If atree is hanging over my trailer, is it the landlord’s responsibility to remove it for safety reasons?

We own a trailer but rent the lot in a trailer park. We recently had flooding in our area and the tree has started to really lean over the trailer and I am afraid that it will fall onto it. It hangs directly over my sons bedroom. The landlord only called one person to have the tree removed and that was over 2 months ago. He keeps telling me that the guy will be out when he gets out. I fear for my children’s safety. I recently spoke to the landlord and he told me that he is tired of hearing about the tree and that if we don’t like it then we can leave. What responsibilities does he have as a landlord and the tree?

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You *may* be able to force the landlord to cut down the tree under the theory of the implied warranty of habitability: that is, an rental lot or premises must be fit for its purpose; the purpose here is safe habitation; a try about to fall on a trailer is not safe, and therefore violates the implied warranty; a tenant may bring a court action to enforce the implied warranty of habitability. It would, however, require you to bring a legal action, if the landlord won't do it voluntarily.

It may also be possible to cut down the tree then deduct the cost from your rent, but this can be problematic in that you are technically destroying part of the landlord's property; also, if this type of


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