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Homeowner considers moving out of dream home after neighbor's backyard modification: 'Knocked on neighbor's door for weeks and got no answer'

With that, the couple started looking for another place to live.

With that, the couple started looking for another place to live.

Photo Credit: iStock

Imagine the relief of finally finding the perfect home for you and your family after a year of searching. Then imagine that dream getting instantly dashed before you even move in.

That's what happened to one Redditor, who took to the platform's r/treelaw subreddit to seek advice after their new neighbor decided to cut down the trees in the recently purchased property's yard without permission.

"Walked into the backyard and see that all trees that were on our fence line (approx. 8-10 trees, tallest was about 40 ft tall) had been cut and a new fence installed on our neighbors side, but the fence seemed closer than before," they detailed.

They explained that they were working to make the home ready before they moved in. That included hiring a property surveyor, who placed pins along the property line. 

Upon visiting the site, the homeowner found those pins had been removed, adding another layer of suspicion to the unauthorized tree surgery. 

"Knocked on neighbors door for weeks and got no answer," they added.

After calling the surveyor, the new homeowner found the fence had been installed on their side of the property line.

Not only would this likely be considered trespassing, but the original poster said their wife was furious the trees had been cut down, as that was a key factor in their decision to buy. With that, the couple started looking for another place to live.

The OP finally got in contact with the neighbor, who said that concerns should have been raised sooner. 

"How would I even begin to get compensation from her and how would anyone put a value on trees?" the distraught homeowner asked.

"10x 40ft trees you're talking about a $100k or more here," one Redditor said of the estimated value. 

Fellow commenters recommended they seek out a lawyer and an arborist to determine the value of the damage caused and to take steps to receive compensation. As some observed, the tree removals would have likely made a dent in the property value.

It's an infuriating situation, and it's unclear if it has reached a resolution. If it's anything like a similar case in New Jersey, the wannabe lumberjack neighbor could receive a hefty fine.

In addition to the neighbor taking potentially criminal action, cutting down trees will not be beneficial for them anyway. 

The trees would have provided natural shade, boosted biodiversity, and would have helped to improve air quality by absorbing harmful toxins. Even if the trees left dead leaves behind when the seasons changed, they could have been used to make mulch for their own garden.

All in all, they will surely come to regret the decision. 

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