My neighbor has a tree planted near the fence, and it overhangs my property. Branches have fallen but have not caused any damage. I want to ensure that the neighbor would be held liable should there be any damage from the tree on my property so that my homeowner's insurance rates would not be impacted, should I make a claim from potential damages resulting from this tree.
I read that if the owner of the tree knows that the tree is damaged, they could be held liable for damage if it falls onto a neighbors property. I had an arborist assess the tree as damaged and write a letter on my behalf recommending that the tree be removed. The neighbor's property is an apartment building owned by an LLC, so I have no direct contact with the owner. I have written a separate letter to the LLC years ago about a separate matter but never heard back. I sent the letter from the arborist certified mail to the address for the LLC listed on my town's tax assessor's website. Delivery was attempted twice, and a notice was left, but there was no authorized recipient available with both delivery attempts, so the letter is being returned to me.
I live in Rhode Island in the United States.
What can I do in this case to hold the owner liable if the owner listed on the tax assessor's website will not sign for a certified mail letter?
For example, would one of these potential ideas make the owner liable?:
- Send the letter from the arborist certified mail to the property manager at the actual address of the property (rather than the address of the listed owner)
- Ask the property manager if there is a more current address for the owner and send the letter certified mail to that address (even though this would differ from the owner listed on the tax assessor's website)