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neiln

house damaged by subsidence caused by neighbours trees

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I unfortunately have an ongoing issue with subsidence caused by shrinkage of desiccated clay soil as a result of mature Oak trees in 2 neighbouring properties. My house insurance is being of limited value and I'm seeking some advice on the legal position and possible ways to resolve this.  I'd prefer not to put details on the forum though, if anyone would be willing to offer some advice  by private messaging that would be a great help.  Thank you

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They aren't sorting it.  Over a decade in and they are sitting in there hands with neighbours not cooperating and my house surveying further damage.  That's why I'm seeking some advice.  Just realised I probably posted this in the wrong sub forum though.  The advice I need is about legal avenues and likely success or not, for forcing the trees to be removed.

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I normally charge for such. I also get a lot of these complaints on my desk. One in Ten has grounds for tree work ( the tree is the culprit) the rest are spurious chancer claims. The evidence needed for the result 'you want' is substantial and maybe why the insurance company is dragging its feet. K

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It is ENCOURAGING to hear that an insurance company ISN’T making an immediate and unfounded decision to seek tree removal  based upon the trees being the presumed cause without any substantial evidence to support such an assumption. 

 

Not good for for OPs peace of mind though. 

 

What basis is there to assume trees are the cause and that removal (of somebody else’s property) will solve the problem?

 

Starting point might be exploratory digs to ascertain which, if any, roots are in the vicinity of foundations. 

 

When you have demonstrated what is present it might be possible to start forming opinions on likelihood of any contribution to assumed subsidence. 

 

Look at it the other way....

 

You:  I think your property is damaging my property so I want you to pay to remove it. 

 

Me:  What evidence do you have to support this request?

 

You: Err, none but it’s trees - they cause subsidence. 

 

Me:  Err, OK, good day. 

 

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4 hours ago, neiln said:

The advice I need is about legal avenues and likely success or not, for forcing the trees to be removed.

This is a job for your insurance company. If for whatever reasons they won't act, then you need to speak to a solicitor. If I was the solicitor I'd advise you to raise the matter with your insurance company. If told 

4 hours ago, neiln said:

They aren't sorting it.

I'd ask why? Depending on the answer I'd suggest you raise a complaint with your insurer about their handling of your case, and failing a satisfactory resolution advise you to take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

 

The only other avenue open to you would be an injunction. But you'd need compelling evidence the trees were at fault.

 

So why are the insurers being uncooperative.

Edited by EdwardC

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Done, test pits, bore holes, shown decicated soil, tree roots found, evidence presented to neighbours who have still refused to cooperate. Insurance now sat on there hands for 3+ years. I've got another complaint in which will go to financial ombudsman shortly. I need to work out what the compensation I said seek is, and I know I need to speak to a solicitor but was asking here if anyone could advise what the questions he should consider are.

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Fair play for extra info 👍🏻

 

You have the inalienable right to self help abatement of an actionable nuisance. 

 

Have you considered initiating the self help (or getting the indicative costs thereof) and then presenting that as the starting point for restitution if that’s the route you want to take. 

 

You'd have to be sufficiently confidant that the results of your investigations to date wouldn’t be successfully challenged. 

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3 hours ago, neiln said:

Done, test pits, bore holes, shown decicated soil, tree roots found, evidence presented to neighbours who have still refused to cooperate. Insurance now sat on there hands for 3+ years. I've got another complaint in which will go to financial ombudsman shortly. I need to work out what the compensation I said seek is, and I know I need to speak to a solicitor but was asking here if anyone could advise what the questions he should consider are.

Just because the soil is dry it doesn't follow it's caused by the trees.

 

Just because you found roots it doesn't mean they're from the trees.

 

Is the soil shrinkable. Have you had it tested. What do the results demonstrate.

 

Have you had the roots DNA tested and compared to the DNA of the trees proving the roots are related to the trees.

 

Have you undertaken seasonal level monitoring to show that the shrinkage is vegetation related.

 

Have you done anything to alleviate the problem yourself as kevin asks.

 

If not why not.

 

What compensation do you want. Even if you can prove that the trees are responsible for the alleged subsidence it doesn't mean you are entitled to any compensation.

 

So why are the insurers being uncooperative.

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