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      02-14-2019, 02:24 PM   #1
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Recommendations? - Neighbor's Tree in my Yard

Hi everyone! Looking for some guidance. Seattle got crushed by a series of snowstorms last week. All the snow and ice brought down about 40% of a tree that's in my neighbor's yard, but of course everything fell square into my yard. Of course the house is a rental and the very nice lady who lives there was in no way prepared to do anything about it, other than direct me to the property management company who "maintains" the property on behalf of the out of state owner.

I reached out to the property management company and no surprise they are failing to return my calls. The renter tells me they are totally unresponsive to her requests for repairs. Leaking window, broken blinds, even a tree growing through a gutter that makes a horrible screeching noise when the wind blows that I can hear inside my house. Cant imagine how loud it is for her!

So bottom line I think there's a 1% chance they do anything for me. I've spoken with a colleague of mine who went though something similar and was told that unless I can demonstrate that the tree was not well maintained, the tree owner is not liable and it's 100% on the owner of the property in which the tree fell into to deal with it. So basically, the law is not on my side on this one, unless I pay an arborist to prove the tree was in ill repair.

I just paid $150 to have a pile of brush clippings about 1/2 this size hauled away so I estimate I'm looking at $300 to make it go away. Not the end of the world and not worth a battle, but there's also just the feeling that this shouldn't be on me.

What would you guys recommend? Keep bugging the property management company? Spend the $300 and just be done with it? A friend said "Had their garbage can, lawn chair, or porch umbrella blown into your yard you'd simply return it, right? So why not just return this property to their yard?" That's honestly how I'm leaning right now. Get a chainsaw, chop it up, and chuck it all over the fence. Perhaps I'll haul it down to the property management office after hours and dump it on their front doorstep.
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      02-14-2019, 02:32 PM   #2
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Laws on this vary around the country so you’ll need local advice on your rights in these circumstances. Probably cost more than $300 to get that. That said, if what you’ve been told is true, then you likely have the right to maintain trees that overhang your yard, including shearing them to the property line if you think that is best.

Always better to try to cooperate with neighbors, but since this is a property management company and there is likely some urgency to getting the clean up accomplished, I would suggest going ahead and getting it done, then sending a letter to the prop manager with copies of the receipts noting that you tried several times unsuccessfully to reach them, had to move ahead, completed the work at reasonable cost and expect reimbursement. Then forget about it because you likely won’t hear anything more.

Another route would be to contact your insurance company about it - not because they’ll pay this claim or pursue it for you (they won’t would be my guess), but because it would be nice to know how to handle this if the tree did real damage to your house, car, or whatever.
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      02-14-2019, 02:32 PM   #3
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Pay the $300 and move on - it's not worth the hassle and your time is more valuable than that.

That is also a bloody bargain. I used to live in FL and had a large oak tree come down in my yard during a hurricane. Cost me $3,500 to have them come and cut down the rest and remove it.

2000cs is certainly on target as well - and I agree - worthy of an call to your homeowners insurance at least.
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      02-14-2019, 02:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000cs View Post
Laws on this vary around the country so youíll need local advice on your rights in these circumstances. Probably cost more than $300 to get that. That said, if what youíve been told is true, then you likely have the right to maintain trees that overhang your yard, including shearing them to the property line if you think that is best.

Always better to try to cooperate with neighbors, but since this is a property management company and there is likely some urgency to getting the clean up accomplished, I would suggest going ahead and getting it done, then sending a letter to the prop manager with copies of the receipts noting that you tried several times unsuccessfully to reach them, had to move ahead, completed the work at reasonable cost and expect reimbursement. Then forget about it because you likely wonít hear anything more.

Another route would be to contact your insurance company about it - not because theyíll pay this claim or pursue it for you (they wonít would be my guess), but because it would be nice to know how to handle this if the tree did real damage to your house, car, or whatever.
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Pay the $300 and move on - it's not worth the hassle and your time is more valuable than that.

That is also a bloody bargain. I used to live in FL and had a large oak tree come down in my yard during a hurricane. Cost me $3,500 to have them come and cut down the rest and remove it.

