Treework Environmental Practice advise home owners and buyers on the risks of trees causing subsidence and other structural damage to buildings. Bigger trees that cause subsidence specifically take liquid from the soil, causing the soil, and thus the ground beneath the house, to shrink. If you do find that a tree is causing you nuisance, a discussion with the tree owner may resolve the problem. Fallen trees not only cause damage to property but also have to be removed once they have fallen after a storm. Most home insurance policies have limited coverage conditions for fallen tree removal. During this, they may agree to cut back the branches or to treat the tree to minimise the risk of damage. Subsidence/damage caused by tree roots will involve a claim, which will generally be a nuisance rather than trespass if it has to go to Court. If your neighbours have large trees which are in close proximity to your new house, then you should investigate whether this could cause any damage to your house in the future. You can still start an enquiry by using the ‘email’ or ‘contact us’ options at the top of the page. When mature they can have a very large canopy and the tree requires vast amounts of moisture. What information will the Council require to support a subsidence-related, tree work application on a tree covered by a Preservation Order? Subsidence is the main issue posed, but there are also physical threats of falling limbs, as well as the risk of damage to drains, ground coverings, and foundations. 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. 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. My house insurance is being of limited value and Im seeking some advice on the legal position and possible ways to … Subsidence is the downward movement of th supporting the building. They will investigate and produce evidence which either blames a tree or identifies other causes. Trees and subsidence. Trees near your home don't have to crash through your roof to cause damage. Many trees grow near buildings and, in most cases, these will not cause any damage. Trees that cause damage or overhang your property Subsidence damage caused by trees. ... You'll be asked whether, to the best of your knowledge, the property has ever been affected by subsidence, landslip, heave, or tree root damage. The neighbour is refusing to cut the trees, and if my mother is to cut the trees, this will be in excess of £1000. Tree roots absorb water for photosynthesis and moisture evaporates from the leaves through transpiration. My neighbour is being asked to do the same for several more. We are closed from 5pm on 23rd December until 9am on 4th January. Trees can cause subsidence when their roots are in shrinkable clay. 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. I have a problem concerning subsidence in my neighbour's house, who I have a good relationship with. Trees on boundary lines are owned jointly by both neighbours ... Is damage from trees covered by my household insurance? Liability for Subsidence caused by Tree Roots. The main cause of subsidence movement in the UK is the influence of tree roots in clay soil. Subsidence The ground beneath a building sinks, pulling the property’s foundations down with it. If one of your neighbours grows or cuts down a tree in their garden, this can alter the structure of the surrounding soil which can, in turn, cause damage to your property. 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. An arboricultural assessment has been made and as a result I am being asked to cut down two trees. Trees in neighbours garden causing subsidence... 15 posts • Page 1 of 1. claire000 Posts: 9 ... but are saying it is due to the roots of 3 very large Cypress trees in my neighbours garden. For example, a tree owner would not be expected to remove all his trees on the basis of a suspicion that a small number of them may cause damage. However, sometimes trees growing near buildings can cause major problems. Trees can also be an indirect cause of subsidence where moisture-seeking roots invade underground drains causing them to leak. More serious problems that could arise include the roots causing subsidence or affecting the water content of the soil. Returning to the case, the situation involved a privately-owned oak tree subject to a TPO that had been determined to be causing subsidence damage to an adjacent property. Where tree roots have caused structural damage or have affected the foundations of a property, always seek the advice of a tree surgeon. Did you know? Some trees have more active root systems than others so are more likely to exploit defects and get into pipes while seeking water and nutrients. Owners of other properties in the road had submitted claims to D regarding subsidence damage allegedly caused by D’s trees from 1996/97. My house insurance is being of limited value and I'm seeking some advice on the legal position and possible ways to resolve this. If a risk of damage is there but is unlikely to happen then the tree owner will not have to take the same steps as he would be expected to if there is a real and imminent risk of damage. Never tackle the work alone. e ground Damage occurs because the movement is often uneven, causing cracks in walls, floors and ceilings. Trees and Vegetation. I received a letter yesterday from my neighbours' insurance company saying my conifers may have added to the subsidence damage to her home and could I remove them. Naturally a negotiated agreement with neighbours would be far preferable. Furthermore, if the roots from your tree encroach on your neighbours land and cause damage to their property, you can be potentially liable for this. Common problems are damage to drains, or subsidence … Mr and Mrs Khan claimed that the risk of the damage to their property by subsidence caused by the trees "was or ought to have been reasonably foreseeable" to Mrs Kane. This can crack external and internal property walls. Depending on your policy there may be a maximum dollar limit like $500 or $1000. A property in Essex with subsidence cracking around the upper storey window as caused by adjacent oak trees subject to a TPO (evidential tests satisfied). The problem is that the branches are coming over onto my mothers property, blocking light and signal, also allowing rats to climb into the attic. It usually occurs when the ground loses moisture and shrinks, which can be caused by prolonged dry spells. This might seem a strange way of looking at someone else's … The Council has a dual responsibility: to protect trees in the interests of public amenity, but also to try and ensure that no individual suffers undue loss, distress or damage resulting from this. Report subsidence to your building insurer. The neighbours trees are well over the 2 metre threshold and there are several of them. The main cause of subsidence in the UK is the shrinkage in dry weather of clay soils which expand and contract with changes in their moisture content. It may also be caused by trees and shrubs which can absorb significant volumes of water from the soil. The Judgement in Khan and Khan v London Borough of Harrow and Kane [2013] EWHC 2687 (TCC) considers when a landowner will be liable for subsidence caused by trees on their property, and to what extent the risk of that subsidence must be foreseeable. 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. Merry Christmas! However, once roots have exploited the defect, which could be a crack or displaced joint caused by pipe subsidence, they can widen them by expanding as they grow. If they do damage your property, your neighbour may be liable. The Council does not have responsibility for trees which it does not own, has no obligation to take action in relation to privately-owned trees and is not liable for damage caused by trees in others' ownership.. To avoid the risk of damage, tree roots and shrubs shouldn't be planted too close to your property. The High Court held that, by 1998, the roots could have extended up to 35 metres, causing reasonably foreseeable damage to shallow foundations, as used in extensions built in the 1960s and 1970s. A widow is being sued for £500,000 by Zurich insurance after it was claimed that the trees in her garden have damaged the foundations of their multi-million pound flats. The oak tree is responsible for the largest number of subsidence claims in the UK. Consent is still required for diseased or dying trees. Subsidence Damage Caused By Trees. Homes built on clay are particularly susceptible to subsidence during long, dry summers because trees and shrubs suck all the available moisture from the soil, causing buildings to … Trees close to a property could cause subsidence, removing them could cause heave Insurance will cover subsidence and/or heave, but a claim will make future policies more expensive and harder to find Policies usually provide cover for damage caused by falling trees and branches Subsidence from trees. Over 60% of all subsidence claims are triggered by trees. The Council, as highway authority, has powers to deal with trees under the Highways Act 1980, which are on land next to the road and are a risk to users of the road. Vegetation-related subsidence corresponds to the growing season from April to October, the damage usually reaching maximum severity in the autumn – when most insurance claims are submitted. Sometimes neighbours will arrange for the work themselves to avoid potential friction. 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