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I rent a house. Tree fell on my cars. Who is responsible?
My husband and I rent a house. For three months, we have had small limbs and branches fall from the trees lining the driveway. On multiple occasions, we have told the landlord that something needed to be done. He has always said he would look at it. Now, a huge portion of the tree fell out onto my car (05 Altima with insurance) and my husband's antique car (61 Chrysler no insurance). His homeowner's won't cover, our renter's won't cover. My auto policy will cover the Altima, but I will have to come up with the deductible and my rates will go up.
Is the landlord liable for any of the charges (including tree removal)? Please let me know any advice!
The antique car was recently brought to us. It had been in another state. When we purchased our policies here, we did not have the car. And as you said, hindsight is 20/20. Tonight, I found out that antique insurance is roughly $50 a year.
Thanks for your input.
It would be so much better if you had copies of letters you had written to the landlord telling him about the tree situation, to prove that he had been aware of a pre-existing problem. But hindsight is 20/20. At this point all you could do would be to call in a certified arborist to give an opinion about why the tree fell. If the tree fell because of high winds, then no one is to blame. If, in the arborist's opinion, it should have been obvious to anyone that the tree was a hazard, then you might have a good legal case - which you will still have to drag through court.
If the tree was rotten but you can't prove the landlord knew about it, then he wouldn't be responsible for the damage, but he would of course be responsible for the cleanup. I'm not sure why the landlord's homeowner's insurance won't cover the damage to your cars, but his insurance company must be asserting that it was an act of God or something.
If none of these options sounds right, then you'll have to let your insurance cover the Altima and risk your rates going up. The antique car that was not insured (what was that about??) is something you are going to have to pay out of your own pocket to fix, if you decide to do it.
I would think so. I'm not an expert on this type of stuff thoughby emmarge578 - 6 years ago
No one is responsible and this 'act of God' is why you carry comprehensive insurance on your automobiles. Act of God is in quotes, because it is an insurance term.
This is EXACTLY what comprehensive insurance is for. Comprehensive insurance is usually paired with collision insurance, but you can purchase it separately.
You pay less when you increase your deductible, but then you need to come up with more in case something happens. This is part of the risk analysis with insurance. You now have a graphic and expensive lesson about deductibles and car insurance.
ps - if you had documented evidence that you had concerns about the trees and had documented evidence that the landlord wouldn't do anything about it, then maybe you could win something in court (but it would cost a lot to do it). Otherwise, it is hearsay (you say one thing, the landlord says another and none of it is documented) and inadmissible in court.