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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    1

    Default Neighbor Won't Allow Power Line Drop for Safe Tree Removal

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: WV

    A neighbor of one of my parent's rental properties has threatened to sue if one of the 60-70 foot Hemlock trees falls and damages his house. My parents sought out an arborist to remove the trees. The service power wires run through both trees and in order to safely remove the trees, the power lines need to be dropped while the trees are cut. Now the neighbor says that he will sue if we drop the lines because he has a freezer and refridgerator and the food will go bad. The power lines would not be down that long, but he is not willing to budge on it.

    The power pole and both meters are on my parent's property as they owned both of the properties at one time then sold the one. Does the neighbor have the right to deny the lowering of the power lines on our parent's property (connected to his also) so that the trees may safely be removed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,678

    Default Re: Neighbor Won't Allow Power Line Drop for Safe Tree Removal

    Communicate with the utilities. The property owners doesn't own the service conductors upstream of where the utility conductors connect at the mast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Neighbor Won't Allow Power Line Drop for Safe Tree Removal

    What has the power company said to the matter? Chances are
    the power company has easement that allows them to cut the trees as they deem necessary. They can usually extend the right to a third party (you).

    The power company also does not guarantee uninterrupted electrical service.

    When you say the lines won't be down "that long", what is that long in your eyes? The contents of the appliances should not be affected for, at the least, several hours. I have had no trouble with no power for 24 hours before. Frozen food stayed frozen and cooled foods were fine.

    A couple options to appease the neighbor;

    offer to purchase some dry ice to place in their refrigerator and freezer. It will extend the time the food will remain frozen/cold.

    Second; buy or rent a generator and run extension cords from
    tbe affected appliances to the generator. Everything will be fine as long as you keep the generator running.

    Other than that; give them as much notice of the impending power outage so they can prepare as they feel they need to and drop the lines and get on with it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,340

    Default Re: Neighbor Won't Allow Power Line Drop for Safe Tree Removal

    Quote Quoting Amalon
    View Post
    My question involves real estate located in the State of: WV

    A neighbor of one of my parent's rental properties has threatened to sue if one of the 60-70 foot Hemlock trees falls and damages his house.
    I'm guessing that the neighbor is pissed because there's a rental next door and wants to make life as difficult as possible for the owners. Frankly, your parents should ignore his hot air and understand that if the trees come down it's likely going to be caused by a windstorm, for which they won't be liable and for which the neighbor will have coverage for his house damage on his homeowners policy and for which your parents will have coverage against lawsuits on their landlord liability insurance.

    Quote Quoting Amalon
    View Post
    parents sought out an arborist to remove the trees.
    Why? Because the next door moron scares them? Besides, they don't have to remove the trees. Is Dominion their utility company? According to Dominion's website, Dominion will handle trimming the trees away from the power lines just for the asking.

    https://www.dom.com/residential/domi.../tree-trimming

    Quote Quoting Amalon
    View Post

    Now the neighbor says that he will sue if we drop the lines because he has a freezer and refridgerator and the food will go bad.
    OK, so now your parents are scared of the threat of a lawsuit for a few hundred dollars worth of food? That's also a lawsuit for which their liability insurance will provide a defense.

    Quote Quoting Amalon
    View Post

    The power lines would not be down that long, but he is not willing to budge on it.

    The power pole and both meters are on my parent's property as they owned both of the properties at one time then sold the one. Does the neighbor have the right to deny the lowering of the power lines on our parent's property (connected to his also) so that the trees may safely be removed?
    No.

    And it's about time your parents turned a deaf ear to him and stop asking his permission to do stuff. They don't need his permission.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,238

    Default Re: Neighbor Won't Allow Power Line Drop for Safe Tree Removal

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    I'm guessing that the neighbor is pissed because there's a rental next door and wants to make life as difficult as possible for the owners. Frankly, your parents should ignore his hot air and understand that if the trees come down it's likely going to be caused by a windstorm, for which they won't be liable and for which the neighbor will have coverage for his house damage on his homeowners policy and for which your parents will have coverage against lawsuits on their landlord liability insurance.
    I disagree. If the trees are diseased, rotted, or otherwise in such condition that they might fall in a typical storm (not talking about unusual storms like tornadoes or hurricanes that may blow over healthy trees) and the property owner is put on notice of that fact by whatever means and the property owner fails to act and the tree does blow down in a typical storm, that homeowner very likely will be liable for the damage caused. Sure, their homeowner’s insurance might cover it, but their premiums may well jack up if their insurance company determines they were negligent, assuming the carrier doesn’t just refuse to renew altogether.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Neighbor Won't Allow Power Line Drop for Safe Tree Removal

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
    View Post
    I disagree. If the trees are diseased, rotted, or otherwise in such condition that they might fall in a typical storm (not talking about unusual storms like tornadoes or hurricanes that may blow over healthy trees) and the property owner is put on notice of that fact by whatever means and the property owner fails to act and the tree does blow down in a typical storm, that homeowner very likely will be liable for the damage caused. Sure, their homeowner’s insurance might cover it, but their premiums may well jack up if their insurance company determines they were negligent, assuming the carrier doesn’t just refuse to renew altogether.
    While I agree with you, I suspect that the trees are NOT diseased or rotted. I suspect that the neighbors are just unreasonable people.

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