Pruning season is here. Many people are cutting back their trees for winter. Unfortunately, when trees aren't pruned properly, or when safety procedures aren't followed, damages can occur. If your neighbor's pruning went awry, and your home was damaged in the process, you'll want to get the repairs taken care of as quickly as possible, especially since winter is coming. The last thing you need is for rain and snow to get into your home through the damage caused by your neighbor. But, it's not always easy to figure out what to do when something like this happens. If your home was damaged by your neighbors while they were pruning their trees, here are four steps you need to take right away.
Document the Damage
If you're dealing with damages caused by your neighbors, the first thing you need to do is document the damage. Proper documentation should include a professional inspection. Hire an inspector to come out and assess the damage. Be sure that all the damage is documented, including areas that you think might be minor issues. You never know when those minor issues can turn into something major. Once you have the damage documented, you can prepare an itemized bill for your neighbors.
If your neighbors have caused damages to your home, and you want them to cover the cost of repairs, you'll need to request payment. One way to do that is to provide them with written estimates for all of the work that will need to be done. Be sure to keep copies of the estimates for your own records. Once you've made a formal request for payment, give your neighbors some time to respond before you move on to the next phase.
If you've made a formal request for payment, but your neighbors have refused to cooperate, it might be necessary to suggest mediation. This is especially important if you want to avoid hard feelings in the neighborhood. Mediation can help you and your neighbors work together to find an amicable solution to the problem. If your neighbors refuse to participate in mediation, or mediation fails to provide resolution, you'll need to take more aggressive action.
Hire an Attorney
Finally, if you've tried everything to get your neighbors to pay for the damage to your home, talk to a civil attorney as soon as possible. You shouldn't have to cover the cost of repairs when your neighbor's negligence is responsible for the damage. An attorney can help you to resolve the issue.
For more information about civil law and resolutions, contact a local civil attorney.