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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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U.K. Bedfordshire. A 60ft tall Pine tree on Council land some

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U.K. Bedfordshire. A 60ft tall Pine tree on Council land some 5ft from my property, has very large limbs overhanging my house. A branch 15ft long 22" diameter at base, fell onto my garage roof causing damage. Another branch,similar size was dangling over my garage store & an adjacent footpath, threatening potential damage, and injury to people using the footpath. I reported the incident & potential danger to life at 1pm on 12/02/14. At 9am on 14/02/14 the branch had not been attended to by the Council, and fell, causing further damage to my property, and part of it spearing into the ground just inches from the footpath & by luck no one was hurt! The Coucil has refused me any compensation for damage, saying that their trees are well maintained. They also totally ignored their failure to respond to my urgent request re the hanging branch before it fell! What do I do now?
In your case, the tree branches caused damage to your property and the council was put on notice about the potential damage the second time it occurred, therefore I believe you have a good claim against the council for damages to your property caused by the council's tree.
I would advise you to appoint a solicitor to represent you in your claim against the council as you have already been fobbed off by the council and its so called legal adviser.
See here for a case concerning the councils liability
Can I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
To UKSolicitorJA Thank you for your helpful answer. Does my "good claim" rely on the fact that the council was put on notice prior to the second branch falling, or is it equally strong for the first falling? I take it that, as with the roots in your case reference 78283, the same applies to branches. B4legal stated in what appears to be the Council's only defence"The Council have taken all reasonable measures to maintain the trees by having in place a system of inspection and repair and we regret in the circumstances that we are unable to put forward an offer in settlement of your claim". Is this viable? Keith.
Roots, branches are all attributed to the tree. So same principle applies.
In my opinion, the council would be liable for both events, not just after it was put on notice, although the final decision lies with the court. B4Legals argument is not good as the tree caused damage and they have not showed any evidence of what reasonable measures were taken to prevent accidents.
Hope this clarifies.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
UKSolicitorJA B4legal did say that the tree was last inspected on 23/04/13 as part of an annual inspection.They then added that the tree was inspected on 03/03/14, post branch falls, and recommended work was carried out to reduce future risk of large branch failure, completed by 15/04/14. All, of course after the damage done. They also stated "The fact that an accident has occurred and damaged sustained to property does not make the Council automatically liable". I feel, as you remarked, that I am being fobbed off. That is why I am trying to 'dot the i's and cross the t's. Sorry to be so pedantic! Keith.
B4Legal are acting for the council so they will obviously state a case which is in their clients favour, however, you have seen what the case law states and the council has a duty of care to you as it owns the particular tree which has caused the damage.
Council inspections are not conclusive that the council has discharged its duty of care, the fact that the branch fell shows that perhaps the council was negligent in its inspections.
I think this covers your question. Please remember to leave feedback
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It appears that the small claims court will probably decide my claim, and that it may even be decided in document form. B4legal defence relies on the claim that the Council have taken all reasonable measures to maintain the trees with a system of inspection and repair and have not breached their common law duty. However, their post-accident inspection "found no reason for concern, other than that the tree overhangs the property", but following that inspection, work was recommended to remove and shorten a number of branches. Apparently it needed a dangerous fall of branches for this necessary work to be realised by the Council, despite its lauded system of 'inspection and repair'. Also, as the major part of the tree still hangs over my property, and it is shown that the system of "inspection and repair" is not reliable, how safe can I feel under the Councils 60ft tree? Is this a good point to make? Also, what reference should I quote when referring to your case law precedent 78283 Thanks K.
Hello Keith,
You should include all points which you think help your case against the council, however trivial you may think these points are.
The case reference is Robbins V Bexley, see below
All the best
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