My Neighbor’s Trees Make a Huge Mess in my Yard, Is He or the HOA Responsible for the Cost of my Yard Cleanings?

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“I have lived in my house for 15 years the HOA requires that you have at least 4 trees on each lot, about 5 years ago a man bought the lot next door ,then he started putting in trees along property line trees that have lots of big leaves. Now that they are beginning to get big and dropping leaves in my yard, I try to keep my yard looking nice but now I have to get up these leaves 3- 4 times a year. Is there anyway that I can make him pay me for my time and using my equipment?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Well, first, since you are living in a development with a HOA, you should check the Association rules and regulations. You may want to discuss this issue with the board or other appropriate Association body. Every Association is different, so I can’t tell you what rights you may or may not have under their rules.

As a general matter, aside from the Association, trees can be a bit tricky. First, you need to determine who owns the trees. The fact that your neighbor planted them is not necessarily determinative. Depending on where they are and the laws in your state, you may actually be a co-owner. If you own part of the tree, you are in a difficult position, since the leaves are actually your own.

If the trees are his, he still needs to maintain them in such a way that they do not constitute a nuisance. Again, laws vary from state to state, but it is possible that the leaves constitute a nuisance and that your neighbor is obligated for the reasonable cost of removal.

As with all neighbor disputes, you should also consider the possible cost of bringing a lawsuit against your neighbor, if you can’t reach an agreement.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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