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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3653
Experience:  Two years conveyancing experience.
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I live in a row of 9 houses which are in the country in the

Resolved Question:

I live in a row of 9 houses which are in the country in the middle of farmland. I access my house using a private lane belonging to the farmer but over which we all have a right of way.

The lane runs in front of my house.Over the other side of the lane is a small area of woodland belonging to the farmer. I am worried about one or two of the trees in this wooded area. There is one that is leaning over a bit (towards the lane and the front of my house) and another big tree that, whilst still upright, is being steadily weakened by ivy. My concern is that the current storms (or indeed future storms) might cause one of these trees to fall on my car, my house or, worse still, on somebody using the lane to get to one of our houses.

I intend to have a conversation with the farmer to raise my concern. Before I do so, I would just like to understand the legal position. My questions are:
1) who would be liable if a tree did cause damage or injury - would it be the farmer's insurance (if he has any covering this)
2)If i alert them to my concern now before anything hapens, how does this change the answer to question 1, if at all?

Thank you for any info

John
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you.

Firstly if the tree falls from the farmers land and causing damage to your property then the farmer will be liable for this. Whether he has insurance or not is another issue, but you would have a claim in tort for the damage your property.

Secondly if you alert the farmer to this issue and then he chooses to do nothing about it, it does not really change the position he is still liable for the damage caused. However if some one dies or he turns a blind eye he may have some criminal culpability for ignoring your warning.

I would note that as you know the tree is weak, you should consider parking your car away from it. If you park your car near it having known it is at risk, you could be partly culpable for the damage to your property.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ

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