and timber trespass. Here is an excellent article on timber trespass: http://www.washingtonpropertylawyer.com/timber-trespass. You can also find articles on adverse possession in WA by searching the internet.