BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Oscar Johnson says a large limb that fell on his property from a neighbor’s tree destroyed his fence. He says he has attempted multiple times to contact the property owner, but has not received a response.
“It’s very uncomfortable looking at it. I’d rather see it gone. Whoever owns that property over there, I never got any response back from him,” said Johnson.
WAFB spoke with insurance agent Andre Fourrier to discuss who is responsible for removing the tree in the scenario facing Johnson.
Fourrier says homeowners would need to file a claim with their own insurance in this case, specifically if it’s a healthy tree knocked over by an act of God.
However, there is a time when the tree becomes the neighbors responsibility.
"If the tree fell because it’s rotted, i’ts negligence of your neighbor or your neighbors inaction. It’s his liability,” said Fourrier.
Fourrier says if a neighbor refuses to take action themselves, the homeowner can file the claim with their insurance provider, which will then file a claim against the property owner’s insurance provider. Fourrier recommends having paperwork to show you attempted to reach the neighbor can also help when filing a claim.
“I have in the past myself written a registered letter to him putting him on notice these branches are hanging over my property. If and when they do fall, he will be liable, and that gets you in good standing if a claim is to be filed later,” said Fourrier.
Johnson says he’s hopeful to get this resolved soon for his family’s sake.
“I pretty much have to come outside with the dog now to keep her from wandering, getting out or whatever. Plus, my kids, my baby comes out and rides his little truck,” said Johnson.
State law allows homeowners to trim tree limbs up to their property line, if the owner of the tree has been notified.