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The Law Frog on KILO 94.3 – May 25, 2022

On the third Wednesday of every month, David McDivitt joins KILO 94.3 to answer legal questions from callers in Southern Colorado. Being a part of the morning show on KILO 94.3 is a dream come true for David, who had always aspired to be a rock star. David’s talents lead to him practicing law over practicing sick guitar rifts, but this lets him help people in need AND rock out with other music fans. Tune in from 8am-9am to hear some of the fascinating legal situations David addresses. If you have any questions of your own be sure to call in: 719-633-KILO or submit a question here.

May 25, 2022

Legal Issues Covered This Week

Caller: Justin suspects that his landlord of over two years has been entering his property when Justin is not home. Items are misplaced, the television will be left on, it will smell of cigarettes, and food will be missing or left out. His landlord has not provided Justin with a key, and Justin has not been able to lock his home for two years. In addition to these events, the county sheriff was involved in an incident last year when Justin’s landlord was attempting to get into the property at night when only Justin’s girlfriend was home.

David: This is just not acceptable. You are entitled to privacy, and you are entitled to locking your door. A landlord does have permission to access a property, but they must notify you in advance, and only visit at the hours specified in a lease. You should invest in a camera or Ring Doorbell that can motion activated, or record any activity of your landlord coming onto your property.

Takeaway: You have the requisite documentation to demonstrate your landlord has violated the conditions of the lease. You could file charges for trespassing, but that does not sound like the route you want to take. Get the terms of your lease in writing and hold your landlord accountable to reasonable, and legal, expectations.

Caller: Betty is calling in about a big tree that sits on her property line. It lost branches during snowstorm and damaged her truck. Betty’s neighbor is claiming the branch came from her side and she is liable for any damages.

David: This is not straightforward. First, you need to determine if this is an encroachment tree or if it is a boundary line tree. An encroachment tree would be a tree that starts on one property and then over the course of its lifetime it begins to encroach on an adjacent property. Betty, if it started on your property the tree is your responsibility, unless you can prove the tree was jointly planted or treated as a partition between properties. This will be dependent on the relationship with your neighbor and the history of the tree. If it is a shared tree and a limb causes damage is it neutral. In that case, both home owners are responsible for maintaining trees.

Takeaway: Look into the history of the tree and determine how long it has been maintained and how it has been used on the abutting properties. A company can even come out and do a survey on the tree to locate and identify the boundary lines.

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