Who is responsible if a tree falls on a neighbor’s roof?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who is responsible if a tree falls on a neighbor’s roof?

I live in a town home community and a huge storm tore up my tree from my patio and it fell and damaged my neighbor’s roof. Who’s responsibility is it to pay for damages to the neighbor’s roof, as I took care of all damages to my patio and perimeter wall. Our roofs are included in our HOA? The HOA us saying they are sending me the bill, and then I can deal with their law firm?

Asked on October 12, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the bylaws or any other legal documents governing this community and to which you are bound require you to pay for any damage, you would have to pay.
Otherwise, you would only have to pay if you can be shown to have been at fault, typically by being unreasonably careless or negligent, in causing the damage, such as by: if the tree was planted in a way or place where it could not anchor itself sufficiently by its roots to resist being blown over, and you had planted it; if the tree was visibly sick, damaged, dying or dead and so a failing risk, but you did nothing about it; etc. In the absence of community rules etc. requiring you to pay, you only have to pay for other's damage if at fault.

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