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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70200
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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The high winds we experienced on Friday14 February to Saturday

Resolved Question:

The high winds we experienced on Friday14 February to Saturday 15 February 2014 caused a 30 foot conifer in my neighbours garden to fall onto the lawn in my garden. The collapse of this tree broke two of my fence panels beyond repair, one of my concrete posts and ruined some of my mature shrubs which were next to the fence panels.

I have spoken to my insurance company who said that, as this was an "act of god", there is no claim that can be made on my neighbours insurance and that the following is the correct legal process:
1. It is my neighbours legal responsibility to remove the conifer from my garden at their expense.
2. It is down to me to repair my fence and replace my shrubs at my expense. If so this seems very unfair!!

Is the above correct?

Your early reply would be appreciated as I am meeting with the neighbours tonight to discuss the matter further.

My neighbours are insisting that, as it was " an act of god", they have no legal liability whatsoever!

My e.mail address is - XXX@XXXXXX.XXX

If you want further clarification my telephone number is XXXXX

Thankyou

ian Paterson
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is there any suggestion that this was a diseased or damaged tree?

Were trees being blown down all over the place?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Tree not diseased


 


Trees were being blown down in our locality

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the information and the time.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.

I'm afraid the insurance company are right. The high winds were an act of God. There's no doubt about that. Nobody has control over that.

If the trees were blown over by reason of a combination of neglect and an act of God then you would have a claim. A diseased or damaged tree should have been better maintained and then the high winds would not have had this effect.

If these were trees in good order and just met with high winds then that is an act of God I'm afraid and the companies are not liable.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is the insurance company correct in saying that it is my neighbours responsibilty to pay for the removal of their tree from my garden?

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Your neighbours are liable for the cost of removal although not for the cost of damage caused.

Your insurance company are not likely to be liable because of the causation of the act of God. You need to check the small print in your insurance contract but thats likely to be the case.
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