Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby JO T » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:18 am

Hi,

We received a letter from our neighbour's loss adjuster stating our oak tree is a cause of their subsidence on their extension. We have no signs of any subsidence in our property. We wrote back stating that we required evidence that the tree was the cause and they sent us back a load of information that was totally generic and i assume sent to everybody in the first instance. We also found that the extension had no planning permission. It claimed trial holes and a heave assesment were conducted when clearly they were not. We went back to them again stating these facts but we were just sent another letter saying thew extension was built before the neighbour moved in so it is invalid and totally ignored the fact the there was still no concrete proof the tests were conducted. Instead, the approach was changed saying they would contribute to to the tree's removal costs (i guess all of this is trying to keep their costs down).

We are in a dilemma because whist we don't just want to cut down a healthy tree but if it is the cause, we do understand. We just want the proof !.Do they legally have to show conclusive evidence ?. We are also concerned that if we spend a huge amount of money on trying to prove this and still have to have it removed, the costs are just going to be too high for us to cope with. We are very worried also about heave as we have had advice of how risky it is to cut a tree so drastically. Also, is the root barrier option something insurance companies run with ?. We are really worried about it all.

Your advice please !. Thank You
JO T
 
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby Treeman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:22 pm

Its all sabre rattling in the early stages

If you cave in at the first letter they win, then they move to funding the tree works then if you force their hand they will do some investigation if they have to

Its a balancing act with the cost of the engineering solution on one side and the cost of forcing you to remove the trees on the other.
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby arsie » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:35 pm

A few queries: Where are you, roughly, is it clay soil? When was the extension was built? How long has your oak tree been there? How far is it from the extension, how far from your own house and how far from the neighbour's original house? Is the original house unaffected or is it just the extension? Any chance of a plan with dimensions? Was any soil/land survey carried out at the time? Ok no planning permission but are there any building control records for the extension? What is the size of the footings?

Quite right to keep asking for the proof. If there is any, why would they keep it secret (except if there isn't any)? As a minimum they would need to have sunk test bores and found evidence of roots and proved they were your roots. If there are other trees around that might be difficult and maybe they have just guessed at the closest most likely culprit.

You are quite right to be concerned about heave if you remove a full grown healthy tree. If you were to fell the tree, your own insurance company will surely need have something to say. Without seeing the layout it is hard to say what size and what effect a root barrier might have or how much it might threaten your tree. Does your tree have a TPO? It might be worth applying for. Then any action/evidence would have to get past the local tree officer.
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby Totaly Amazed » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:18 pm

I've seen a lot on here recently about tree problems, I would have thought that the people building near a tree they know is there should take precautions to protect the building instead of blaming the other person.
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:41 pm

Hi JO T,

we don't just want to cut down a healthy tree but if it is the cause, we do understand.

even if the tree is the cause the remedy doesn't have to be what they suggest.

I'm no expert, but I would have thought felling a healthy tree would/should only be considered as a last resort...

who have you had in to assess what to do with your tree?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby JO T » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:04 am

Thanks for the info so far.

In response to your questions, arise, we are on clay soil. We do not know exactly when the extension was built. We are mid terrace and the houses were built in the 1960's. Our council say there are no records of any extension/building control for the property in question for the last 40 years - which is as far back as their records are kept. So it is difficult to date the extension.

The tree is approx 8 metres from the nearest point of our house and 12 metres to the neighbours nearest point which is the extension (the same extension as ours, but we have no problems and are closer !). We understand it is just the extension that has problems.

When the insurance company sent out their info, they stated that footings were 1.2 metres , but I don't think they have even investigated this. The local planning officer said that the footings depth in relation to trees was not imposed until the droughts of 1976 so without knowing the exact date of construction of the extension, it makes it hard to use this in our defence.

As i explained before, the info that was sent to us was totally generic - claiming many tests had been carried out and sending charts and tables that look like they have just been printed off any random chart. I can clearly see over the fence and took photos showing bores test had not been carried out and sent them to the neighbours insurer as proof. The still won't have any of it. Must they show concrete proof they have carried these out ?. They were throwing the liability word around alot and I would like to go back to say they must show us concrete proof before any action could be taken.

Thanks again.
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby Treeman » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:39 am

COGGY wrote:Thank you Treeman. Maybe you will relent and help the OP now? :roll:

Kind regards
Coggy



Errrr

Well I started to help on the other thread but the OP has chosen to ignore that so that kind of ends it for me.
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:46 am

Treeman wrote:
COGGY wrote:Thank you Treeman. Maybe you will relent and help the OP now? :roll:

Kind regards
Coggy



Errrr

Well I started to help on the other thread but the OP has chosen to ignore that so that kind of ends it for me.

+1
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby arsie » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:39 am

The OP made a simple mistake so perhaps this helps? On the duplicate thread
Treeman wrote:Chances are that you have been deceived by a well practiced smoke and mirrors act from the insurers and their agents

Have a look at his thread

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=19378
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Gary,

Bore samples have been taken by neighbours insurance company and roots from my tree have been found under his foundations.

is that so? can you share the exact wording?

Kind regards, Mac


Perhaps JO T will kindly reply to keep these two happy (although to be fair Treeman's post doesn't ask for a reply as such) and give us an update on current research/ thoughts/ any other details?
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby arborlad » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:17 pm

arsie wrote:The OP made a simple mistake so perhaps this helps? On the duplicate thread
Treeman wrote:Chances are that you have been deceived by a well practiced smoke and mirrors act from the insurers and their agents

Have a look at his thread

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=19378
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Gary,

Bore samples have been taken by neighbours insurance company and roots from my tree have been found under his foundations.

is that so? can you share the exact wording?

Kind regards, Mac


Perhaps JO T will kindly reply to keep these two happy (although to be fair Treeman's post doesn't ask for a reply as such) and give us an update on current research/ thoughts/ any other details?



It would seem that a thread was duplicated by mistake - it happens...........but there were replies added to it.

Despair recommended the thread be deleted!

I recommended the threads were merged.

The thread has now been deleted!
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby despair » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:05 pm

I actually asked admin to MERGE the 2 postings

there are several threads recently that have been duplicated can only guess the website had gremlins at work one day
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby arborlad » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:17 pm

I have absolutely no idea what transpired between you and admin.

What I do know is that you told the OP to e-mail admin to have the duplicate thread (with posts) deleted, and added a link to admins email for that purpose.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Tree allegedly causing neighbours subsidence

Postby gardenlaw » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:50 pm

The threads were merged on Saturday and moderated.

Image
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