The court also said that the hedge was not an attractive feature and its removal presented no difficulty or disadvantage to Mrs Kane, after accepting that removing the hedge would have cost in the region of £700-£800 (the court seemed to consider that this was not a significant expense in the circumstances). Houses built since the 1950's generally have deeper foundations to avoid the problems due to drying out of the soil. Subsidence from trees. There are different varieties of oak trees, but most have shallow spreading roots that may cause damage to house foundations if grown near a house. There is of course another danger of large trees near to your property which is from impact damage to your property (or persons in the property or garden) following a violent storm. The decision to remove a tree is serious and you may find that the tree is protected by a preservation order, legally preventing you from removing it. Woodworm, Dry Rot and Wet Rot. The upshot of this is that the damage is likely caused by laurel bushes less than 1 metre from the garage in a neighbour's garden and a cherry tree (considerably taller than the 2-storey house) approximately 4 metres from the garage, also in the neighbour's garden. So it is not clear that the subsidence is due to the tree. However a large tree will remove a considerable quantity of water from the ground and this can cause the area to dry out more than before. All our policies include Legal assistance as standard up to £50,000 This offer Legal protection for problems relating to employment, contracts, property and personal injury etc. This can cause the soil / clay in the area to absorb the water, swelling it and causing heave (the upwards movement of the ground and the opposite of subsidence). Our neighbour is claiming that our tree is causing subsidence of his garage. Most of our policies you can now buy online and receive instant documentation. Blocked drains and lifted paving may also be a problem. If the tree is a cause then there is a claim to be made against your neighbour but this is best left to your buildings insurer. Many trees self seed quite extensively and you may not even notice a sapling growing close to the house. If the tree is the cause of subsidence, and a future claim is made in another policy year, then you might be liable for it, yes. We are having some building work done which include having the garden either properly slabbed or decked. Rather, a tree's position, height or condition, the type of soil, or a combination of these factors would need to indicate the risk of subsidence in a particular case. But do remember in the Winter the ground becomes more saturauted and the subsidence slows down and stops. • The tree may be within a neighbouring garden or in the street. If you do find that a tree is causing … Not all circumstances in which a tree grows close to a house will give rise to subsidence. QI bought my flat in November 1999. Neighbour's trees causing subsidence. The best Which? This will depend on the renewal … 6,930 posts. Domestic tree owners defending tree root subsidence claims commonly argue that they are not liable because the damage was not reasonably foreseeable to them – i.e. The tree was probably there before the garage was built and both are close to the edge on an unstable steep bank (part of our property). This case reiterates the principle that a person would only have to eliminate (or minimise) a risk when the circumstances were such that a reasonable person would have thought it right to do so. If the tree is a cause then there is a claim to be made against your neighbour but this is best left to your buildings insurer. QI bought my flat in November 1999. All our policies cover Home Emergency as standard up to £500. Only homes built on clay soil are susceptible to subsidence, and trees can make the problem worse. However a large tree will remove a considerable quantity of water from the ground and this can cause the area to dry out more than before. Any large tree with vigorous growth has the potential to cause subsidence damage if it is close enough to a house. Tel: 0344 251 0070 - Email: [email protected]. 211 months. My trees causing neighbours subsidence. Damage to houses (your own or your neighbour's) caused by falling trees and branches is generally covered by home insurance policies as standard, but check the wording of your cover for any exclusions. The ash tree is another fast growing deciduous tree which prefers moist conditions and whose roots will spread wide distances to find water. Subsidence is when the soil (particularly clay soil) under a house contracts when it’s … Neighbour's tree and subsidence. forgottenwoods. For most people, this involves having good quality door and window locks. But if you are thinking of buying a house built pre 1950, and it is in an area of clay soils, you should assess any nearby tree for whether its roots may potentially reach the soil around your house foundations. Tree-related subsidence is quite a common occurrence on shrinkable soils (e.g. (1) London Borough of Harrow; and (2) Helen Sheila Kane, which considered whether tree root subsidence damage was reasonably foreseeable to a private individual owner of a domestic property whose trees caused damage to a neighbouring property. This “heave” can be just as damaging. A tree’s roots will cover a roughly circular area around it; up to about twice its height and that may quickly start to affect the soil under the house. Home › Property Insurance › Home Insurance › What are the four worst trees for causing subsidence? The ash tree is another fast growing deciduous tree which prefers moist conditions and whose roots will spread wide distances to find water. Trees, by their very nature can be very large, very heavy and can drink a lot of water from the soil surrounding them. Willow trees like damp conditions