Arroyo Grande, CA asked in Real Estate Law, Business Law, Construction Law and Municipal Law for California

Q: Damages on commercial property. Severe damage to my building from my neighbor's trees and landscaping.

The commercial property owner neighboring my commercial property raised the ground elevation behind my building to provide landscaping. A tree and shrubs were planted there and the root systems egressed into the lower wall of our building compromising the building stucco and pushed the wall stud framing off the floor plate. Extensive structural damage to my building including water damage. Who is liable for repairs?

1 Lawyer Answer
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III

A: It sounds like your neighbor would be responsible. There are plenty of unanswered questions, and this may actually be more of a tort law issue than a real estate one.

Have you consulted an engineer and/or architect regarding the cause of the structural damage? If it was either the earth work or the plants themselves, it sounds like your neighbor is responsible, but it will be important to know and have evidence regarding the causation.

Take photographs, get statements from engineers and/or architects regarding the damage and the cause of the damage, and get a couple of estimates for the cost of repair. Then go see an attorney or two. Good luck to you.

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