How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask J. Warren Your Own Question
J. Warren
J. Warren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2242
Experience:  Experience in residential real estate and commercial leases.
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
J. Warren is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We live in a small (30 condos) subdivision with a POA. A new

Customer Question

We live in a small (30 condos) subdivision with a POA. A new owner moved in and received a copy of the Covenants. The POA President has spoken to her several times about things she has tried to do and she doesn't listen. He has told her many times that the Association needs written plans to review and approve. The President went out of town on a family emergency about two weeks ago. The woman lives at the end of a street. Next to her is heavily treed, and of course weeds, of common property that slopes down to another subdivision. Nothing is or will be built in that area. She cleared a small area next to her lot line without permission. The next week she took out all the trees, weeds etc. down to a chain link fence that is the common property line. I was outraged as you can imagine. The President still isn't back, might have to stay, and a new Board will take over. What can we do about this nightmare? It will be costly to sue. Maybe we could take her to small claims but how or what would be our compensation? What can we do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  J. Warren replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I look forward to providing you information. Please note:

(1) this is general information and is not legal advice. I never propose a specific course of action. There is no attorney-client relationship or privilege that is formed when communicating to an expert on this site. The site repeats this disclaimer numerous times. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and

(2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.

Sorry your POA is dealing with this situation. Under your POA instrument it should grant the board the right to fine a homeowner for non-compliance.

"O.C.G.A. 44-3-223 (2010)
44-3-223. Compliance with provisions of instrument and with rules and regulations; penalties for noncompliance
Every lot owner and all those entitled to occupy a lot shall comply with all lawful provisions of the property owners' association instrument. In addition, any lot owner and all those entitled to occupy a lot shall comply with any reasonable rules or regulations adopted by the association pursuant to the instrument which have been provided to the lot owners and with the lawful provisions of the bylaws of the association. Any lack of such compliance shall be grounds for an action to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief, or for any other remedy available at law or in equity, maintainable by the association or, in any proper case, by one or more aggrieved lot owners on their own behalf or as a class action. If and to the extent provided in the instrument, the association shall be empowered to impose and assess fines and suspend temporarily voting rights and the right of use of certain of the common areas and services paid for as a common expense in order to enforce such compliance; provided, however, that no such suspension shall deny any lot owner or occupants access to the lot owned or occupied. " see source:

If there is not authority to penalize, yes small claims is an option. The damage would be or compensation to the board would likely be the determined value of the property prior to her pruning the area and the value after she cut or hacked up the vegetation on the property. This will be hard to determine but can be based an Arborist's opinion as to the value of the trees.

All my best and encouragement.

Please note that you are asked to rate my courtesy and professionalism, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. I only receive credit when rated 3 stars or higher. If for any reason you feel that a low rating is appropriate, please first give me the opportunity to address your concerns by clicking the "reply" tab.

Please be aware that the information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information. All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you.

Related Real Estate Law Questions