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Frustrated tenant questions legality of landlord’s alarming actions: ‘Definitely a hazard’

“Keep this photograph.”

“Keep this photograph."

Photo Credit: u/InterestingFlow / Reddit

A change in landlords might herald an exciting time for rental tenants. Perhaps they’ll be allowed a little more freedom to make their house more homey, or perhaps some previous problems with the property will finally be sorted.

But one resident in Montreal in Quebec, Canada, was baffled by their new landlord’s dangerous and destructive landscaping move upon taking over the property’s management.

In a photo uploaded to the r/Arborists subreddit, the tenant showed a huge hole dug in the yard to remove some tree roots. 

In addition to being an unsightly mess in the tenant’s garden, they were also concerned for their safety and access to power. 

“I am worried that the tree will fall on the power lines at the first storm,” they captioned the post. “The biggest roots were 6in in diameter.”

Indeed, without the support from the roots on the ground, the tree is more likely to topple over and cause some real damage — not to mention removing the roots potentially puts the tree’s health at risk.

“Keep this photograph,” one Redditor strongly advised. “Down the line, if it does fall over, it serves as evidence of history of damage and is good for [insurances] etc.”

“Definitely a hazard tree at this point,” another said. “At the very least the tree will experience quite a bit of die back.”

Meanwhile, other users suggested that the tree seemingly being on the neighbor’s side might mean the landlord has committed a criminal act and could face a legal claim.

The tenant suggested the landlord might be employing a tactic to try to make them leave the property, so that renovations could take place and they could sell the building. But whatever the reason, it’s a clumsy and potentially foolish way to deal with the tree. 

In situations like this, the landlord would need to at least contact the neighboring property to discuss their intentions, while the local council would also likely need to be informed before any work takes place — especially since it could damage local infrastructure.

The damage and possible death of the tree would be to the detriment of the tenant, too. Not only do trees help encourage biodiversity and provide natural shade, they also improve air quality in the surrounding area, taking in airborne contaminants and releasing oxygen. 

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