and a large mature tree is thought to extract around 1000 liters of water a day from its surrounding soil. The roots of many types of trees are well known to cause damage to properties. Posted on Nov 25th, 2013 by Lyons Davidson, By using this website you agree to accept our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions Accept, Civil Litigation: Professional Negligence, Commercial Litigation: Professional Negligence. Something that can be more problematic is the part of the tree you can't see - … I would not worry if the neighbours say No, the law works in our favor and trust the tree people that are working on your case, but in the meantime, it is cause damage to the property. What are the four worst trees for causing subsidence? ... a tree from your property unless they believe it will cause damage. Can I cut down my neighbour’s tree? Of course, you are more than welcome to call us and we can provide your cover over the phone, All Insurances Learn more about this in the section on subrogation below. Treework Environmental Practice provides tree consultancy services including structural damage and subsidence tree reports to private clients, including property owners and buyers, throughout the UK. Are there any trees that are suitable to grow near a house? Instead, it is that the tree's presence will alter the water content and structure of the soil, which in turn can cause foundations to shift and crack. My neighbour is being asked to do the same for several more. Discussion. The roots can stretch out in search of moisture and there are some types of tree that are more likely to cause subsidence damage than others, due to the size to which they can grow and the way in which the root system is structured. A common belief is that it's the roots of a tree which cause of damage to property foundations, but this is not usually the case as normal tree roots cannot penetrate through concrete. Finally, if the cause of the damage to your property is the fault of a neighbor, for example, if a neighbors tree fell on your property or home, your insurance company may make you pay the deductible at first but may try and get the deductible back from your neighbor to reimburse you. Mrs Kane was liable for the damage caused by the Cypress hedge, but not by the oak tree, largely due to its size and proximity to the Khans… The tree roots, in their search for water, will increase the drying out of the soil in the surrounding area, and increase the likelihood of the foundations moving and causing subsidence. Tree-related subsidence is quite a common occurrence on shrinkable soils (e.g. clay) and I have addressed this some time ago already (to a limited specificity). Our neighbour is claiming that our tree is causing subsidence of his garage. The judgment, while favourable for prospective claimants, should not necessarily send homeowners (or their insurers) into a state of panic. I have a problem concerning subsidence in my neighbour's house, who I have a good relationship with. So a new extension next to mature trees may not subside, but young trees could cause subsidence … Subsidence claims can often be costly, so a loss adjuster will usually be sent to assess the claim and the cause of the problems. The following year I discovered that it … This damage will often take the form of subsidence, particularly if the soil is of clay composition. An arboricultural assessment has been made and as a result I am being asked to cut down two trees. Management of trees is essential to ensure you don’t make the problems even worse. Neighbour's trees causing subsidence. The following list of safe tree distances is a list referring to the potential damage from their roots to the foundations of your property which may cause subsidence. However a large tree will remove a considerable quantity of water from the ground and this can cause the area to dry out more than before. Because tree roots absorb water from the soil, it causes the earth to dry faster and that leads to subsidence. Duty of neighbours in tree root subsidence cases. Learn more about this in the section on subrogation below. Information has been sent to me by his insurer telling me about quite serious subsidence. Original Poster. Tree roots near your home could potentially cause serious problems. If you are worried about the potential subsidence problems that a neighbour’s tree could cause, discuss it amicably and try to persuade him or her to take an appropriate action. These trees will include willow, oak and elm trees. A tree which is growing on your neighbour’s property or close to the boundary of your property could be causing a nuisance to you for a number of reasons. Woodworm can also infest ordinary household furniture causing a home insurance claim problem.... Types of Door and Window Locks – when purchasing a home insurance policy, you may find that your insurance company want you to have certain security measures in force at your property. One of the most common causes of subsidence damage to property is from clay … Are we liable for the removal of the tree? Heave can only occur where subsidence has occurred before it: the shrunken clay, in re-wetting, returns to its original volume, thus causing uplift to any foundation set upon it. Again these are best avoided near houses. The roots of a tree are unlikely to damage property foundations themselves as few can penetrate concrete. To cope with dry conditions, the roots are known to span large areas in the search for moisture. Trees and shrubs can damage the foundations of the property causing subsidence. In cases where the tree (s) in question is a low-value tree and / or there is no degree of statutory protection afforded to the tree, the landowner may very well consider it appropriate to remove the tree or otherwise prune the … The oak tree is responsible for the largest number of subsidence claims in the UK. