Tree Limb Fell on Resident's Car

We had a snow storm last week in Arkansas, and a tree limb fell on a resident’s car. It broke the back glass and put some dents in the car. The resident has a $500 deductible with his insurance and didn’t have enough money to pay it. So, he just replaced the back glass.

About a month ago, my manager went through and trimmed all the trees with broken, hanging branches. Around that time, the resident apparently told my manager about some limbs that should be trimmed hanging over his yard. According to my manager, limbs were trimmed that posed a threat to the resident’s home and one over the yard. I’ve had no prior notice of this, thus, I’m getting the information after the fact. I’m under the impression this is a healthy tree.

The resident has been talking with a lawyer and feels good about making a case. He wants me to pay the deductible. The manager suggested the resident give me a call. He did and left a voicemail. Am I liable? Everything I’ve researched on this site and others and my insurance company suggests I’m not since it’s an act of God. My manager has relayed this information to him, but he’s still persistent.

Should I even call this guy back? At this point, I don’t think I could give him an answer he’d be happy with and it would be a waste of my time.

If a tree limb falls from a healthy tree, it is considered an Act of God. You are not liable for this. I wouldn’t get involved in this discussion with the tenant. Just have the tenant call your insurance agent.

This exact scenario happened to a very good friend of mine who also has a park. He had a tenant point out to him that a limb over his home looked like it was cracking and in danger of falling. The park owner began his search for a tree company to cut it off since it was bigger work than he could handle. While waiting on the tree company to show, the limb fell thru the tenants roof. The tree was healthy as well but top heavy. The park owner told the tenant to file it with his home owners and the tenant got a lawyer, won, and got a new home. The law states healthy trees or limbs that fall are an act of God and the park owner is not responsible BUT if a tenant points out to the park owner/manager any danger with trees and the tree causes damage, the park owner is 100% responsible because the owner had knowledge, and ultimately owns the property the trees are on. Subsequently the tenant informed everyone in the park and all the tenants began pointing out tree limbs that may cause damage. Can be a tricky situation.

As a park owner be very pro active in tree trimming and removing limbs near or over the residents home–good park owners communications solves many an issue and then will never need an attorney’s big foot!!! Looking at pictures of parks for sale on this web site it is very obvious that some park owners need to be better care takers of their properties for 2 reasons safety and beauty. We do a yearly check and listen to our residents !!!

1 Like