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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I'm posting this for my Aunt.

A huge oak tree (live, not dead) got blown over & it took out their mutual fence & landed in my Aunt's back yard. The house is in foreclosure & listed with a realtor. Is my Aunt responsible for the fence & having the tree cut up in her backyard or is the owner of the house next door (mortgage co) responsible?

She's been told all kinds of info, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much!
 

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Act of God

The tree was blown down by an Act of God. Thats part of Texas legal terminology meaning you have to pay for it yourself. Funny how they can use it in the law but not in the classroom.
 

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If its a result of the storm then she is on her own to get it cleaned up on her property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. Looks like she won't be cleaning it up, but I will. Oh well, I'm getting bored sitting around here not working anyway. Might as well go tackle a big oak tree.
 

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That brings up another question my mother has had...she has a big tree in her front yard that looks like it is begging to come down in the next storm...
If this were to fall during a storm and damage a neighbors house, who is responsible???
By some of the comments in this thread, it looks like my mother would NOT be responsible...she always (and so did I) assumed it would be her responsibility...
On the flip side, there are several big limbs that overhang her home from her neighbors tree...I guess it would be a good idea to cut those back to the fence line????
 

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mullet head said:
That brings up another question my mother has had...she has a big tree in her front yard that looks like it is begging to come down in the next storm...
If this were to fall during a storm and damage a neighbors house, who is responsible???
By some of the comments in this thread, it looks like my mother would NOT be responsible...she always (and so did I) assumed it would be her responsibility...
On the flip side, there are several big limbs that overhang her home from her neighbors tree...I guess it would be a good idea to cut those back to the fence line????
If you think it is coming down and you don't do anything about then who do you think should be responsible for the damage caused when it falls. The scenario from the original poster was for a tree, assuming good condition, and an act of nature. Sounds like your tree is not in good condition.
 

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One thing to remember about big trees is the weight of them. A big 100 year old live oak can weigh over 10 tons! You drop one of these trees from the top down a section at a time. It's a dad gum shame all the great timber I have seen dropped by this storm is going to poor use. My neighbor has a 100-ft tall over 100 year old black hickory dropped in his back yard. Trunk is straight and clean. Rolled huge root ball out and tipped over. You would think some lumber mill could use a tree like this for some fine hardwood.
 

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The question is really about negligence. If the tree is on your property and you know it is in poor shape or perilously hanging over a neighbors roof, and you choose to do nothing about it, you are negligent and therefore you are liable for any damage that tree does to neighboring property and your homeowners insurance would pay for your neighbors damage. If your tree is alive and healthy and a storm blows it onto your neighbors property causing damage, you have no negligence and thus no liability and your homeowners insurance company will not pay for neighbors damage.
 
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