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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 13073
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I live in Washington State. Three other home owners and I are

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I live in Washington State. Three other home owners and I are in a HOA with a legal covenant. One of the home owners has trees on their property that have grown past the height limit stated in the covenant. Two of the homeowners want to sell their homes but their former mountain view has been severely compromised by the growth of the trees. What can we do as an association to ensure that the party with the overgrown trees will respect the covenant requirements?The rebellious neighbors have not followed the covenant rules for years. (All trees can be no taller than 15 ft.) Also,last summer an association members lost a sale of her home due to the tree issue. Can she sue for loss of selling her home due to the tree issue? One final question: Does the daughter of a deceased HOA association member who has executive control of the estate have the right to be a voting member of a HOA?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.



I live in Washington State. Three other home owners and I are in a HOA with a legal covenant. One of the home owners has trees on their property that have grown past the height limit stated in the covenant. Two of the homeowners want to sell their homes but their former mountain view has been severely compromised by the growth of the trees. What can we do as an association to ensure that the party with the overgrown trees will respect the covenant requirements?The rebellious neighbors have not followed the covenant rules for years. (All trees can be no taller than 15 ft.) Also,last summer an association members lost a sale of her home due to the tree issue. Can she sue for loss of selling her home due to the tree issue?

Response: The Association should enforce the covenant. I am sure that there are remedies in the covenant for non-compliance, which should include but are not limited to sending notice of non-compliance first and giving the homeowner opportunity to comply by a date certain or face penalties; cut the trees and charge the expense to the non-complying homeowner. If homeowner still refuses to comply then the lien can be put on the homeowner's property and eventually foreclosed to satisfy the lien. Individual homeowner should not the one suing the non-complying homeowner. The Association should sue the non-complying member. See Revised Code of Washington Title 64 Chapter 64.38 Section 64.38.020

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=64.38.020



One final question: Does the daughter of a deceased HOA association member who has executive control of the estate have the right to be a voting member of a HOA?



Response 2: Yes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The certified letter we sent was a notice of noncompliance. The homeowner had 20 days to take action to cut the trees and didn't meet the deadline. In our covenant it states" If, within twenty days after receipt of such notice, the land owner has not caused the trees or other vegetation to be pruned or removed to the extent required buy the Control Architect or Architectural Control Committee may, at his or its expense, do such work, provided that it may charge the cost of such work to the residents of the subdivision who have requested the pruning or removal of such trees and vegetation." What does this mean? Are we to use the association dues to pay for the tree removal? Do we have a legal right to send a tree cutting service to have the trees cut down? Don't we need approval/permission from the tree owners to complete this action?

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Could please review you quotation and make corrections?. There seems to be something missing that could change the meaning of the statement.

"If, within twenty days after receipt of such notice, the land owner has not caused the trees or other vegetation to be pruned or removed to the extent required buy the Control Architect or Architectural Control Committee may, at his or its expense, do such work, provided that it may charge the cost of such work to the residents of the subdivision who have requested the pruning or removal of such trees and vegetation." What does this mean? Are we to use the association dues to pay for the tree removal? Do we have a legal right to send a tree cutting service to have the trees cut down? Don't we need approval/permission from the tree owners to complete this action?"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If, within twenty (20) days after receipt of such notice, the land owner has not caused the trees or other vegetation to be pruned or removed to the extent required buy the Control Architect or Architectural Control Committee , the Control Architect or Architectural Control Commitee,may, at his or its expense, do such work, provided that he or it may charge the cost of such work to the residents of the subdivision who have requested the pruning or removal of such trees and vegetation."

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information.

Is the HOA the Control Architect or Architectural Control Committee?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Initially, the Architectural Control Commitee was composed of a husband and wife who set up the covenant papers. They sold their house. The remaining members of the HOA had the authority, according to the covenant, to designate a successor. I was voted into this position by the three other association members. Our covenant also states," The owner of any such lot, tract, or parcel of land she have the right at law, or in equity, to enforce such covenants and each of them to enjoin any violation and may,, in addition to all other remedies, recover compensation or damages for any such violation, including recovering legal fees expended in enforcing these covenants from the owner who has violated these covenants." Can we get action for this tree trimming without years of delay?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry- 2nd time sending this response. Yes the HOA is the Control Architect or Achitectural Control Commmitee. One member has been selected to head it.


 


The covenant also says: "The owner of any such lot, tract or parcel of land shall have the right at law,or in equity to enforce such covenants and each of them to enjoin any violation and may, in addition to all other remedies, recover legal fees expended in enforcing these covenants form the owner who has viloated the covenants." Does this mean the people in violation will have to pay for all of the expenses?

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the information. I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was answering another question when you responded:

Sorry- 2nd time sending this response. Yes the HOA is the Control Architect or Achitectural Control Commmitee. One member has been selected to head it.

The covenant also says: "The owner of any such lot, tract or parcel of land shall have the right at law,or in equity to enforce such covenants and each of them to enjoin any violation and may, in addition to all other remedies, recover legal fees expended in enforcing these covenants form the owner who has viloated the covenants." Does this mean the people in violation will have to pay for all of the expenses?

Response 1: Yes.

Initially, the Architectural Control Commitee was composed of a husband and wife who set up the covenant papers. They sold their house. The remaining members of the HOA had the authority, according to the covenant, to designate a successor. I was voted into this position by the three other association members. Our covenant also states," The owner of any such lot, tract, or parcel of land she have the right at law, or in equity, to enforce such covenants and each of them to enjoin any violation and may,, in addition to all other remedies, recover compensation or damages for any such violation, including recovering legal fees expended in enforcing these covenants from the owner who has violated these covenants." Can we get action for this tree trimming without years of delay?

Response 2: Yes, you can.



If, within twenty (20) days after receipt of such notice, the land owner has not caused the trees or other vegetation to be pruned or removed to the extent required buy the Control Architect or Architectural Control Committee , the Control Architect or Architectural Control Commitee,may, at his or its expense, do such work, provided that he or it may charge the cost of such work to the residents of the subdivision who have requested the pruning or removal of such trees and vegetation." What does this mean?


Response 3: The costs would be charged to the homeowners who requested that the trees be cut. However, pursuant to other provisions of your covenant, the Association may recover these fees on behalf of affected homeowners from the non-compliant homeowner.


Are we to use the association dues to pay for the tree removal?



Response 4: It does not seem that way from the provision that you cited. The Association dues are not for tree removals.



Do we have a legal right to send a tree cutting service to have the trees cut down?



Response 5: Yes, you do.


Don't we need approval/permission from the tree owners to complete this action?"



Response 6
: No, you do not according to the provision that you just cited.

Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 13073
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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