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Old 09-22-2009, 12:30 PM
 
29 posts, read 41,667 times
Reputation: 17
Default HoA responsibilities. New home owner. help.

Hi,

I am a new home owner in Charlotte. I live in a sub-division governed by HoA. I have some concerns and questions.

Behind my property line, there is a slope. The slope is followed by a common buffer area for about 15 feet, followed by a street. The slope has some natural trees and belong to 'Tree-Save' area. The slope also has some beautiful mature trees planted by the builder. These trees provide buffer from traffic noise and privacy.

1. The tree save area has some dead trees. I am afraid it may fall on my property and damage it. I contacted HoA for removal. They said tree removal is expensive. If there is any damage, I should claim from my Home Owner's insurance. Is this right? I personally disagree.

2. In the tree save area, nor the buffer area is mulched by HoA. When I ask, they respond saying its expensive. In past year, the soil around the roots of the tree has eroded significantly. If this continues, we will loose these trees. Is HoA bound to stop this erosion?

3. Since the tree save area is uncared, we lost 3 trees due to fungal infection. HoA says they do not do anything there due to 'Tree Ordinance'. When I read the ordinance, it says you cannot chop trees, but doesnot stop us from attending to trees. Is HoA resp for upkeep of these trees? If not, whom should I appeal?

4. The buffer area, as it is not mulched, we lost a mature tree. I asked HoA as what is their policy on replacement. they refused to replace it. am I entitled to insist that they should replace it?

5. In the buffer area, there are weeds growing which are 5 feet tall. When I look in backyard, these are so disgusting and embarassing. When I asked HoA to do something about it, they refused saying it is expensive. pls let me know what can I do to get rid of these or make my Hoa act on it.

Thanks in advance for your time and inputs,
a harried home owner.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
43,979 posts, read 53,863,752 times
Reputation: 36657
Quote:
Originally Posted by geniustud View Post
Hi,

I am a new home owner in Charlotte. I live in a sub-division governed by HoA. I have some concerns and questions.

Behind my property line, there is a slope. The slope is followed by a common buffer area for about 15 feet, followed by a street. The slope has some natural trees and belong to 'Tree-Save' area. The slope also has some beautiful mature trees planted by the builder. These trees provide buffer from traffic noise and privacy.

1. The tree save area has some dead trees. I am afraid it may fall on my property and damage it. I contacted HoA for removal. They said tree removal is expensive. If there is any damage, I should claim from my Home Owner's insurance. Is this right? I personally disagree.

2. In the tree save area, nor the buffer area is mulched by HoA. When I ask, they respond saying its expensive. In past year, the soil around the roots of the tree has eroded significantly. If this continues, we will loose these trees. Is HoA bound to stop this erosion?

3. Since the tree save area is uncared, we lost 3 trees due to fungal infection. HoA says they do not do anything there due to 'Tree Ordinance'. When I read the ordinance, it says you cannot chop trees, but doesnot stop us from attending to trees. Is HoA resp for upkeep of these trees? If not, whom should I appeal?

4. The buffer area, as it is not mulched, we lost a mature tree. I asked HoA as what is their policy on replacement. they refused to replace it. am I entitled to insist that they should replace it?

5. In the buffer area, there are weeds growing which are 5 feet tall. When I look in backyard, these are so disgusting and embarassing. When I asked HoA to do something about it, they refused saying it is expensive. pls let me know what can I do to get rid of these or make my Hoa act on it.

Thanks in advance for your time and inputs,
a harried home owner.
I believe whoever told you that was incorrect. Contact another HOA member, or show up at their next meeting - they could be sued if these trees are their responsibility and they don't take care to be sure no one is hurt by them falling (either physically or financially). Tell them it is not YOUR problem that they find THEIR maintenance too expensive to do - that's what you are paying HOA dues for
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:37 PM
 
615 posts, read 978,893 times
Reputation: 347
I think you are SOL. It was like that when you moved in so unless it is stated somewhere that they are supposed to maintain it in a specified way then you are stuck. There is no reasonable expectation that they are supposed to do anything with a natural area. I imagine that if a tree fell on your property and did damage though, that they would be liable.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:37 PM
 
2,175 posts, read 2,444,386 times
Reputation: 1449
I'm not sure what you can "force" them to do, but you by reading the bylwas that's a good start. I am assuming you are talking to the management company not the HOA officiers. I think you need to find out who the elected reps are for your HOA and contact them. If they meet regularly, go to a meeting. If not, give them a call.

