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What recourse do i have here?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Veronica Suarez, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    Here's the situation: I live in Florida, in a trailer park. I own my home but pay lot rent. A few weeks ago, a tree fell in my neighbors back yard. Yesterday, a tree removal service came out with a big crane to remove the tree. I know this because while I was at work a neighbor sent me a picture of this giant crane positioned out front of my house. When I got home, I discovered that one of the panels of the metal awning over my porch had been smashed in. Further, a step stool that had been on my porch had been unfolded and positioned underneath the damage as if someone was checking it out. So, not only did these workers damage my property, they also came onto my property and used my personal belongings before leaving .When I asked my neighbor (the one who had sent me the picture earlier), she stated she witnessed the crane lifting big pieces of tree way over my house and that it's possible a limb had fallen.

    My question is, what recourse if any do I have here? I have already emailed the company asking them to get in touch with me, but haven't heard from them yet. I did not hire these people and had nothing to do with the tree or the removal. I have no homeowner's insurance. No contact info was left by the workers and no attempt to contact me about the damage has been made by the company. The only reason I knew how to contact them was because the name of the company and their phone number was visible on the side of the crane in the picture my neighbor sent me.

    Any and all advice is welcome. Pretty irritated by this, and don't feel I should have to shoulder the costs of the repairs.

    Update: Tree service called this morning and said they were very sorry This happened and would be sending someone out to the house to "see what happened". As of 130pm EST this still had not happened.
     
  2. capetrees

    capetrees Addicted to ArboristSite

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    you have the phone call on your caller ID I suppose as proof they called. They called and that's a start. If they don't follow up, make a claim against heir company and find them on the internet. Yelp, Angies list, craigslist. Bad word about bad work travels fast and far. They don't want that.
     
  3. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Who hired them? I'm guessing the park owner or management company??? I'd start there - not in an angry way...it wasn't their fault. Keep them on your side. If they haven't paid for the work yet, they may be willing to withhold payment until your place is made right. If they have a contract it probably also has a clause about damages and insurance.
     
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  4. Del_

    Del_ Life is but a song we sing.

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    A drone video/photos of the tree removal site and of the damage to your property may be quite convincing to a judge if it goes that far.

    Great advice given by previous posters.
     
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  5. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    I took pictures of the damage, the step stool , the tracks in yard where the truck drove, the wood chips all in my front yard where they broke down the trees, and I have a picture of the crane in front of my house.
     
  6. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for your response!
     
  7. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    Good
    Good point, I will check in with the office manager tomorrow.
     
  8. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    Oh yeah I planned on getting the word out there as a last resort. No homeowners insurance so can't make a claim.
     
  9. Del_

    Del_ Life is but a song we sing.

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    It sounds like you have the photo end of things taken care of. It's the first time I've ever offered the advice of having drone images so take my suggestion with a grain of salt. It's amazing how a height perspective ties a work site together. I know because I've had that view many times while working aloft.

    Best of luck.
     
  10. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Do you have any "before" pictures?

    Any neighbors have a doorbell video camera or other security camera on their front porch. Might see if you can find those first - that way if they try to back out of it you have the proof before they get too dug in.
     
  11. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    Unfortunately, no. The neighbor I wrote about dif say she could attest to the damage being new but I know that's not as good as picture proof.
     
  12. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    That makes sense...get the whole "scene" all together.
     
  13. capetrees

    capetrees Addicted to ArboristSite

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    not a homeowners claim, a lawsuit, go after them for damages. insurance on you part ore not, they have no right to damage your property. insurance would be used to cover you in the case of an accident like the tree dropped naturally on your home like in a storm.
     
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  14. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    Small claims court?
     
  15. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Try not to take it to court! Any decent company will take care of it. Of course a decent company wouldn't walk away. Hopefully the park manager can help...

    Small claims or not depends on the amount of damage. Sounds like it is less than $5K in FL. If the company is an LLC or corporation they'll never a lawyer to represent which probably costs more than an insurance claim...
     
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  16. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    I really do not want to take it to court, mainly because I don't have the money for a lawyer. But I know I have a case. And I as I understand you don't need a lawyer for small claims. I don't think this exceeds $5k worth of damages, though it won't be cheap.

    Spoke with the owner again this morning and she was very snippy with me. I called and asked if the person they were sending would be out today. Then I asked foe the person's name and contact info and she came back with "WHY DO YOU NEED THAT? Why do you keep calling and asking about this? I told you we would handle it, you can take my word for it..."

    I do not think I'm unreasonable in wanting to know the information of the person they are sending to my house to assess and fix the damages. I also think it's ridiculous that they're acting like I'm in the wrong for holding them accountable and for wanting a timeframe (that they couldn't give) for when this was actually going to occur. And her attitude makes me question whether or they'll follow through.
     
  17. capetrees

    capetrees Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You're not wrong for keeping the heat to them. Thy did it and the longer they put it off, the more they hope you'll go away.

    Small clams doesn't require a lawyer. Bring everything that cost you to take it to that level. Get an estimate for the cost of the repair, the cost of filing the case, the money spent on fuel to get tot the court house, the money lost from not being at work, anything that needed to be replaced as a result of the damage and present it to the company as what you'll be looking for if they don't act. I think there's also a time frame in which you have to file, 60 days, 90 days etc.
     
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  18. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    Ah, yes, thanks for reminding me of the time frame! I figured I would call back on Friday for an update and if I get the same response or they haven't moved I'll let them know I'm going to start working on a claim.
     
  19. Veronica Suarez

    Veronica Suarez ArboristSite Lurker

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    If I did end up taking this to court, do you think that the fact that I don't have before pictures of my awning would work against me, given that I have everything else?
     
  20. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Years ago I lived in Idaho.

    Came home after work and my fence was down and huge ruts across the yard leading to the neighboring property.

    He had some concrete poured and decided to have the concrete truck come across my yard!
    I was not happy to say the least!

    In the end they put in a new yard and fence. I bet a concrete pump seemed cheap after that!
     
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