National News

Homeowners confused about responsibility after downed trees

Posted 11:17 a.m. Friday

— Thousands of trees fell down after Irma swept through Georgia.

Josh Marotta with Atlanta Arbor has been inundated with calls. Homeowners are confused with what they are responsible for.

"A lot of insurance wont cover it unless it's on your house, shed, driveway shed, garage, car [or] something like that," says Marotta.

But here is the tricky part -- when a tree falls over onto a neighbor's property, a homeowner is often left to wonder if he or she is liable.

Most people assume that they are liable since it is their tree. However, this is not always true.

"Wherever a tree lands is where the ownership lies of the tree, so if your tree falls on my house, I have to take responsibility of it" says Marotta.

Where the tree falls determines who pays for what.

A certified arborist can analyze the tree to see if it needs any special treatments, pruning or complete removal.

This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it is much less expensive than the potential cost of paying for a neighbor's home being destroyed by a tree that is on your property.

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