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass, even though the tree roots will be encroaching on the neighbouring land. Willow trees are best avoided in all but the largest gardens and then only planted well away from the house and any possible pipework. I am going through my Insurance company and a surveyors company are acting on my behalf. However a large tree will remove a considerable quantity of water from the ground and this can cause the area to dry out more than before. We like to offer all our customers a first class service, which is backed up by our Trust pilot ratings. There are treatments and remedies to prevent it’s spread and to eliminate the problem it becomes critical. But like the willow their roots are highly invasive and are known to spread up to 40 meters, again causing problems to any pipes or drains in their path. Accordingly, the court considered that Mrs Kane ought to have eliminated the risk that the hedge presented before it caused damage and she was, therefore, in breach of duty by failing to take appropriate steps to eliminate that risk. Right, © 2020 All Rights reserved Assetsure is a trading name of Hildon Park Ltd which is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No.592997, Our phone lines are reserved for our customers or potential customers who may also contact us using the, Comprehensive insurance for Electric bikes, Militaria / Military Collectable Insurance. this offers protection against unexpected events such as the failure of your main heating system, blockage of drains or failure of your domestic gas or electricity supply. So it is not clear that the subsidence is due to the tree. If the tree has been taking out significant amounts of water, removing it may cause the soil to rehydrate and swell. If left untreated it can huge amounts of damage to the interior of your home. Woodworm is most commonly caused by the furniture beetle which leave larvae boreholes inside the major woodwork elements of a property. The roots of a tree are unlikely to damage property foundations themselves as few can penetrate concrete. A No, but if the tree were to cause subsidence the insurer is likely to refuse to pay out for repairs to yours or a neighbouring property. One of the most costly maintenance problems for homeowners is woodworm, dry rot and wet rot. More serious problems that could arise include the roots causing subsidence or affecting the water content of the soil. The roots of a tree are unlikely to damage property foundations themselves as few can penetrate concrete. works for you solution is to ask the advice of a qualified arboriculturist, and get them to prepare a report to help convince the insurance company. they were unaware of the risks that their trees posed and they could not have foreseen that their trees would cause subsidence damage to a neighbouring property. 2. Subsidence damage to your property caused by trees or shrubs. Subsidence from trees. For it to be trees, you need to be (1) on shrinkable soil - usually a clay and (2) the structure is on shallow foundations and the cracks have appeared as the trees have grown bigger (or been cut down). Subsidence is more common in clay soils which swell and shrink according to the level of moisture. Subsidence from trees. When they absorb water from the soil they can dry the area faster potentially causing subsidence. Neighbour's tree and subsidence. Subsidence from trees. Roots can cause a lot of problems and if they’re deep and/or causing subsidence or any other form of damage to your side of the property, you might need to get a tree surgeon or some other kind of structural engineer to deal with the problem. Therefore, Mrs Kane’s lack of actual knowledge did not present her with a successful defence because the court found that a reasonably prudent landowner would have known that the hedge presented a real risk of causing damage – and the risk was not a mere possibility. The following year I discovered that it … So a new extension next to mature trees may not subside, but young trees could cause subsidence … Understanding the factors involved in tree damage to buildings, including soil type and depth of foundations, will help both tree and house owners determine what action to take and when to get … clay) and I have addressed this some time ago already (to a limited specificity). Subsidence. However, this argument will not necessarily provide a defendant with a successful defence, as seen in the recent case of Khan and Khan v Harrow Council and Sheila Kane [2013] . The … Questions here surround a neighbour's conifer tree which is around a foot away from my house. Monday 14th November 2005. But in some cases, subsidence and structural damage can be linked to tree roots. Only if your neighbour is uncooperative, or Monthly payments available. The Judge in this case agreed with the Defendant that the general risk of tree root subsidence is not sufficient to make all damage reasonably foreseeable, otherwise every claim due to subsidence would succeed. Posted on December 15, 2015 by julian@bickersinsurance.co.uk. Are we liable for the removal of the tree? The encroachment of branches or blocking light into your home may affect your enjoyment of your property. The tree roots will not normally damage the foundations of a house directly but they can increase the likelihood of subsidence when they are combined with a clay soil, which shrinks and swells as moisture content decreases and increases. Small ornamental varieties planted around 15-20 feet from the house should be ok but it is best to seek advice from a qualified arborist before making a decision. The judgment is required reading for all practitioners handling tree root subsidence claims. Tree roots absorb water for photosynthesis and moisture evaporates from the leaves through transpiration. Reply Reply Author. However, in