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Tree Damage To Property

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j0nb0y | 13:44 Tue 26th Mar 2024 | Law
5 Answers

My Mums house was damaged last year by a tree that blew over from the house next door to her. The house next door belongs to the local council. We contacted them, and they asked us to get the damage repaired, and submit the bill. ( as they didn't have enough building staff to be able to repair the damage for months. We got in a contractor, who cut the tree down, and removed the debris. He also repaired the damage caused to my Mums utility room. The councils insurance have now contacted me, to inform me that they do not accept liability. Any ideas what I can do to challenge this? My Mum is 76, lives alone, and wasn't able to go outside for nearly a week because it was too dangerous.  Anyone with any knowledge of this? 



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Did the council tell you in writing to go ahead with getting the damage repaired, then submit the bill?  If not, you should have insisted they did before you proceeded.

Did you you take photographs etc?

Get all your evidence together and lodge a case with the small claims court. They will probably settle rather than go to the expense of litigation. 

Ask the council for details about the last time that the health of the tree was checked, including the date and professional qualifications of the person carrying out the check.  If they can show that a qualified arborist certified the tree to be safe not long before it blew down, they might well be able to convince a court that there was no liability on their part.  Otherwise the law is likely to favour your mother.

If, despite being unable to prove that they had no liability, the council still refuses to pay up, your mother will probably need to initiate a claim through the County Court, using the Small Claims procedure:

Just as aside, is your Mum's house covered by such damage under her own insurance policy?

standard case of council screws old widow

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Tree Damage To Property

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