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  • FIRST POST
    • Samsung_Note2
    • By Samsung_Note2 14th May 18, 11:27 AM
    • 496Posts
    • 194Thanks
    Samsung_Note2
    Claim for Garden wall
    • #1
    • 14th May 18, 11:27 AM
    Claim for Garden wall 14th May 18 at 11:27 AM
    Not sure if this is in the right place...

    My garden wall is on the point of falling down,it separates my front garden with next door.

    Next doors tree roots have basically grown so big its lifted the wall,leading to it becoming very unstable..they have fixed the top two courses once as a "Gesture of good will" but said its not there problem.

    Just wondering do i need to make a claim on house insurance and see if insurance make a claim from next door or just pay for the wall to come down and rebuilt and wait for same thing to happen again when roots get bigger.

    Id have thought neighbour would be liable for the damage.
    If my appalling spelling offends you that much...dont read my posts.
Page 1
    • Blibble
    • By Blibble 14th May 18, 5:31 PM
    • 455 Posts
    • 797 Thanks
    Blibble
    • #2
    • 14th May 18, 5:31 PM
    • #2
    • 14th May 18, 5:31 PM
    You would not be able to claim from your neighbour's policy unless you can prove their negligence caused their tree's roots to grow - I'd have thought the opposite of negligence caused this.

    You would need to assess your own buildings' policy T&Cs to assess whether cover would be in place if you claimed off your own policy.
    Wedding fund - 3290.92 (1912.07)
    OP fund - 1859.60 (268.11)
    Emergency fund - 500.00
    • OJ32
    • By OJ32 14th May 18, 6:27 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    OJ32
    • #3
    • 14th May 18, 6:27 PM
    • #3
    • 14th May 18, 6:27 PM
    I don't agree with Blibble's advice above. Your neighbour (and by extension their insurance provider) would be liable if a tree on their land caused damage to your property. To prove it you may need a specialist arboricultural report confirming it was the roots that caused the damage.
    • Blibble
    • By Blibble 14th May 18, 6:33 PM
    • 455 Posts
    • 797 Thanks
    Blibble
    • #4
    • 14th May 18, 6:33 PM
    • #4
    • 14th May 18, 6:33 PM
    I don't agree with Blibble's advice above. Your neighbour (and by extension their insurance provider) would be liable if a tree on their land caused damage to your property. To prove it you may need a specialist arboricultural report confirming it was the roots that caused the damage.
    Originally posted by OJ32
    If you lived in a semi-detached property and your neighbour had a fire at the property, causing smoke damage to your property, a claim would need to be made against your insurance for damages suffered by you. Same goes if your neighbour had an unforeseeable leak causing damages to your property. I see no reason why this would be different for a tree root as a peril, but happy to be corrected.
    Wedding fund - 3290.92 (1912.07)
    OP fund - 1859.60 (268.11)
    Emergency fund - 500.00
    • Zorillo
    • By Zorillo 14th May 18, 8:23 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    Zorillo
    • #5
    • 14th May 18, 8:23 PM
    • #5
    • 14th May 18, 8:23 PM
    There's an element of control and inevitability about roots causing damage. I think negligence could be in play here.
    • Blibble
    • By Blibble 14th May 18, 9:13 PM
    • 455 Posts
    • 797 Thanks
    Blibble
    • #6
    • 14th May 18, 9:13 PM
    • #6
    • 14th May 18, 9:13 PM
    There's an element of control and inevitability about roots causing damage. I think negligence could be in play here.
    Originally posted by Zorillo
    How would you stop the roots causing the damage?
    Wedding fund - 3290.92 (1912.07)
    OP fund - 1859.60 (268.11)
    Emergency fund - 500.00
    • Zorillo
    • By Zorillo 14th May 18, 9:22 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    Zorillo
    • #7
    • 14th May 18, 9:22 PM
    • #7
    • 14th May 18, 9:22 PM
    How would you stop the roots causing the damage?
    Originally posted by Blibble
    Prune the tree, pollard the tree, remove the tree entirely.
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 14th May 18, 10:00 PM
    • 625 Posts
    • 331 Thanks
    EdGasketTheSecond
    • #8
    • 14th May 18, 10:00 PM
    • #8
    • 14th May 18, 10:00 PM
    If you lived in a semi-detached property and your neighbour had a fire at the property, causing smoke damage to your property, a claim would need to be made against your insurance for damages suffered by you. Same goes if your neighbour had an unforeseeable leak causing damages to your property. I see no reason why this would be different for a tree root as a peril, but happy to be corrected.
    Originally posted by Blibble
    That is incorrect. I had a fire and neighbour claimed from my insurance for damage to their property.
    In this case the owner of the tree is liable for damage to the wall. Ask neighbour for their contents insurance details (liability cover is usually with the contents insurance) and put in a claim; otherwise claim from the your neighbour and they can either settle directly or pass it on to their insurers. Either way sounds like the tree root or entire tree needs to come out.
    • Blibble
    • By Blibble 15th May 18, 7:46 AM
    • 455 Posts
    • 797 Thanks
    Blibble
    • #9
    • 15th May 18, 7:46 AM
    • #9
    • 15th May 18, 7:46 AM
    Without prying EdGasket, were you liable / responsible for the fire in the eyes of the insurer? Best of luck, of course, if you can make a successful claim from your neighbour's insurer however in my experience negligence would need to be proved (could reasonable action by a reasonable person have been performed to negate the event occurring?), and I'm not sure pulling up the tree would be included in this. Let us know how it goes!
    Wedding fund - 3290.92 (1912.07)
    OP fund - 1859.60 (268.11)
    Emergency fund - 500.00
    • Samsung_Note2
    • By Samsung_Note2 15th May 18, 4:22 PM
    • 496 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    Samsung_Note2
    You would not be able to claim from your neighbour's policy unless you can prove their negligence caused their tree's roots to grow - I'd have thought the opposite of negligence caused this.

