Am I responsible for damage to a neighbor’s propery as the result of a tree falling if it was in a utility easement?

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Am I responsible for damage to a neighbor’s propery as the result of a tree falling if it was in a utility easement?

A tree located in a utility easement fell and damaged the neighbor’s fence. I have already paid several hundred dollars to have the tree cut and removed from neighbor’s property. Am I obligated to pay for all damage to the neighbor’s property as a result of the tree falling?

Asked on July 27, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are only responsible if you were at fault. You would only be at fault if you knew or had some reason to know that the tree posed a particular falling hazard (e.g. it was visibily damaged, sick, dying, dead, or leaning) but despite such reason to know there was a threat, failed to take reasonable action (e.g. having it trimmed or even cut down) to prevent the harm. If you there was no reason to know of a threat--e.g. it looked like a normal, healthy tree--you did nothing wrong, were not at fault, and would not be liable.


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