Neighbor’s tree has dead limbs hanging over my house. Who is responsible to cut the dead limbs?

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Neighbor’s tree has dead limbs hanging over my house. Who is responsible to cut the dead limbs?

My neighbor has a very large tree in their yard. It is about 15 feet from property line. Limbs hanging over our house are dead and would cause damage to our house when they fall. We own our house but the neighbor is rental property.

Asked on June 14, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you can't make a property's owner (and it would be the owner, not the tenant/renter) cut the tree limbs if they don't want to. If you warn them about the risk and/or the risk is obvious (as it appears to be) and they don't cut them, but instead they fall and cause damage, the property owner would be liable for the damage they cause--that is, would would have to pay for repairs, and could be sued if they don't. That is because it is negligent, or unreasonably careless, to not take steps to avert a known or obvious threat. But if they are willing to take the chance of being sued, the law lets them take that chance: there is no way to compel to them take steps to preven the limbs from falling.


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