2000cs is certainly on target as well - and I agree - worthy of an call to your homeowners insurance at least.
Great advice guys, thanks. I will 100% be contacting my insurance company and providing photos of the tree as I want to be on record with them from day 1 that the tree is in ill-repair, improperly maintained, and a hazard. That way if anything does happen, even if it's 10 years from now, I've got that record of having reported the hazard to both my insurance company and the property management company.

No one is feeling my "dump it in their backyard" idea?
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      02-14-2019, 02:38 PM   #5
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Had this happen to me late last year. I just hauled it around the fence and left it next to it's stump in their yard. never heard anything since.

FWIW I attempted to contact them for a week straight prior to this.
Also, It never overhung my yard. It snapped at the base and fell over the fence. I always trim their stuff back over my property line.
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      02-14-2019, 02:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DETRoadster View Post
No one is feeling my "dump it in their backyard" idea?
The emotional child in me loves the idea, but Mr. Spock (updated to Sheldon?) says why stir up the lady next door who will just have to deal with it?
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      02-14-2019, 02:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2000cs View Post
The emotional child in me loves the idea, but Mr. Spock (updated to Sheldon?) says why stir up the lady next door who will just have to deal with it?
She dislikes the property management company and the landlord as they have been unresponsive to her requests. The backyards is so overgrown she not only does not go back there, she cant even see this part of the yard form her house. She'd never know if I dumped it back there, though I'd do the neighborly thing and say "hey, it's going to be $300 out of my pocket to haul this away, do you care if I chop it up and toss it under the remains of the tree?"
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      02-14-2019, 02:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
Pay the $300 and move on - it's not worth the hassle and your time is more valuable than that.

That is also a bloody bargain. I used to live in FL and had a large oak tree come down in my yard during a hurricane. Cost me $3,500 to have them come and cut down the rest and remove it.

2000cs is certainly on target as well - and I agree - worthy of an call to your homeowners insurance at least.
The only point I'd raise about using your insurance (and it might be different where you are) is that if the amount is small it may not be worth using up a claim. Some insurers will give you one or two freebies before cranking up your rates. It might not be worth using up a free pass for under $1000.
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      02-14-2019, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000cs View Post
The emotional child in me loves the idea, but Mr. Spock (updated to Sheldon?) says why stir up the lady next door who will just have to deal with it?
Yep - this. Plus, you mentioned she is a renter - so you are hurting her instead of the PMC, which doesn't really seem to care about the tenant either.

I recommend against this approach.
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      02-14-2019, 02:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DETRoadster View Post
She dislikes the property management company and the landlord as they have been unresponsive to her requests. The backyards is so overgrown she not only does not go back there, she cant even see this part of the yard form her house. She'd never know if I dumped it back there, though I'd do the neighborly thing and say "hey, it's going to be $300 out of my pocket to haul this away, do you care if I chop it up and toss it under the remains of the tree?"
Well, given she's a renter and it isn't really her problem per se, I don't really support the idea of dumping it in the yard and making her life further miserable.

That being said, the childish part of me greatly appreciates the idea of renting a truck from Home Depot or whatever and throwing all that crap in the bed and dumping it off right in front of the property management's door with a little sign "Manage This". And I mean directly in front of the door so they can't even get in until they remove it. And if you are a big guy, saw them up as big as you can manage so they struggle with it.

Preferably at night, and with a screwdriver to remove the license plate a few hundred yards from your destination in case there are cameras, then pull away, put the plate back on, and return the truck.
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he's Canadian. By international law we all must worship him and all other products of the country.
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      02-14-2019, 03:01 PM   #11
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^Do these ideas just come naturally, or do you pull on some wealth of observed cinematic imagery???
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      02-14-2019, 03:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Well, given she's a renter and it isn't really her problem per se, I don't really support the idea of dumping it in the yard and making her life further miserable.

That being said, the childish part of me greatly appreciates the idea of renting a truck from Home Depot or whatever and throwing all that crap in the bed and dumping it off right in front of the property management's door with a little sign "Manage This". And I mean directly in front of the door so they can't even get in until they remove it. And if you are a big guy, saw them up as big as you can manage so they struggle with it.

