Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Tale of Two Trees

Well it's finally happened. One of the old trees in our neighbor's yard has fallen on the roof of our garage. It took out the side fence and it's laying on the electric wires between the pole and the house. I called the electric company first thing (www.reliantenergy.com) and they will do nothing about it b/c they say it's laying on "my" wires. The city of Arlington says that legally there is no code broken, except that the tree being on my house might get me in trouble with code even though it's not my tree. My insurance company says that we can't file the claim under my insurance and then have them pay it b/c home insurance doesn't work like auto insurance. SO I am having to pay to have the tree removed out of pocket b/c I haven't been able to communicate with my Spanish speaking neighbors about how having the tree removed is their responsibility. I did discern from the conversation with their 12 year old son that they had buddies with chain saws who were going to come "menana" to take down the tree starting at the bottom. This was the wrong answer. So, I called a tree service who thankfully speaks Spanish. I sent him over to negotiate with the neighbors who I am hoping realize that they are technically responsible for the whole bill. I am probably not going to sue them. My garage is unscathed for the most part so I have nothing to really complain about once the tree is gone...and now we have firewood for next year.

But here comes the rant...why is it my responsibility to pay for their tree. Any of my English speaking neighbors would understand that it is their tree and their responsibility. Why should this situation be any different? Why shouldn't they have to pay for the damage of their tree to my house?

I did just get a glimmer of good news though...I found out that if they give me their insurance information (assuming they have insurance) that it won't cost them any money at all. They just let me file the claim on their insurance and it will be all taken care of. I pay for it now, submit the receipt and get reimbursed...so I think I"m going to go for that.

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