It may cost more than your HOA can spend to correct some of the issues. But I would promarily be concerned about the trees that may fall on your home. I think if you have given them notice that there is a problem, they are responsible if damage should occur.

Lastly, I think there is a difference between open space and common wooded area. To me, the responsibilities of teh HOA would be different.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:39 PM
 
4,010 posts, read 5,704,977 times
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If the tree is dead and it falls and causes damage, then the party who owns the property the tree is growing on will be required to pay for all damages. It is the owner's responsibility to deal with dead trees and the lack of doing so is considered negligence. If the tree is living and it falls, it's considered an act of God and your insurance will cover the damages to your property.

On the other items, you should attend a homeowners meeting and bring it up as an agenda item.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:11 PM
 
2,175 posts, read 2,444,386 times
Reputation: 1449
Quote:
Originally Posted by lumbollo View Post
If the tree is dead and it falls and causes damage, then the party who owns the property the tree is growing on will be required to pay for all damages. It is the owner's responsibility to deal with dead trees and the lack of doing so is considered negligence. If the tree is living and it falls, it's considered an act of God and your insurance will cover the damages to your property.

On the other items, you should attend a homeowners meeting and bring it up as an agenda item.
This is not exactly correct.... but close.

If the tree is alive and say leaning towards my property...
If I notify you of the danger and you don't fix it (ie: Top it off, trim the section leaning towards my property, you are liable is a storm blows the tree down into my home.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,547 posts, read 1,745,668 times
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Not sure about the HOA laws for your specific neighborhood - you need to read your bylaws.

My neighbors tree fell on my house a few years ago - HUGE tree - lots of damage. My homeowners insurance paid the claim (less my deductable) not theirs!!! My agent said if the tree had been leaning, was dead, etc. and I was able to prove negligence - the neighbors insurance would have paid. (I never noticed the tree leaning before it fell - I pay better attention now!)

My recommendation - take photos of the dead trees NOW - make sure the photos are dated. Also send a certified letter to your homeowners association and/or management company with pictures of the trees indicating that you are afraid the trees may fall and damage your house, kill a child, etc.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:46 PM
 
1,039 posts, read 1,730,268 times
Reputation: 463
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotteborn View Post
Not sure about the HOA laws for your specific neighborhood - you need to read your bylaws.

My neighbors tree fell on my house a few years ago - HUGE tree - lots of damage. My homeowners insurance paid the claim (less my deductable) not theirs!!! My agent said if the tree had been leaning, was dead, etc. and I was able to prove negligence - the neighbors insurance would have paid. (I never noticed the tree leaning before it fell - I pay better attention now!)

My recommendation - take photos of the dead trees NOW - make sure the photos are dated. Also send a certified letter to your homeowners association and/or management company with pictures of the trees indicating that you are afraid the trees may fall and damage your house, kill a child, etc.
Excellent suggestion!! People tend to respond differently to written words than they do to verbal discussions.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:57 PM
 
4,010 posts, read 5,704,977 times
Reputation: 1501
Quote:
Originally Posted by baybook View Post
This is not exactly correct.... but close.

If the tree is alive and say leaning towards my property...
If I notify you of the danger and you don't fix it (ie: Top it off, trim the section leaning towards my property, you are liable is a storm blows the tree down into my home.
Good Lord. I was responding to the OP's descrition, not general situations. We could be here all day on how that works.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:50 PM
 
29 posts, read 41,667 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks everybody who responded. So valuable..!!

For the tree lost in common area, can I ask HoA to replace it? Are they on hook to replace it?

If the common area has weeds, is HoA supposed to clear it up? If not, what can I do? Pls help..
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