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Homeowner stunned after neighbor hands them a bill for unauthorized landscaping: 'Get a lawyer ASAP'

"You need to sue your neighbor and the contractor ASAP."

"You need to sue your neighbor and the contractor ASAP."

Photo Credit: iStock

A homeowner was left stunned after their neighbor brazenly hired someone to trim their tree.

"We have a pretty big tree in our backyard that would go into the neighbors property. A while back, he asked us to cut it, but we didn't have the money to," the homeowner explained in the subreddit r/treelaw, adding that they were almost ready to address the issue.  

"Yesterday morning, I wake up and hear someone cutting a tree," they continued. "Then a few hours later the neighbor comes to our door and hands me the bill. It says to drop the money off with our neighbor so the guy who cut the tree can pick up the money."

The original poster added that the neighbor was asking for $550 by the end of the week for the unwelcome service. 

Even more shockingly, as seen in a photo shared by the OP, the hack job left the tree without any greenery or branches. It had been reduced to one taller-than-average stump. 

"You need to sue your neighbor and the contractor ASAP."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"What can I do about this? This has to be some sort of destruction of property or something?" they asked. 

Other Redditors were quick to denounce the actions of the neighbor. 

"You need to sue your neighbor and the contractor ASAP for both the damages they caused and the cost to remove this dead trunk they left in your yard," one person suggested

"Get a lawyer asap. Document absolutely anything and everything related to this," another person said.

This homeowner isn't the first to have the popular trope of the busy-body neighbor come to life. In another case, a gardener was shocked when their neighbor took it upon themselves to use Roundup, an herbicide that contains toxic chemicals, on their vegetables

If the OP's tree was damaged to the point of no return, there could be an environmental and health cost as well. 

The towering plants help prevent the formation of heat islands by providing shade, and one mature tree removes more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air every year, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.  

One destroyed tree may not seem like much, but sadly, small actions like these can ultimately create a big impact if they occur to many individuals. 

Happily, while the gardener who had their plants sprayed with chemicals ultimately came to an understanding with their neighbor, the OP in this situation updated their post to share that their neighbor wasn't taking their calls. 

They also contacted the police, who told them there wasn't a lot they could do, and noted that their family was "on the fence" about suing.

At this time, it's unclear what further action they may have taken, but it appears they have options if they decide to pursue things further.

"Arborist here! What you're looking for is a consulting arborist with a 'TPAQ,' which stands for tree and plant appraisal qualification. You can find one in your area using this website," one person offered. "Good luck!" 

"Was the tree contractor licensed? If so, then file a complaint with your state contractor license board. If they are licensed, then my guess is they'll have a surety bond you can make a claim against," someone else advised

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