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Who should pay
Our tree hit neighbours clothesline

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35 replies to this topic

#1 permiemumma

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

During all of the heavy winds we had yesterday a tree in our backyard fell down. The majority of it landed in our neighbours yard. It was a healthy tree, and just couldn't hold up against the wind, I guess. Luckily it didn't hit any houses, and but it did smash their clothesline. DH is out there now, getting rid of it with the neighbours. I feel like we should offer to replace their clothesline (or at the very least pay half) since it was our tree that did the damage. DH thinks that we are not responsible since there was no way we could have forseen it (tree was in good condition not rotted etc) and it was a freak accident, and so we should not have to pay anything. WDYT?

#2 Tooties

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

Happened to my parents once - the ladder fell over and landed on the neighbours car. My parents were responsible for the repairs because it was their ladder that damaged the neighbours property - foreseeable or not. Saving grace was that insurance covered it - their house insurance. So, have a look at your home and contents insurance and see whether it covers accidents and extreme weather events such as this. Also, a clothes line isn't that expensive, it may just be worth replacing it than paying an insurance excess on it.

#3 Sunny003

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

From previous threads, I'm pretty sure you are responsible, as it was on your property.

#4 Lyra

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

I would pay

edited because for some reason I hit reply before I was ready LOL

Anyway, I would pay because I think it's the right thing to do. It was your tree. I would rather pay for damages done by your tree to keep good relations with the neighbours

Edited by Lyra, 28 January 2013 - 01:38 PM.

#5 luke's mummu

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:37 PM

Legally they are responsible, but if I was you I would offer to pay 1/2 at least.

We had a similar situation last year - the veranda roof of our neighbour's blew off, and crashed onto our roof, breaking a few tiles and bending the gutter. It cost $300 for our repairs. We have a $900 excess on our home insurance. I made a lot of phone calls to insurance companies, and they are all the same There is no "at fault" insurance cover for houses. We asked the neighbours to pay 1/2 they said OK but we are still waiting for it.......

Edited by luke's mummu, 28 January 2013 - 01:38 PM.

#6 anikal

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:38 PM

Short answer, your tree - your responsibility.

Check to see what your insurance will cover. I had a nieghbour's tree take out a fence and back shed about ten years ago. My insurance dealt with everything including removal of the tree remnants and then got their money back from the neighbour.

If you get along with the neighbour, I'd just pay for the clothesline and be done with it.


#7 FreeRangeMum

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:38 PM

Washing lines aren't super expensive are they? It's probably not worth claiming on your insurance unless you have a low excess?

#8 ~chiquita~

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

It was your tree, you are responsible for the damage.
Buy them a new clothesline.

#9 FeralProudSwahili

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

Yep, it was your tree, so the decent thing to do is to pay for a new clothesline.

#10 StilettoMum

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

I will go against what others say, a quick google and look at government website states:

If, however, a strong, healthy tree blows down across the fence in a storm, this is considered to be an ‘act of God’ for which there is no liability.

Liability changes however from my read on things if the tree was unhealthy, you had been warned that the tree was unhealthy or posed a risk and took no action or did not care for nor maintain the tree.

That said, to preserve neighbour relations I would offer to pay a proportion of the cost.

#11 permiemumma

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:47 PM

I'm glad you all agree with me. Will show this thread to DH. Clotheslines aren't expensive so i don't think it'd be worth using insurance

#12 EssentialBludger

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:48 PM

I'd pay, even I'd not legally responsible. It's the neighbourly thing to do IMO.

If I were the neighbour I probably wouldn't accept anyway, but would very much appreciate the offer.

#13 Peppery

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:48 PM

I would pay for the cost of the clothesline.

#14 wanting3

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

I just bought the top of the line Hills hoist from Bunnngs and it cost less than $300. Ask them what they would like. Have a look online, as alot of families now prefer other forms of line dry than the old hills. (as were the previous owners of this house who had no line at all). The top of the line hills can now handle a king size bed sheet, on the outer line. I love it

You can get pull outs, movable, etc work out what is suitable, and just pay up. Better to be on good terms with the neighbour, than be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

#15 neshas4kids

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

I have worked in the insurance industry for 12yrs now and even if your tree falls and completely demolishes your neighbours home, it is up to your neighbour to have insurance to protect their property.

In saying that though, its probably the neighbourly thing to do to offer to pay half of a new clothesline, you should get out of it for less than $200

#16 Jigsy 0308

Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:56 PM

I would certainly offer to pay. It is up to them if they choose to accept or not.

#17 Gudrun

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

We have had trees twice fall on our neighbour's property from our place, one just recently.  Our insurance company paid for our damage and his for his, the fence shared in both cases.

#18 Gudrun

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:51 PM


Edited by Gudrun, 28 January 2013 - 02:52 PM.

#19 Phascogale

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

You're not liable but in the interest of neighbourly relations I'd offer maybe half.  If you're really great neighbours and you know that if the opposite happened that they would offer to pay, then I would pay for a replacement.

Wouldn't be worth claiming on insurance.

#20 permiemumma

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

We have talked to them and offered to buy them a new clothesline. They refused, so we suggested going halves. He didn't seem to like the idea of us paying anything but he may change his mind. We left the ball in his court so we'll wait and see what he does.

I'm just glad the tree is gone! It was ugly and I have been asking DH to cut it down for quite a while.

#21 BetteBoop

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

Why would people offer to pay for something that isn't their fault legally or morally? The fact that a tree happens to be located somewhere before a storm blows it away, is irrelevant.

The storm caused the damage, not you.

This is the reason why people have insurance policies. But an old clothes line isn't worth much anyway. If they wanted to replace one with another second hand one, people advertise them in the Trading Post or Gumtree as free.

#22 YandiGirl

Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

It would not occur to me to not pay for any required repairs. My tree, my responsibility.

We just had a storm take a tree out in our yard. Took down the fence and the chicken coop. Gratefully it didn't touch anything of the neighbours property or fences.

I would have been most annoyed at my insurer if they didn't pay for any neighbours damage and the neighbour had the hassle of dealing with their insurer as a result of my tree falling down.

#23 HRH Countrymel

Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE (paula89 @ 28/01/2013, 02:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Clotheslines aren't expensive so i don't think it'd be worth using insurance

Brace yourself - if it was a proper metal Hills Hoist they are around $700 - $800.

I know this as I need one and haven't been able to justify the expense just yet as I have 'something' to hang the washing on...

#24 Sassy Dingo

Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:20 PM

I rang my insurance company this morning for this exact reason - a neighbour's tree had fallen down and crushed the boundary fence and our clothes line last night - I actually opened this thread thinking you were our neighbours.

I rang my insurer this morning and they said that unless you were negligently messing with the tree (cutting it down incorrectly or something) then it is just one of those things. According to Allianz I have to get quotes for tree removal (estimated 3 tonne) and a quote for a new clothesline.

The only cost that is shared is the boundary fence as it goes 50% each.

I am quite cranky at this actually, as it means that I have to pay an excess and lose my no claims bonus and stuff around getting quotes and stuff for my neighbour's tree. I don't think I should be out of pocket at all. But that's life.

Oh, we went to Bunnings this morning to price a clothes line and it was $239 for a 6 string hills hoist.

#25 Crinkle cut

Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

I have worked in the insurance industry for 12yrs now and even if your tree falls and completely demolishes your neighbours home, it is up to your neighbour to have insurance to protect their property.

Phew!!  I was beginning to have heart palpitations imagining a big storm dropping a tree on our house AND another from our property on the neighbours and house and thinking we'd not have enough cover to rebuild both houses!

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