    You would need to assess your own buildings' policy T&Cs to assess whether cover would be in place if you claimed off your own policy.
    Originally posted by Blibble
    Sorry not sure what you mean by the opposite of negligence..are you suggesting they planted the tree on purpose..lol

    Tree is about 8 inches from wall and you can see where the roots have lifted the entire wall..and its at the highest where tree is.

    Obviously i dont wish to pay a few hundred quid to repair the wall when all that will happen is the tree will lift them again as it continues to grow,
    If my appalling spelling offends you that much...dont read my posts.
    • Samsung_Note2
    • By Samsung_Note2 15th May 18, 4:25 PM
    • 496 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    Samsung_Note2
    Big thanks to all who replied/gave advice its very much appreciated and will drop neighbour a letter (its a Buy to let so haven't seen them in a couple of years and tenants constantly revolving).
    If my appalling spelling offends you that much...dont read my posts.
    • Chickenlips
    • By Chickenlips 30th May 18, 5:43 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Chickenlips
    1) If you can demonstrate that you've advised your neighbour that their tree roots are likely to cause damage to your property, a recovery may be possible. Insurers would look at when they were notified and if they had acted reasonably. A potential defendant will be negligent by falling below the standards of the ordinary reasonable person in his/her situation, ie by doing something which the reasonable man would not do or failing to do something which the reasonable man would do.

    2) Read your policy! Some policy specifically exclude damage to boundary walls due to tree roots. You need to consider under which peril you will submit your claim. It is not enough to just have property damage (unless you have an all risks policy and the damage is no specifically excluded). You need to be able to demonstrate that your claim falls within one of the perils set out by your policy. If one of the standard perils do not apply and it is not exclude under any of them, look under accidental damage to buildings (if you have it). But note that accidental damage is often described as sudden and unforseen. Some insurers may argue that this would be excluded under the gradually operating cause (normally a general exclusion).

    (Text removed by MSE Forum Team)
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam3; 30-05-2018 at 10:00 AM.
    • Samsung_Note2
    • By Samsung_Note2 31st May 18, 1:25 PM
    • 496 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    Samsung_Note2
    1) If you can demonstrate that you've advised your neighbour that their tree roots are likely to cause damage to your property, a recovery may be possible. Insurers would look at when they were notified and if they had acted reasonably. A potential defendant will be negligent by falling below the standards of the ordinary reasonable person in his/her situation, ie by doing something which the reasonable man would not do or failing to do something which the reasonable man would do.

    2) Read your policy! Some policy specifically exclude damage to boundary walls due to tree roots. You need to consider under which peril you will submit your claim. It is not enough to just have property damage (unless you have an all risks policy and the damage is no specifically excluded). You need to be able to demonstrate that your claim falls within one of the perils set out by your policy. If one of the standard perils do not apply and it is not exclude under any of them, look under accidental damage to buildings (if you have it). But note that accidental damage is often described as sudden and unforseen. Some insurers may argue that this would be excluded under the gradually operating cause (normally a general exclusion).

    (Text removed by MSE Forum Team)
    Originally posted by Chickenlips

    Yes they were advised several years ago and replaced the top course as a matter of "oh if i have too"" as she already had builders in renovating the place ready to let it out.

