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Super Contributor
PoorOwner
Posts: 215
Registered: ‎10-08-2012
0

HOA and front trees

HOA maintains the front yard appearance in my community (SFHs)..

 

One tree has branches right over the roof, dropping leaves, causing moss and more frequent gutter cleaning.  

 

If I write the HOA will they assess it and I get the tree pruned by an experienced arborist?  

 

 

Gold Regular Contributor
sheriff
Posts: 2,418
Registered: ‎06-01-2012
0

Re: HOA and front trees

It never hurts to ask.  I believe the HOA should not only prune the tree but clean out the gutters as well.  Are they responsible for outside maintenance?

Super Contributor
PoorOwner
Posts: 215
Registered: ‎10-08-2012
0

Re: HOA and front trees

[ Edited ]

no, they just pay for the landscapers to mow the lawn and maintain the front sprinkers (but the water bill goes to the owner)

 

They are not responsible for paint, roof, etc, except you will probably get a notice if things get too bad.

 

We just got the moss removed and gutters cleaned, it was pretty expensive, almost $1000, and now there is leaves all over the roof again.   I can clean first level gutter easily but not the second level.

 

Would you use a blower or a bloom to sweep off some of the leaves on the first level roof?

 

 

 

Regular Contributor
ckaught78
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎10-03-2012
0

Re: HOA and front trees

I lived in in an HOA that took care of the front yards and every couple of years they would have an arborist come out and deal with all the trees. I am willing to bet they would trim it back from the roof if you ask, but I doubt they would do any roof repairs.

Platinum Trusted Contributor
tjh
Posts: 5,072
Registered: ‎01-09-2010
0

Re: HOA and front trees

@PoorOwner:

 

I've got to tell you the same thing I often remind my mother:  YOU ARE THE HOA!  Well, you and a few hundred others.

 

HOAs are not municipal services imposed on the community like a police department or even the management company at an apartment complex.  They aren't a third party circuit court to arbitrate neighbor disputes.  They are a community association for your community.  They are run by a board elected by the residents to prosecute the bylaws.

 

Make them tow the line!

 

I'd go directly to the board, perhaps at the next meeting.  Read the bylaws.  Discuss your leaf situation with your neighbors to find common ground.  Approach the board as a group.  It's unlikely the leaf drop/gutter clogging problem is unique to your property.  There is certainly something that can be done that benefits all of the residents.

 

$1,000 for a gutter/roof cleaning??? What is the world coming to?  At least if you rally the other homeowner/members to address this as a group issue for all of the properties, you should be able to get a volume discount from the gutter cleaning company.  What is it you pay those HOA dues for again?

 

By the way, in defense of trees:  Pruning overhanging limbs will not necessarily prevent leaves from accumulating on your roof due to prevailing winds, etc.  Leaf drop is the price we pay for the beauty and esthetics value that trees provide.  The alternative is the desert....or a concrete jungle.

Silver Contributor
kinectimal
Posts: 442
Registered: ‎12-18-2011
0

Re: HOA and front trees

I have a lot of trees and I was thinking of putting one of those gratings over the gutter so the leaves cant get in

Gold Regular Contributor
sheriff
Posts: 2,418
Registered: ‎06-01-2012
0

Re: HOA and front trees


tjh wrote:

@PoorOwner:

 

I've got to tell you the same thing I often remind my mother:  YOU ARE THE HOA!  Well, you and a few hundred others.

 

HOAs are not municipal services imposed on the community like a police department or even the management company at an apartment complex.  They aren't a third party circuit court to arbitrate neighbor disputes.  They are a community association for your community.  They are run by a board elected by the residents to prosecute the bylaws.

 

Make them tow the line!

 

I'd go directly to the board, perhaps at the next meeting.  Read the bylaws.  Discuss your leaf situation with your neighbors to find common ground.  Approach the board as a group.  It's unlikely the leaf drop/gutter clogging problem is unique to your property.  There is certainly something that can be done that benefits all of the residents.

 

$1,000 for a gutter/roof cleaning??? What is the world coming to?  At least if you rally the other homeowner/members to address this as a group issue for all of the properties, you should be able to get a volume discount from the gutter cleaning company.  What is it you pay those HOA dues for again?

 

By the way, in defense of trees:  Pruning overhanging limbs will not necessarily prevent leaves from accumulating on your roof due to prevailing winds, etc.  Leaf drop is the price we pay for the beauty and esthetics value that trees provide.  The alternative is the desert....or a concrete jungle.