another situation, it may be reasonable not to take any action to eliminate or minimise a risk. Poplar trees particularly the large columnar variety are very popular across Europe, they grow very fast and can look hugely impressive swaying in the wind. Domestic tree owners defending tree root subsidence claims commonly argue that they are not liable because the damage was not reasonably foreseeable to them – i.e. For it to be trees, you need to be (1) on shrinkable soil - usually a clay and (2) the structure is on shallow foundations and the cracks have appeared as the trees have grown bigger (or been cut down). The court found that the risk of damage to the claimants’ property was foreseeable to Mrs Kane, even though she did not actually know that her hedge presented a real risk of damage to the claimants’ property. they were unaware of the risks that their trees posed and they could not have foreseen that their trees would cause subsidence damage to a neighbouring property. We automatically provide you with £1,000,000 cover for rebuilding cost of your property, ideal if you are unsure of your re-building cost. The recommendation in the report is to approach the neighbour to have these removed. The roots of a tree are unlikely to damage property foundations themselves as few can penetrate concrete. Over 60% of all subsidence claims are triggered by trees. If tree root systems suck too much water out of the soil, such as during periods of drought, the sponge-like soil can shrink and literally fall away from beneath your home. Subsidence typically occurs when the ground beneath your home shrinks. In this case, the defendant, Mrs Kane, was held liable in nuisance for some of the claimants’ loss, after her hedge caused subsidence damage to the claimants’ neighbouring property. But get it sorted before next year if possible. Thinking of buying a house with a large tree in the garden? When you can trim hedges or trees You can trim branches or roots that cross into your property from a neighbour’s property or a public road. While trees can add financial and aesthetic value to property; trees can also cause and / or contribute to structural damage to buildings and other structures. It would appear that property owners have been warned that they are expected to: For more information on the tree root subsidence issues raised in this article or on neighbour disputes in general, contact our Civil Litigation team or call us on 0117 904 6000. Where tree roots cause damage to a neighbouring property, the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. Finally, if the cause of the damage to your property is the fault of a neighbor, for example, if a neighbors tree fell on your property or home, your insurance company may make you pay the deductible at first but may try and get the deductible back from your neighbor to reimburse you. Published on Fri 5 Jul 2002 07.20 EDT. Ash, willow, elm, poplar and oak trees all suck up a great deal of water. Trees and subsidence. My neighbour tree was causing subsidence to my property. Again these are best avoided near houses. Claims for subsidence can be on the large side ( hence the reason for the standard policy excess being £1000) and even if the building is repaired by the insurance company, you may find that’s in the future, insurance is harder to source ( and possibly more expensive) and the market value of the property and it’s marketability may also diminish... Our Home Insurance can provide cover for your Buildings, Contents and Personal Effects. This is because clay soil is prone to shrinking when it dries out, which is precisely what happens when tree roots take hold and help themselves to the moisture in the soil. They do tend to lop the top off now and again but its now standing around 10ft tall. The following list of safe tree distances is a list referring to the potential damage from their roots to the foundations of your property which may cause subsidence. We are open 7 days a week to assist you with your enquiries. The neighbour has removed the tree himself (not professionally) and I have asked him if he was aware the stump needed to … The main cause of subsidence movement in the UK is the influence of tree roots in clay soil. While it is a sapling it won't cause a problem, but some trees can grow very quickly. When mature they can have a very large canopy and the tree requires vast amounts of moisture. If you have noticed subsidence that you think is caused by a tree on neighbouring land, or attached to a ground floor flat if you own upper floors, or if your neighbour alleges that they have suffered subsidence as a result of a tree on your land, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The tree was probably there before the garage was built and both are close to the edge on an unstable steep bank (part of our property). Preventing or Dealing with Subsidence and Structural Problems.Whilst subsidence is usually covered by a building insurance policy, it is definitely something that you do not want to happen at your property if at all possible. The oak tree is responsible for the largest number of subsidence claims in the UK. busa_rush. You can only trim up to the property boundary. These area include the roof timbers, joists, staircase and floorboards. The neighbours trees are well over the 2 metre threshold and there are several of them. This would be a situation where a risk is unlikely to come about or the consequence would be minimal if it materialised. In urban areas willow tree roots have been known to invade drains and pipework. 2. Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. Published on Fri 5 Jul 2002 07.20 EDT. These should be studied most carefully as without the correct protection being in force, you may find your cover compromised in the event of a claim. 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