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Real estate disputes: Can homeowners cut trees down?

Many Florida homeowners have large trees in their front yards. Whether they can fell such trees at their own discretion depends on whether city ordinances or homeowner association regulations apply in a particular situation. A couple in another state is currently involved in real estate disputes regarding two 40-foot tall trees on their property.

The couple purchased a home in a town that has tree ordinances in place. As such, they had to file an application for permission to remove healthy trees from their property. Although no neighbors contested their petition, it was denied when city officials referred the matter to the Natural Resources and Environmental Commission.

An existing municipal code states that healthy trees can be removed if they pose a danger to people or property. One can logically assume that 40-foot tall trees in close proximity to a home might pose property risk, especially if strong winds or storms arise. The code also states that trees can be removed if they pose significant maintenance hardship. The couple seeking permission to fell the trees say they constantly have to work to remove pine needles from their gutters and that fallen needles make their steep driveway slippery and dangerous throughout the year.

The couple has further stated that they are not able to meet the financial expenses they would endure from having to rent equipment to properly prune the trees and maintain safety on their grounds. Real estate disputes are not always easily resolved, especially when municipal codes or local governing bodies are involved. Any Florida homeowner facing current tree issues or other legal problems regarding his or her property may request a meeting with an experienced real estate law attorney for guidance and support.

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