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Tree from neighboring lot falls on man's roof

Tree from neighboring lot falls on man's roof

By Colleen Hogan. CREATED May 25, 2012

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - Some Lehigh Acres homeowners don't think it was weather that caused a tree to fall on their roof. They say the tree trouble is the result of their neighbor's unkept lot.

Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan is looking into it and giving a heads up to you.
The homeowners are looking at tens of thousands of dollars of damage to their roof and they're concerned their insurance company might drop them if they file a claim.  So if you have trees around your house that you don't own. You might be surprised by the county's rules.
"We heard snapping, then limbs hitting limbs," homeowner Larry Parson. "I came running around here and heard the thud."
An Australian pine tree now lays across Parsons roof. Broken branches are scattered across the lawn of his Lehigh Acres home.
"We have about four or five holes in the roof, a hole in the ceiling," he said.
As bad as it is, Parsons says the damage could have been worse.
"This was only 70 feet of tree coming down," he said. "If the other 25 or 30 feet had bent at the root area it would have been on the front side of our house too."
The section of Australian pine broke off a tree that was growing on the lot behind his house.  It's owned by someone in another state. Parson's been trying to get the owner to keep up his lot and trim the trees. He estimates are more than 100 feet tall.
"This is a fire hazard, there's five houses that are in jeopardy," he said.
Getting nowhere with the owner, he turned to the county.
"They said, you need to call the owner of the property and get his permission for me to cut them down," he said.
"What was your reaction to that?" Hogan asked Parsons.
"Well, the owner of the property told me where I could go," he said. "And that he didn't have to do a thing about that lot."
We also reached out to the county to see what can be done. A spokesperson said, this is a civil matter between the two people. He says there's no law that makes the owner of a residential lot responsible for keeping up the trees on their property.
"He doesn't have any liability whatsoever," Parsons said. "And there's something wrong with that."
We also reached out to Lee County Commissioners to see if there's anything they can do. We'll follow up after the holiday weekend.
If you have a problem, you can contact Colleen at the station or on her Facebook page, 'Colleen Hogan Fox'.
Colleen Hogan, reporter