As we roll into the real “winter” season of Georgia, we thought we’d take a break from hard hitting coverage of the buying process or short sales, and look at Tree Responsibility. For those that bought homes with the Jarvis Team, whether it be in Lawrenceville or Alpharetta or anywhere else in Metro Atlanta, it’s important to know, especially after a freezing rain. While many people cherish and value trees, like all living things they have a lifespan and needs that must be met. Large trees that overhang buildings, fences, or boundary lines pose a threat.
Trees that lean across lines may present special situations that affect homes or fences, and there are often laws protecting each party’s interests. While perfectly healthy trees can fall or break given specific circumstances, if neglect can be proved, a property owner might be liable for damages. Understanding your responsibilities around pruning and maintaining trees on your property is key. Insurance companies may get involved when damage is incurred by falling trees or tree limbs, though if negligence can be proven your insurance rates might be affected.
Knowing the health of trees on your property, and taking measures to ensure that they don’t damage your neighbor’s home or property, is the landowners’ responsibility. Felling large trees is a difficult endeavor and should be undertaken only by qualified individuals who are bonded, licensed and insured. Speaking with your neighbor prior to the work may reduce concerns, but also evoke some unwanted emotion. Trees that have been established for many years might be missed by some, while others might be relieved with the removal of a diseased tree or welcome the additional natural light. Tree work that may pose any risk to your neighbor’s property should be discussed prior to engaging in the work.
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