The good thing about my HOA is it is only a 39 unit complex so they have to be responsive to individual owners.  The board is only elected with a quorum of ten votes so they respond if I ask for something.  TJH is right.  Go to meetings and be active. It helps.

Super Contributor
Metalhead
Posts: 224
Registered: ‎12-20-2011
0

Re: HOA and front trees

I was part of an HOA for a group of 11 townhouses many years ago.  If the board is elected from the homeowners, then I would absolutely volunteer for a position, whether it be Secretary or VP.  I found that being on the board and having an apathetic group of owners meant I could prioritize shared area work.  When I went to sell my unit, the HOA was considering hiring a painting contractor.  I arranged to have ivy removed from my place (up three stories on my unit) as part of the painting contract.  No one on the board objected and I got what I wanted for my sale.  In general, be part of the board and you can get what you need.  

Platinum Trusted Contributor
tjh
Posts: 5,072
Registered: ‎01-09-2010
0

Re: HOA and front trees


Metalhead wrote:

No one on the board objected and I got what I wanted for my sale.  In general, be part of the board and you can get what you need.  


Good move on your part. 

 

And, the main reason I will not live anywhere that has an HOA.

 

I've had a few friends who did and they utilized this approach;  they got themselves elected to the board in an effort to control the HOA's policies and directions to their own benefit.  But, they found the constant battling by a few, special interest homeowners against others looking to the HOA for "enforcement" etc., to be tiring and, they eventually sold, moved into higher end communities with NO HOA. 

 

The example that comes to mind was a friend who partnered with a relative of mine to become president and vice president of a townhome association.  He lasted only a year as president as he said, every night after he got home from work the same few busy bodies would approach him with complaints about what others were or were not doing in accordance with the CC&Rs as they saw them. 

 

The funniest situation that dragged on for more than a  year involved ground cover of ornamental strawberries vs turf.  The builder had alternated this in front yards:  One having turf, the next having the ornamental strawberries.  Well, some folks with children had the audacity to replace the ornamental strawberries with turf in their front yard and the old biddies were not going to let this go down without a fight.

 

Yeah, both the friend and the relative moved on to more exclusive communities that did not have an HOA, which they both insisted on when they went looking.

 

Alternatively I my mother lives in an HOA controlled community in Clayton.  The HOA board couldn't decide whether my mother had to pay to replace her fences or if the homeowners did.  They still can't agree and my mother spent her own  money. 

 

When the units were all painted by the HOA a couple of years back, the residents were informed that the painters would be there, do only minor prep and anything else was up the homeowners.  My mother had a reputable contractor look at her place after my BIL found dry rot in the siding in some window corners and ended up shelling out $6,000 for resealing of several of the doors and windows and siding repair and had to get it done in only a couple of weeks to beat the painter's schedule.

 

The place across the street from my mother had a serious fire and suffered a fair amount of damage.  The city was bad enough for the owner to deal with but the HOA was worse, even though the repair work was for identical replacement on all of the outside of the building.  The HOA's interference for reviews and approvals caused the reconstruction to go on for two years!

 

My former business partner lived in Opera Plaza in SF.  He was a fastidious individual and very happy about the strict rules of an HOA to "protect their values".  His CC&Rs included a restriction, which I've since found out is much more common that I ever imagined, such there had to be a white, fabric lining in every window, no matter the covering used on the inside, such that all windows had a uniform, white lined appearance from the outside.  That's a bit over-the-top for me, particularly after paying the tab to live in a place as expensive as that.

 

HOAs are too easily manipulated by a few and there is no oversight for them, not even the U.S. Constitution.  And, you can't buy a place in an HOA without joining.  By joining, the courts have held that you agree to all of their terms and cannot get out of it.  Talk about a Catch 22.  It's like being drafted into the military.  No thanks.

Gold Super Contributor
norcalnative
Posts: 3,277
Registered: ‎05-04-2009
0

Re: HOA and front trees

If the HOA has a yard crew - simply point out the branch and the roof debri and tell them to cut the branch off.

 

Chances are they will - HOA's who have contracts with large yard crews generally pay a flat fee which includes all general care of the property - tree's - bushes - etc. My experience has been all you need to do is tell the crew cheif "hey see that branch can you see if you can do some trimming on it?" and thats the end of the story.

 

Being nice about it will always get you farther with less drama too.