• Home Home

Homeowner seeks advice after HOA's landscapers destroy property without permission: 'What recourse do we have?'

"What a power trip."

"What a power trip."

Photo Credit: iStock

In yet another dispute between a homeowner and their neighborhood homeowners association, one homeowner is asking how to move forward after their HOA hired landscapers to cut back Silverberry hedges without their permission.

The hedges, running 30 feet along the length of the homeowner's property line, run adjacent to a communal grassy space at the entrance to the neighborhood. While the hedges were neat, they had grown over the homeowner's property line. 

That is when the HOA stepped in with the hedge trimmers. After all was said and done, the once-verdant hedge no longer looked lush and healthy when trimmed back so aggressively, and the damage caused parts of the bush on the homeowner's property to die off.

"What a power trip."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"What a power trip."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"What recourse do we have that they have destroyed over $1000 worth of plants on our property?" the homeowner implored on Reddit's r/treelaw forum.

Tree law is a common subject of dispute between homeowners and their neighbors, landlords, and like in this case, HOAs. While the outcome of these types of disputes varies based on state law, the root of the problem is almost always the same: the damage or removal of a tree (or hedge, depending on a state's definition of "tree") and which side of the property line it resided.

In this particular case, unfortunately, the homeowner might not have a solid case against their HOA.

"It's really going to boil down to where the property line is. OP kind of describes it ambiguously," one Reddit user explained. "If they were actually over the line, and it was cut back to the property line, then the HOA is within their rights," they added.

While it may be difficult for this homeowner to get justice for their hedge, another possible course of action is working to change the rules established by the HOA. This is the route many homeowners take in pursuing eco-friendly and often money-saving property alterations forbidden by HOAs like native plant yards or solar panels.

To prevent future disputes on their hedge, the OP has taken it upon themselves to run against the incumbent HOA vice president.

Commenters expressed condolences for the mangled bush and wished them luck in their future HOA endeavors.

"They didn't prune or thin them, they straight up massacred your boy!" commented one user. "When you win your HOA seat, make sure you hire proper gardeners."

"What a power trip," wrote another. "They would rather things look like that than give a little leniency for beautiful landscaping. That's insane."

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider