1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Removing dangerous trees from my property

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by romwriter, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. romwriter

    romwriter Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    South Carolina
    Arborist declared eleven tall loblolly pine trees on my property unstable and likely to fall in a strong wind potentially striking my house causing great damage and threatening life and limb. She recommended all eleven trees be removed as the only recourse to eliminate the danger. Our HOA (homeowner's association) agreed to abide by the arborists recommendation but only on the condition that I replace the trees with new hardwood plantings at a considerable cost. I am left with the alternatives of either doing nothing to avoid the large cost of planting new trees and allowing the danger to our house and life and limb to persist. Or, buying the right to remove the trees by incurring the considerable cost of replacing them.

    Regardless of HOA rules, regulations and guidelines regarding trees I am of the opinion that a homeowner has the right to remove an inherent danger without condition.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    30,175
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Trophy Points:
    113


    Who is required to even listen to, much less act upon your opinion?

    You were given the option by the HOA.

    You are free to choose one, or hire a lawyer to litigate the matter pursuing an option you desire.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    6,563
    Likes Received:
    1,409
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I agree.

    Where, in your CC&Rs does it say that you have to replace a hazardous tree with a new one?

    And where does it say that you need the permission of the HOA to remove a hazardous condition from your property?

    If a fire broke out on your property would you have to wait for the Board's permission to call the fire department?

    HOAs are really stupid.
     
  4. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Some HOAs have very strict landscaping CCRs -- we lived in one in a suburb of Houston that literally measured how far apart your shrubs were and defined the minimum # of trees on the lot, so honestly I definitely believe there could be CCRs that require a specific # of trees on the lot of a specific size and that if one is taken out, it must be replaced by another, regardless of a hazard (since the new trees would NOT be a hazard). Only a good reading of your specific CCRs will tell you the rules/conditions.

    If that condition IS in the CCRs, then the homeowner is going to be involved in a dispute if he doesn't follow the CCRs. If it is not (and I would have an attorney review the CCRs to see if anything non-specific applies), then he can go about removing the trees without replacing. The Board can't make up a rule/condition that is not in the CCRs.

    (At this point there is no "fire", there is potential for damage. I suggest the homeowner make sure that his insurance policy covers the possibility of a falling tree -- ours did a few years ago to the tune of a claim of 5 figures)

    One solution would be to take a few out that are the worst and replant those this year, and do more next year, until they are all gone/replaced.

    Homeowners who buy in a subdivision with an HOA need to be prepared to abide by the CCRs, even if they feel they are stupid. Then don't buy in the subdivision!
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    526
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Here's a question for you: why does your HOA get any say in the matter? Is there a provision in the CC&Rs that says the HOA gets a say in a matter such as this? What exactly does that provision say?

    As phrased, I agree with this. I don't believe the HOA would have the legal ability to prevent you from removing the trees that pose a danger to your property. However, it may very well be the case that the CC&Rs will require you to replace the trees, but we obviously have no way of knowing without reading the CC&Rs.

    I can't remember the last thing I read that I agreed with more than this, and I cannot understand why folks continue to buy into HOA-controlled communities.
     
  6. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    People continue to buy due to location mostly I think.... there are many parts of our city that are new enough that they ALL have some sort of HOA. Our current subdivision is 25+ yrs old and has one but is within 20 miles of the city center. So you would either have to find property with older development,usually either very old or very far from neighbors, and have a pretty long commute.

    And in the end there are some positives to having the neighborhood kept at a certain level. Ours like I said are very few but enough to keep a reasonable standard (No landscaping CCRs at all, some fen fencing, building materials, but mostly lot lines and square footage minimums). So they aren't all bad either. I realize now the ones in Houston were pretty over the top (but the planned community did come with 13 pools, parks, etc)

    eta: I do always suggest that homeowners be involved with and in the HOA including being ON the board or a representative if you can. That seems to allow your thoughts and voice as to how hard the CCRs are applied to all during your term. And whether you could influence a decision such as this. Unfortunately many wait until they have something they disagree with to actually get involved
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    6,563
    Likes Received:
    1,409
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Possibly for the perceived security of knowing that their neighbors are more likely to meet certain standards and they are willing to give up some freedom and independence in exchange for that security.

    (You know where I'm going with this.)

    "Those who give up freedom for security deserve neither."

    Those words should be posted on the entrance to every HOA community right underneath:

    "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

    :D
     
    army judge likes this.
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    526
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Maybe. I think it has more to do with folks not realizing what they're getting into and not reading documents before agreeing to them and not wanting to spend the $$ to have someone review them and explain all of the horrible things they're agreeing to.
     
  9. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I do agree a lot of people never read most of what they sign.... including HOA documents... but some aren't as bad as y'all make them out to be
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    30,175
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Trophy Points:
    113


    Some felons are worse than other felons, but I've never met a good felon.

    However, I haven't met every felon.

    That said, I would never spend my money to be ruled by a bunch of paper tigers that want to be kings or queens.
    Every state has a tinhorn king called a governor.
    Every city has a princely mayor with the royal court of councilpersons.
    No county escapes some form of faux nobility either, albeit they tend to bother you less.
    There is no way I'd submit myself and my money to be ruled by these "betters".

    However, we all have the right to choose.

    If you love living in an HOA controlled enclave, you meet their "litmus" tests for being a good little resident, enjoy.

    I prefer being one of the unwashed outsiders, thank you.
     
  11. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    526
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I'm not sure if you mean "some" people or "some" HOAs. I'm guessing the latter.

    When I was engaged to be married, my future in-laws bought a house in a development controlled by an HOA. After my father-in-law died, I heard from my mother-in-law that the HOA was hassling her about a provision in the CC&Rs that required her garage door to be painted every year, regardless of whether painting was reasonably necessary. She sold the home and moved not too long after that.

    If you're the type of person who wants every house to look more or less like every other house, and ever yard to look like every other yard, and for no one's home to stand out for any reason, then I guess HOAs are a good thing. But woe to you if you don't want those things and move into an HOA-controlled community without knowing what you're getting yourself into. In this regard, I like "army judge's" felon analogy.
     
  12. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    We can just agree to disagree.... every house in my current ' hood is custom ... we actually look very much NOT alike.... no rules such as the one in Houston or your in laws... still has a very simple HOA -- dues a little more than $20 a month and 190 homes... you may think there is no good reason to have an association-- that's what makes the world go around - different opinions

    As always buyer beware....
     

Share This Page