Wet autumn leaves as an accident cause


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For autumn leaves on public roads at the house different rules apply to the Räumpflicht as in snow or black ice. The Coburg district court (Az 14 O 742/07) has made it clear in a new decision that the duties of the landowner are not as extensive in autumn as they are in winter with ice and snow. A passerby who had slipped on damp leaves had sued. The defendant landowner could successfully defend himself that he had swept leaves only a few days before. Because unlike, for example, in the case of freezing rain, there is no hourly bugging requirement. Not every leaf has to be swept away immediately. The district court also dismissed the lawsuit, stating that pedestrians must be prepared for slipping under deciduous trees.

The decision of the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt am Main (Az. 1 U 301/07) shows little pity for careless pedestrians: Who falls because an obstacle was hidden under leaves, has no claim against the community for damages or compensation for pain. Because an average careful road users just know, so the court that under leaf-covered spots obstacles in the form of depressions, steps or the like can be. He would therefore either avoid such posts or commit them with particular caution. Anyone who crashes, however, can not invoke a violation of the duty of care.

Do tenants have to remove or pay for leaves?

Basically, the owner of a property meets the duty of public safety. This means that the owner is responsible for the leaf removal. However, the owner can delegate this duty to the tenants, so that only a supervisory duty is required of him (Oberlandesgericht Köln, judgment of 15.2.1995, Az. 26 U 44/94). A transfer of these obligations may result from the lease. The owner must check whether the tasks assigned are fulfilled and take further action in case of doubt. Insofar as the owner does not transfer the cleaning obligation to the tenants, but instructs a company to do so, these costs are generally payable as part of the service charge settlement, if this is contractually agreed.

Eliminate autumn leaves

Everyone is responsible for the foliage removal on their own property - even if the trees are on the neighboring property

Municipalities may transfer their obligation to remove foliage up to half the street to residents if it is reasonable in the circumstances of the case (Administrative Court Lüneburg, judgment of 13.2.2008, Az. 5 A 34/07). Whether a street cleaning statute exists and the cleaning obligation has been transferred to the residents, you can ask at the competent community.

Autumn leaves from the neighboring property

In principle, leaf fall is a natural phenomenon that can be tolerated without compensation. So you can not oblige your neighbor to pick up "his" leaves. You are responsible for disposal. Only very exceptionally, it is possible under § 906 para. 2 sentence 2 BGB to require the neighbors a reasonable monetary compensation, the so-called "Laubrente" - for example, because many trees violate the minimum limit distance. As a rule, compensation is refused. Either it is missing in an individual case already at a significant impairment, or the courts state that in a green residential area, the leaf fall is customary and therefore tolerable without compensation. Compensation for the disposal costs can therefore only rarely be enforced in court. This is also shown by the decision of the Oberlandesgericht Karlsruhe (Az. 6 U 184/07). An annual foliage pension of 3,944 euros was claimed because two old oak trees on the neighboring property are too close to the border and considerably affect the plot with leafy fall - without success.

Video Board: DPW Leaf Collection PSA.

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