Council tree fell and damaged my property

dylanc123April 23, 2014

We have this Ash tree that split and a large branch fell onto my property in October when we had those severe winds and smashed the fence and decking, narrowly missing the house. It was evident that the branch had rot which can be seen in the photo. We are trying to get the council to pay for the damages. However they are saying this is an act of God.

Our claim is the tree was rotten and would have come down eventually. The winds just made it happen quicker.

We feel strongly about this and have enquired about getting an official tree inspection and report but have found this could cost as much as GBP600 to get done.

Really need some good advice on how to proceed.

Thanks

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toxcrusadr

By "council" I assume you mean this tree was on public property, and therefore you would like the local government to pay for the damage. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I am not an attorney and certainly not familiar with UK laws in this regard. In my amateur opinion, the city could only be negligent if there was evidence the tree was dangerous and they neglected to do anything about it. If you noticed it was rotten and about to fall and contacted them, and they did not follow through, you might have a case. However it appears from your photo - without the benefit of seeing the tree before - that the rot was inside the branch and not visible. In the US you would have a hard time holding someone responsible for negligence. As a result, one's homeowner's insurance would cover it as an 'act of God' or basically, an accident.

Do you have homeowner's insurance? What was their assessment of the case?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 6:06PM
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christopherh

I agree. These things happen every day. Since nobody (including you) knew the tree was rotten beforehand, your homeowners insurance should cover it.

This would be classified under "stuff happens".

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:35AM
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