Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tyrant Trees

I got 2 letters from the home owner's association complaining about the tree at my rental house. The next step after letters is to call me before the board to explain why I can't keep my tree trimmed and then they will fine me. Technically this is something that the tenants should do but I decided to go over there and check it out for myself.

I brought my tree pruners to trim it back the required 8' above the walkways. I went over on my lunch break on Friday and stood in front of the giant tree. Um...ya, it has grown a bit beyond my little pruners. That tree is quite large and hanging over not only the sidewalk but the neighbor's driveway. I decided that this was more than the tenants could handle unless they were professional tree-trimmers. I called a landscaping company and they came out and gave me a bid and they will cut the tree back next week.

I called my HOA and explained that I was working on the problem since the letter stated that I only had until Monday before the next level of threats kicked in. The lady was very nice and said that she made a note of my intentions to hire a tree trimmer and that she wouldn't be checking on the houses until next Friday. Whew. I don't want to face the wrath of the HOA.

This is something that the property management should have handled since I emailed the complaint letters to them last week. They should have let me know that the tree was in need of professional help. I intend to complain to them on Monday. One thing that I do not like about the PM co. is their lack of response and the inability to talk to a human when I call. That is so annoying.

12 comments:

Lizzie @ her homeworld said...

So HOAs have actual powers to fine you? I see why you are looking for your next property in a non HOA area. I didnt realise they had actual powers. Are they made up of residents or they are part of local government?

Frugal Queen said...

You live in a totalitarian state without any freedom, here, we would say 'it's my tree, bugger off and mind your own business' - Land of the free? I don't think so!

Dave said...

When my upstairs neighbor had several noise complaints filed against him (mostly by other neighbors but one by me, too), he was fined by the managing agent which is hired by our co-op board. Neither are actual government agencies but they had the power to fine residents.

T said...

What is the point of a PM if you are doing all the leg work? Do you feel overall that what you have paid them is worth the amount of time and/or hassle they've saved you? It doesn't sound to me like they've done much of the latter.

Daizy said...

Lizzie, HOAs are ok if I live there myself but definitely a pain with renters. The board is elected residents of the neighborhood but they have the power to fine us AND even put a lien on our property if we don't pay up.

Daizy said...

Frugal Queen,well, it was a choice to live where there is an HOA. It does keep the property values up but can be annoying when they get strict.

Daizy said...

T, I do still feel the PM co. is worth it because they did the tenant screening and collect the rent but they are terrible at some things like communication beyond the monthly rent statement that gets sent out.

Daizy said...

Dave, I don't mind the HOAs or other enforcers for my own neighborhood because I am pretty good at following the rules. I would certainly like to be able to complain to someone about noise (although I am afraid when I finally find a house and move there with my dogs my neighbors will be complaining about ME).

My Frugal Miser said...

I used to hate HOA but I've come to see the benefits of having one. Like you, I get letters from one of the associations if my tenant doesn't cut their grass or is committing some other violation. The nice thing is it's another set of eyes on my house so that I don't have to drive by there as often. And it does preserve property values. One of the neighborhoods where I own several properties does NOT have a HOA. I hate to admit that the neighborhood is declining but it is and I think one of the biggest reasons is because there are no covenants to abide by. Instead, people park in the grass (including their cars that don't even run - obvious by the overgrown grass around the car), they listen to their music so loud that everyone hears it, and many of the neighbors haven't kept up their homes - things like falling gutters, rotted fascia boards and overgrown landscaping. With a HOA I imagine things would be different.

Anonymous said...

HOA's are nasty! When you buy a property (often but not always "without domain", i.e., condominium, where it's YOUR house/townhouse/apt, but you do NOT own the land it's sitting on) that has been designated part of an HOA-restricted development, you also sign a contract with the HOA (it comes as rider with the house) which supposedly represents all of your neighbors. Then you're at their mercy for any tiny infraction, where they have right to throw you out and sell your property to someone else if any little (or big) situation escalates to their top "nukem" level of dissatisfaction with your care of your house. Last time I got stuck with HOA, they dictated the color and style of curtains I could use in all windows in my townhouse. Yech!

Daizy said...

Frugal Miser, my HOA is being extra tough right now because of all of the vacant and rentals in the neighborhood. I do appreciate their effort. I wish they would put up a camera and catch whomever is doing the graffiti. That would certainly be worth the dues!

Daizy said...

Anonymous, they dictate the color of our blinds in the front of our houses and the color and trim of the house and how tall a shed can be in the backyard and what trees and flowers we can plant in front. Luckily they can't sell our houses although I heard of a HOA in Texas trying that!