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Homeowner stunned after HOA cuts down 35-foot trees on their property: 'I'm still in shock'

"Definitely consult an attorney."

"Definitely consult an attorney."

Photo Credit: iStock

A South Carolina homeowner went looking for advice after their privacy trees were chopped down illegally and without notice.

In the post on r/HOA, a subreddit for civil discussion regarding homeowners associations, the Redditor explained that their property was mistaken for a common area under the guidance of their HOA

The property owner was able to stop the contractors' first attempt. However, after the contractors spoke with the HOA board, they proceeded to finish the job the next day after being assured it was not private property.

The homeowner recorded everything, as 85% of their trees were demolished, some of them 35 feet tall. It opened up the property to a pool, playground, and basketball court. The trees also provided a yard for a big dog and served as an important barrier between their home and the community. 

The only communication the homeowner was granted by the HOA came in an email after work was halted on the first day. The email declared that they were taking down the trees and that no resident had jurisdiction over any privacy fence without a written request for approval.

The homeowner felt rightfully bullied, adding that the HOA board members are all friends, which creates an intimidating front to management that's rarely challenged in fear of contracts being revoked, according to the Redditor.

Several Redditors arrived in the comments to break down the case, which they feared was presented one-sided. The OP ensured them that there was no sugarcoating.

"I'm still in shock myself but this is 100% the truth. I have proof that it is my property," they promised.

The homeowner still has the original plat from when the property was surveyed at the time of purchase, which is then recorded by the county.

Unfortunately, HOAs aren't known for their planet-minded decisions. They've proven to be more of a roadblock for owners trying to adopt eco-friendly lifestyle changes such as solar panels, gardening, and rewilding

Ironically, these changes are also major money-savers. So it's worth the conversation to encourage change in your HOA.

The overall response to the post was to take legal action.

"Talk to the board and see if they'll reimburse you, then hire prepaid lawyer service to send letter and escalate," one Redditor suggested.

"Definitely consult an attorney," another wrote.

A third advised to "Make sure the attorney has experience handling real estate cases."

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