    Havent seen them since so just left it..asked various tenants for the owners details but never got anywhere,hence now written a letter.
    If my appalling spelling offends you that much...dont read my posts.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 31st May 18, 2:28 PM
    • 3,025 Posts
    • 3,119 Thanks
    LadyDee
    I was in a similar situation many years ago, and submitted a claim to my insurers who dealt with the neighbour's insurance company. I didn't have to pay any excess so presumably they had to pay it - oh, and the tree had to be dealt with! My insurance premium didn't go up the next year so I can only assume the other insurers bore the whole cost.
    • Chickenlips
    • By Chickenlips 31st May 18, 8:55 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Chickenlips
    Unless any of it is in writing (and even then I am dubious due to timescales) it's unlikely the recovery would be successful.

    Do check your policy to see if there is cover.

    Any payments made outside of policy cover are called ex gratis payment.

    It may be assume that an insurer would cover a claim even if excluded by the policy as they can get their month back.

    Sadly, even if you had a watertight case against your neighbour, insurers cannot recover ex gratia payments from a third party. The reason for this is that they were not under any liability to pay the funds in the first place. They can only recover costs they were required to pay under the policy.
    • Samsung_Note2
    • By Samsung_Note2 22nd Jun 18, 3:27 PM
    • 496 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    Samsung_Note2
    Unless any of it is in writing (and even then I am dubious due to timescales) it's unlikely the recovery would be successful.

    Do check your policy to see if there is cover.

    Any payments made outside of policy cover are called ex gratis payment.

    It may be assume that an insurer would cover a claim even if excluded by the policy as they can get their month back.

    Sadly, even if you had a watertight case against your neighbour, insurers cannot recover ex gratia payments from a third party. The reason for this is that they were not under any liability to pay the funds in the first place. They can only recover costs they were required to pay under the policy.
    Originally posted by Chickenlips

    Thought id give an update...wrote a very polite letter and photo to neighbour (Buy to let so not there very often/ever it seems) of the Tree and the root along with obvious damage.

    No reply...not even acknowledge...assumed they received it as sent 1st class recorded for paper trail.

    Just spoke to Insurance (Post office) and was told no insurance companies cover external boundary walls,that was quite a shock...asked them to double check and its not just my policy but insurance wide,well thats that then.

    Was told to speak to legal team as ive made sure i had that level of cover...woman was very kind and polite but said not sure its coverd,explained very simply that the wall was dangerous and needs to come down and be replaced.

    She mentioned trespass,but didn't think that covered it...then said maybe nuisance...well yes its very damn annoying,then said try Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

    No one seems to know who is liable...hmm neighbours land,neighbours tree...tree roots physicaly lifted wall and is on the point of collapse and no one knows who is liable...seriously.

    Apologises for the rant...assumed it was fairly straight forward.
    If my appalling spelling offends you that much...dont read my posts.
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 22nd Jun 18, 4:47 PM
    • 4,650 Posts
    • 2,907 Thanks
    csgohan4
    you can get the Land lord's address from the Land registry for 3
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"
    • Samsung_Note2
    • By Samsung_Note2 22nd Jun 18, 4:48 PM
    • 496 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    Samsung_Note2
    you can get the Land lord's address from the Land registry for 3
    Originally posted by csgohan4
    Lets hope its not next door address..lol
    If my appalling spelling offends you that much...dont read my posts.
    • paddedjohn
    • By paddedjohn 23rd Jun 18, 5:54 AM
    • 7,165 Posts
    • 7,810 Thanks
    paddedjohn
    Thought id give an update...wrote a very polite letter and photo to neighbour (Buy to let so not there very often/ever it seems) of the Tree and the root along with obvious damage.

    No reply...not even acknowledge...assumed they received it as sent 1st class recorded for paper trail.

    Just spoke to Insurance (Post office) and was told no insurance companies cover external boundary walls,that was quite a shock...asked them to double check and its not just my policy but insurance wide,well thats that then.

    Was told to speak to legal team as ive made sure i had that level of cover...woman was very kind and polite but said not sure its coverd,explained very simply that the wall was dangerous and needs to come down and be replaced.

    She mentioned trespass,but didn't think that covered it...then said maybe nuisance...well yes its very damn annoying,then said try Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

    No one seems to know who is liable...hmm neighbours land,neighbours tree...tree roots physicaly lifted wall and is on the point of collapse and no one knows who is liable...seriously.

    Apologises for the rant...assumed it was fairly straight forward.
    Originally posted by Samsung_Note2
    Well that sounds like you have been fobbed off
    I had my front wall rebuilt 5-6 years ago paid for by insurance co.
    Be Alert..........Britain needs lerts.
    • Zorillo
    • By Zorillo 23rd Jun 18, 10:00 AM
    • 230 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    Zorillo
    I'm amused by the idea no insurance companies cover boundary walls. Your contact at the Post Office is wrong.

    Your policy might not cover it, but that shouldn't matter as it appears the liability rests with the owner of the tree.

    You may need a solicitor.
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