OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A mess in the metro has a local woman looking for options after her neighbor’s tree crashed into her garage.
A local tree trimmer is to blame, but who picks up the tab?
Trees have fallen by the bushel this holiday season, but in Northwest Oklahoma City, a stump is all that remains of one heck of a mess.
Terri Kelso was home at the time when her neighbor’s tree took a chunk out of her garage.
“I was like, that didn’t just happen, there’s a tree in my house,” she explained. “There’s broken rafters in there. The shingles are damaged, the bricks are damaged, there’s dry wall on the inside.”
It started just before Thanksgiving, after Terri’s neighbor hired Ken’s Tree Service to chop down three trees.
“[My neighbor] said they were bonded. So, I was like, ‘Oh well, that’s good, they’re bonded,” Terri said. “It was like an explosion. My walls shook, pictures flew off the wall. I was like, ‘Okay, what just happened?’”
Somehow, one of the trees had fallen sideways.
Terri says the tree trimmers offered to fix the extensive damage themselves.
But the next morning, with a better view of all the damage, Terri thought otherwise.
“I was like, ‘No, no, no,” she said. “I don’t want you doing anything to my house.”
So who picks up the bill? Unfortunately, in many of these instances, it’s Terri who must file with her own insurance.
In October, we met with local public adjuster, Alice Young, who explained why.
“The reasons why you want to do that is because you would get better treatment by your own insurance company than you would another person’s insurance company,” Alice explained.
But Terri now faces a $1,000 deductible and $13,000 plus in home damage. She believes Ken should hold some financial responsibility.
To be a tree trimmer in Oklahoma City, you are required to be bonded. Ken’s service is not.
However, there’s no clear penalty by city code.
“I’m not bonded,” said Ken, when we caught him on the phone. “I was doing the tree service as a favor.”
Ken says he’s willing to make this right, but says he hasn’t heard from Terri since the morning after the tree fell.
While Terri is working with her insurance, the two sides are seemingly at a stall.
“I would love to get this behind me for sure,” said Ken. “Want to make sure she’s happy with the results.”
In Your Corner bottom line, make sure you know what a contractor is required to have prior to the work.
Checking for both proper licensing and whether or not they’re actually bonded is a good place to start.
We’ll check back.
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