Can a HOA refused to take down a tree planted to act as a screen that is no longer serving it’s intend purpose and is causing property damage.

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Can a HOA refused to take down a tree planted to act as a screen that is no longer serving it’s intend purpose and is causing property damage.

Over 20 yrs ago, our HOA planted white pines behind our units to act as a
screen between our community and a local swim club. Now the pines tower
over our homes shading our patio and creating a moist, moldy environment.
Because the lower branches of white pines lose their leaves, the trees no longer
serve their intended purpose AND create a moist environment that is
uninhabitable. Furniture rusts, cushions get moldy, the patio is constantly
covered with vegetation – despite numerous cleanings each summer and the
liberal use of weed killers. The roots of a tree are uprooting a neighbors patio.
The arborist agrees it was a poor choice for the application but the HOA refuses
to remove the trees and replace them with something appropriate to the use. I
live in NY – what recourse do I have?

Asked on April 23, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, they can refuse to do this. It is their tree; they do not need to replace it with a different tree, or even simply remove it, because it is not fulfiling its intended purpose or is creating a less-desirable environment for a property owner, the same way someone does not need to remove a tree because it is shading a property where the other property owner does not want shade, or is blocking someone's view. The law does not require consideration for others.


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