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Who is responsible...Tree/Wind damage?

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  • Who is responsible...Tree/Wind damage?

    Hi
    Just a "what if" question ...nothing has happened,,,BUT

    Given the amount of downed trees in Auckland right now.

    If my tree falls and takes out the neighbors roof/fence am I legally liable?

    Thanks
    Richard

  • #2
    i had a tree fall against my neighbours garage doing minimal damage some time ago, my insurance co said that the neighbour had to claim on their insurance who would probably then claim against my insurance, she never claimed so it went no where

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    • #3
      That's the process.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes you are.

        Comment


        • #5
          If they have insurance their insurer pays but yours won’t as it is an “act of god”. Apparently! But if they warn you they are a hazard and you don’t do anything that may be another story.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by hawkeye View Post
            If they have insurance their insurer pays but yours won’t as it is an “act of god”. Apparently! But if they warn you they are a hazard and you don’t do anything that may be another story.
            Umm glad this has come up - and no it's not a different story if you're warned apparently.

            Here's our tree issue: we have a Norfolk Pine a couple of metres from our boundary - it's in the park (our neigbour) and we approached KCDC as we're worried it's now dangerous esp. with stronger winds etc. Plus it blocks sun, drops waste etc on our side of the fence etc - and if it topples it could kill someone and if it goes down our way it will take out our garage at best. It's an eyesore too as it was topped for AirNZ (who have since pulled out of Kapiti) so growing out as well as up.

            Anyway KCDC say it's safe as houses cos an arborist told them so. We did offer to pay for it's removal and contribute to planting of natives - they weren't interested. They want the ugly tree dangerous or not to remain and play Russian roulette because they say if it falls down on our side our insurance will pay. You have to wonder who they actually work for - not their ratepayers. So I understand where you're coming from - trees are a sensitive issue.

            cheers,

            Donna
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            • #7
              Cut all the branches off it that cross the boundary line and chuck them over the fence ?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by donna View Post
                Umm glad this has come up - and no it's not a different story if you're warned apparently.

                Here's our tree issue: we have a Norfolk Pine a couple of metres from our boundary - it's in the park (our neigbour) and we approached KCDC as we're worried it's now dangerous esp. with stronger winds etc. Plus it blocks sun, drops waste etc on our side of the fence etc - and if it topples it could kill someone and if it goes down our way it will take out our garage at best. It's an eyesore too as it was topped for AirNZ (who have since pulled out of Kapiti) so growing out as well as up.

                Anyway KCDC say it's safe as houses cos an arborist told them so. We did offer to pay for it's removal and contribute to planting of natives - they weren't interested. They want the ugly tree dangerous or not to remain and play Russian roulette because they say if it falls down on our side our insurance will pay. You have to wonder who they actually work for - not their ratepayers. So I understand where you're coming from - trees are a sensitive issue.

                cheers,

                Donna
                You have the right to ask for information under the LGOIM Act. So, you could ask for the arborist report and see what it says about hazard. If anything. You could also ask for the council policy and procedures on damage caused to yours by their property.

                Also might be worth checking FYI.org.nz site to see if other similar OI requests have been made. Always useful for others if people make their requests through that site, just not requesting personal info.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We got the report and as the arborist gets work from KCDC it's hard to believe their report was unbiased. Also I forgot to mention a horticulturist said the tree was in poor condition due to the cutting and new branches leading off branches and not directly attached the the trunk will affect it - KCDC not interested. I did tell KCDC that we'll be doing construction work and we're likely to accidentally cut the roots inadvertently of course - and it would be hard to believe that it wouldn't adversely affect the stability of the tree. Their reply was: "The arborist says to leave the roots alone if you come across them." hahahaha. That really had me in stitches.

                  Yes we can cut the branches back - however the tree is huge and when the wind blows it carries it's waste beyond the boundary - so there's no way of stopping the waste coming over it's in the garden and on our garage roof etc. We were going to extend our house but have had to halt that as it would be directly under the tree.

                  So we could try and fight it at our expense - but we've decided not to. Just thinking how short slighted they are - our development would have seen a few thousand $$ end up in their pockets plus an increase in rates.

                  cheers,

                  Donna
                  SEARCH PropertyTalk, About PropertyTalk

                  BusinessBlogs - the best business articles are found here

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by donna View Post
                    We got the report and as the arborist gets work from KCDC it's hard to believe their report was unbiased. Also I forgot to mention a horticulturist said the tree was in poor condition due to the cutting and new branches leading off branches and not directly attached the the trunk will affect it - KCDC not interested. I did tell KCDC that we'll be doing construction work and we're likely to accidentally cut the roots inadvertently of course - and it would be hard to believe that it wouldn't adversely affect the stability of the tree. Their reply was: "The arborist says to leave the roots alone if you come across them." hahahaha. That really had me in stitches.

                    Yes we can cut the branches back - however the tree is huge and when the wind blows it carries it's waste beyond the boundary - so there's no way of stopping the waste coming over it's in the garden and on our garage roof etc. We were going to extend our house but have had to halt that as it would be directly under the tree.

                    So we could try and fight it at our expense - but we've decided not to. Just thinking how short slighted they are - our development would have seen a few thousand $$ end up in their pockets plus an increase in rates.
                    You can do what you like to the roots that are on your property, just the same as you can chop off the branches that overhang your property. I would be cutting both off, dig the roots out, and dump the whole lot over the fence. I would be gathering up the mess it makes and dump all that over the fence as well !

                    Hoping of course that when it does fall over, it falls away from your place !

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hawkeye View Post
                      If they have insurance their insurer pays but yours won’t as it is an “act of god”. Apparently! But if they warn you they are a hazard and you don’t do anything that may be another story.
                      It would have to be more than a warning - anyone could warn that tree X is dangerous without any basis for doing so.
                      You would have to show that it is dangerous rather than just 'warn'.

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