Preferably at night, and with a screwdriver to remove the license plate a few hundred yards from your destination in case there are cameras, then pull away, put the plate back on, and return the truck.
With apologies to the OP for getting a bit off track...
When I lived in Portland OR, last century, a guy I worked for lived next to a city park where people dumped their garbage. He got tired of it and would go through the garbage to find the ID and address of the dumpers, then load the entire mess into his pickup and deliver it pretty much just as described above. Of course he didnít stick around to see how they reacted. Did it several times. Twisted but kind of funny too.
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      02-14-2019, 03:11 PM   #13
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Pay to clean it up, document everything, then go to small claims court ?
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      02-14-2019, 03:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joekerr View Post
Well, given she's a renter and it isn't really her problem per se, I don't really support the idea of dumping it in the yard and making her life further miserable.

That being said, the childish part of me greatly appreciates the idea of renting a truck from Home Depot or whatever and throwing all that crap in the bed and dumping it off right in front of the property management's door with a little sign "Manage This". And I mean directly in front of the door so they can't even get in until they remove it. And if you are a big guy, saw them up as big as you can manage so they struggle with it.

Preferably at night, and with a screwdriver to remove the license plate a few hundred yards from your destination in case there are cameras, then pull away, put the plate back on, and return the truck.
You and I would get along just fine, sir. Someday I'll tell you guys about the parting gift I gave my ex-wife when she let to go live with her new boyfriend. it earned me the nickname "Evil Genius" among my friends.
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      02-14-2019, 03:13 PM   #15
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^Do these ideas just come naturally, or do you pull on some wealth of observed cinematic imagery???
A combination of both. I'm not one you wish to piss off, as despite being generally uncreative, when it comes to retribution, I can be very creative. And cruel.

My creative services are available for a fee to others.
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he's Canadian. By international law we all must worship him and all other products of the country.
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      02-14-2019, 03:14 PM   #16
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Pay to clean it up, document everything, then go to small claims court ?
I could but that's deep in the "my time is worth more than this" territory. Thanks for the idea though!
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      02-14-2019, 03:16 PM   #17
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You and I would get along just fine, sir. Someday I'll tell you guys about the parting gift I gave my ex-wife when she let to go live with her new boyfriend. it earned me the nickname "Evil Genius" among my friends.
Someday soon I trust? I always enjoy hearing stories.
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      02-14-2019, 03:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joekerr View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DETRoadster View Post
You and I would get along just fine, sir. Someday I'll tell you guys about the parting gift I gave my ex-wife when she let to go live with her new boyfriend. it earned me the nickname "Evil Genius" among my friends.
Someday soon I trust? I always enjoy hearing stories.
Maybe I'll head on over to the dating good/bad stories thread and post it.
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      02-14-2019, 03:37 PM   #19
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Heading that way now myself... we'll be waiting!
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      02-14-2019, 03:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Maybe I'll head on over to the dating good/bad stories thread and post it.
Good man. I'll look for it there.
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      02-14-2019, 09:29 PM   #21
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I believe the law varies from state to state but if itís something thatís been that way forever there might be an easement. I havenít been practicing Real Estate so forgot some things but might want to look into that.
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      02-14-2019, 09:44 PM   #22
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Call one of your friends in the country who has a chainsaw and a trailer. Cut it up enough that you can load it onto the trailer.

Wait until night-time, then go and dump it on the doorstep of the property management company.

Problem solved.

Edit: I see Joekerr also suggested this approach. I wholeheartedly support his suggestion.

Fair enough if the property management company look at the problem and say "sorry, law's on our side, you deal with it"; but if they're not answering your inquiries or the tenants inquiries, then take the problem to them in a way they can't ignore it.

Professional property managers are the scum of the earth. I haven't met one who isn't a shining example of the fact that some people are only alive because it's illegal to kill them.

Last edited by xQx; 02-14-2019 at 09:59 PM..
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