3rd Party Tree Problems, Damage and Compensation

3rd Party Tree Problems

Tree Reports Ltd offers advice to tree owners and affected third parties in relation to common tree problems involving general nuisances like overhanging branches, encroaching roots, safety and shade, future risk of damage.

Where there is already property damage you should visit this page for further advice on what is involved. Where this relates to a high hedge please got to this page for more advice. Where this relates to a protected tree – please visit this page for further advice.

Typically we handle these enquiries by listening to you explain your problem and carrying out a preliminary tree condition assessment, and then commenting specifically on any particular points you have asked for advice on in our report.

“The first question to be dealt with by the law was who actually owns trees. If they are of value, who should profit? And if they cause problems, who should be liable?” (Charles Mynors, The Law of Trees, Forests and Hedgerows).

Tree Related Damage to Property & Compensation

Trees offer many benefits, but also cause problems, damage property and cause injuries. Tree roots can exert physical force sufficient to damage walls and surfaces, and damage the foundations of buildings, and falling trees and branches cause damage in less subtle ways. Being the owner or occupier of a property with trees can bring with it legal liability for harm or damage they may cause. In the event of an incident we can try to determine if it was reasonably foreseeable. Foreseeability is a key indicator as to whether liability could be attached. We offer advice and reports for making a compensation claim for tree damage, and for defending claims.

Tree Damage Claims – Structures

We provide advice where third party trees have damaged your property such as buildings, drains and hard landscaping. This may be handy for making a civil claim for damages and associated expenses. Please note that if an insurance company is (or may) be involved, please check that they are happy to accept our advice before you contact us. Often insurers wish to use their own in house experts. We will generally not take on claims going through insurance for this reason.

If a tree under your ownership or responsibility is implicated in tree damage to third-party property such as that belonging to a neighbour, you may wish to determine if there is any substance to the claim if you are being asked to undertake remedial works or other form of mitigation. Quite often, a knee-jerk reaction to property damage from trees results in excessive (or unnecessary) further tree works. This could actually make things worse in some cases, and increase future management costs. Our consultants have a good knowledge of tree anatomy and biology and tree law that help inform the decision making process and help you take the best solution for the situation.

Tree Damage from Third Party Trees

This may include where your trees trees have been damaged by third parties, usually neighbours carrying out pruning of your trees under common law rights. The damage could be (for example) over-pruning, or poor pruning practices resulting in damage, or harm to the health of the tree or in extreme cases, it’s death. We can assess the quality of works undertaken, and if needed recommend remedial works.

Please note that a preliminary free consultation for tree damage issues cannot be offered for free due to the time involved to assess the evidence and determine the options. The price for case review and preliminary report will be £250+VAT. In many cases a preliminary report will be all that is needed, but some will require further information and advice.

“The first question to be dealt with by the law was who actually owns trees. If they are of value, who should profit? And if they cause problems, who should be liable?” (Charles Mynors, The Law of Trees, Forests and Hedgerows).

To begin please send us a detailed email describing the problem, history to date and  desired outcome(s) of using our service, and attach all the case history such as letters / technical reports / invoices / quotes for works carried out. We will respond with a quotation with terms and conditions for you to consider. Please also note that we are strictly an Arboricultural company. We have experience of dealing with laws that apply to trees. However, our advice is not a substitute for the opinion of a legal specialist, and quite often you will need to consider this as well before deciding how to act.

Nuisance Trees

In situations where trees will cause harm in the future, block light or drains and overhang other peoples property, Tree Reports Ltd can help you resolve issues relating to trees considered to be a nuisance trees.  We can assess the situation, make recommendations and negotiate with third-parties and residential, commercial, or local authority tree owners on your behalf. These are often common reasons why a Nuisance Tree claim may be made against a tree owner:

Please refer to our dedicated pages below for specific issues concerning:

Tree Reports Ltd offers advice regarding legal duties of other tree owners in relation to nuisance trees and problems these may cause our clients. We typically start by carrying out a site visit and case review for a fixed fee of £400+VAT (or £250+VAT if a site visit is not needed). In many cases the preliminary report we will provide will be all that is needed, but some will require further information and advice. Strong evidence is usually needed to try and get tree owners to remedy a “nuisance tree”. Tree owners are usually only expected to comply with a Nuisance Tree claim if the tree presents a risk of being a safety hazard, where there is negligence that could lead to harm, or a tree may be causing damage to a property. Where I would take on a report for your case, I can provide a fixed price quotation up front.

“The first question to be dealt with by the law was who actually owns trees. If they are of value, who should profit? And if they cause problems, who should be liable?” (Charles Mynors, The Law of Trees, Forests and Hedgerows).

Once an initial report has been carried out, your case review will give detailed feedback in a letter-style report advising on options you may consider. It will also outline what advice would be needed to pursue any courses of action identified, which may include advice from other experts.

We only want to take on cases where we can give helpful advice that can be defended in court if needed. Our clients don’t wish / expect to end up in court, but these things can and do escalate, as well as sometimes dragging on for years. This is why a case review before proceeding may be handy and save you time, money and hassle.

To proceed, please provide a detailed email with as much information as you can give. And attach any relevant case history documents such as letters or professional reports, emails between interested parties. State what outcome you want to see from getting me involved – this is important. Also – let me know if the site is in a Conservation Area or if any Tree Preservation Orders apply. The case review includes a TPO / conservation enquiry if needed. If you would like to proceed please let me know and I will prepare a contract for the above with full terms and conditions.