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Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #1 

 The neighbor of my rental property (in CA) has recently contacted me.  He asked if I'd consider removing a pine tree that is on my property, but next to his house.  He claims the needles and pine cones from the pine tree are messing up his yard and getting into his pool.  He has offered to pay half of the tree removal cost.  He obtained a quote for $600.   He is being very polite at this point.  I spoke with the tenant living in the property and they are fine either way.

So, the problem is, I'd rather not even remove the tree at all, let alone pay $300 for that.   


1.  Suggestions for a polite response to decline his offer, but reduce neighborly ill will?

2.  Any alternate options, besides removing the tree?  

3. Would he have any valid legal claim that the pine needles from my tree, for example, ruined his pool pump and he had to have it replaced?  Or, (another example) my pine tree needles cost him extra landscaping fees that he wants me to pay for?  (I ask this question, because I'd rather pay the silly $300 if there is legal precedent against me in this type of case, and he would likely win in a legal dispute/ small claims.)

Thanks for your consideration.



Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #2 
seems like a good deal, he may rescind his offer to pay half, if you reject the offer. I would take the tree down, it must make a mess on your side as well.

Posts: 314
Reply with quote  #3 
agree with Linny
maybe see if it can be cheaper  (doubt it)

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
Its a great deal that the neighbour is offering to pay half of the cost. You should accept it before he changes his mind in my opinion. Our rental property in California had a tree fall down in the weekend due to the January storms, downed the fence. Our property manager had the tree removed for $1100. We fought this charge as they went ahead and did it without consulting us as it was considered to be "emergency". In all, we were able to reduce the charge to a total of $600 after going back and forth with the contractor and property manager. Lot of headache for us. Plus we had to pay to repair the fence also. 

I cant see why you would not accept this great deal. You are lucky to have a great neighbor

Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #5 
"I cant see why you would not accept this great deal. You are lucky to have a great neighbor"

Epilogue:  Great deal, huh?  So I took your unanimous advice, and agreed to the removal of this tree on my property.  However, his crew came over and removed all three of my pine trees over there--- not just the one tree we agreed to.  When I asked about it, he said the tenant said it'd be ok.   Now there is a big empty area there that doesn't look as nice (i.e. forested).  Great. Thanks all.  

My lesson learned here?  Go with your gut, not advice from an internet forum.  [mad]



Posts: 507
Reply with quote  #6 
I was going to say to ask him to pay for the whole thing since you don't want it removed. Since the company did something they weren't authorized to do I would hold payment and ask them about buying you a couple trees to help fill the space. At this point it is kind of like they just walked on to your property and cut down a couple trees without authorization (it doesn't matter that they had approval for a different, specific tree). 

Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #7 
Actually, the correct response would have been something like,  

"Thank you for your generous offer.  This sounds like a great opportunity!  Unfortunately I will not be able accept your offer due to [unusual high property expenses this year] or [I'm not ready to remove that tree at this time] or [my investing partner won't allow it] or [my tenants enjoy the shade and beauty of this tree] etc. However, please feel free to contact me again in the future to see if maybe we can make this happen then. Again, thank you for your generous offer. "  

Posts: 3,809
Reply with quote  #8 
I'd file a suit against the neighbor and the tree service immediately.  You agreed to have one tree removed, he had his crew remove 2 other trees without permission.  What is the cost to replace the 2 mature pine trees?  At a minimum, he needs to reimburse you for the tree removal costs.  Then I'd replant some type of trees.

Personally, I'd have told him no.  I'm sure the tree was probably there before his pool.  Why did he put in a pool in an area with a tree that sheds needles?  His fault, not yours.  He could keep his pool covered when it was not in use.  That would have helped keep the needles out of his pool.

If I could sue a neighbor for the trees in his yard, that would be great.  My neighbor planted 6 Catalpa trees along the fence line.  They hang over my yard (yes, I'm constantly cutting the overhanging limbs).  For 3 seasons a year, they drop white flowers, long seed pods, and 12" leaves all over my yard.  The shade has killed most of my flower garden that was there, the leaves ruined my Koi pond, and yes, they fall in my pool too.  The extra clean up in the yard is a pain.  But few judges are going to make him cut those things down.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #9 
Yes you can ask him to pay you.
Moving Manager 
Stobart Removals Reading
Mayfield Industrial Estate
Acre Road
United Kingdom

Phone: 01183 150 185
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