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Subject: Tree Cutting
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Author Messages
ZarinaR
(California)

Posts:6


04/06/2021 2:33 PM  
Hi, my HOA is in Oceanside, CA. I called Code Enforcement for the City of Oceanside and was told that tree-cutting & maintenance in the common areas is the jurisdiction of the property owner and according to the CC & Rs, the common areas are HOA property. I also asked if the person hired has to be licensed and bonded and was told that it was the HOA's decision to make. However, another HOA member supposedly contacted Code Enforcement and was allegedly told that tree cutting had to be done by a professional who is licensed and bonded. Can anyone weigh in on this please?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10126


04/06/2021 2:54 PM  
It is good business practice to hire a licensed and insured contractors. This protects the members/corporation. It is up to the HOA to decide but best practices should always be taken.

I would be very cautious about contacting an outside source like code enforcement. Why? That is their job. Which means you just reported a code violation of the HOA to the code enforcement. That may trigger the Code enforcement to place a fine on your HOA to enforce the code violation. Meaning you just cost your HOA a bunch of money to pay out. Not sure if that will be something people will be happy with. Especially if it causes your dues to go up to cover the project.

So I would go internal to the HOA to resolve this issue. Which it is an in-house issue if it's on HOA common property. The HOA would need to make arrangements to get the job done.

A HOA is ONLY funded by it's members for it's members. So factor that in...

BTW: We had a neighboring owner report our HOA for tree debris that some residents were putting in the area between us and them. Code enforcement came out. Gave us the option to clean it up or be fined 10K.Yes 10,000 dollars plus more fines till fixed. Had to go rent a dumpster and get volunteers to come out to clean up the mess. Took us 500 dollars and 7 volunteers 2 weekends. Otherwise it would have cost us 2 times what our income is each month.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17599


04/06/2021 2:57 PM  
From a liability standpoint, it's always best to have someone who is licensed and bonded.
However, it's typically not a requirement (which is why there are many unlicensed and uninsured contractors out there).


Each caller likely got the personal opinion of who they talked to OR the callers normal filters heard what they believe they heard (be it the actual case or not).

I do agree that it is the HOAs responsibility for maintaining the trees on common area.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:209


04/06/2021 3:01 PM  
An owner has ever right to contact an outside agency to enforce City Codes. If it isn't within the jurisdiction of the City, they would say so, but in many instances they can step in when the hOA is unwilling to do so, or is not effective in trying to do so.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10126


04/06/2021 3:07 PM  
Yes Max but that means the entire HOA is now having to fix that issue because someone made it a focus issue. Which means the HOA is now subject to paying fines or doing that job over other projects they may have set aside to do. So you may not get your pool repaired or new gym equipment because someone decided to go to the Code department for their personal issue.

It is best to go to the board and understand your HOA's budget. It's not an endless money source. It is ONLY funded by it's members. Believe me a 10K fine we received was way more money than we could afford to pay out without a special assessment. Plus for a project we didn't have budget for.

Former HOA President
ZarinaR
(California)

Posts:6


04/06/2021 3:15 PM  
I did not give any information about myself or the HOA. I made it a very general question. Not sure what the other person did, however.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:209


04/06/2021 3:23 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 04/06/2021 3:07 PM
Yes Max but that means the entire HOA is now having to fix that issue because someone made it a focus issue. Which means the HOA is now subject to paying fines or doing that job over other projects they may have set aside to do. So you may not get your pool repaired or new gym equipment because someone decided to go to the Code department for their personal issue.

It is best to go to the board and understand your HOA's budget. It's not an endless money source. It is ONLY funded by it's members. Believe me a 10K fine we received was way more money than we could afford to pay out without a special assessment. Plus for a project we didn't have budget for.



I've used Code Enforcements with various cities with great success to handle situations where a HOA couldn't. Never once have I ever had a fine placed against an HOA, so not sure where that is coming from.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4170


04/06/2021 3:54 PM  
My township does inspections and issues Certificates of Occupancy for buildings. Contractors working on those buildings must be registered with the township.

However, my state follows the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). Trees are not covered under the UCC. And my township does not have its own provision for trees.

So there is no government agency that would require a licensed contractor, even though it would be best practices. Tree mechanics have one of the highest rates of injury and death of any profession.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10126


04/06/2021 4:19 PM  
Good to know your THAT person Max... I am sure everyone appreciated the cause and benefitted over it...

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10944


04/06/2021 5:15 PM  
License and bonded is to protect the association against any legal issues arising if the person is neither. It is not a governmental issue.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4170


04/06/2021 5:54 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/06/2021 5:15 PM
License and bonded is to protect the association against any legal issues arising if the person is neither. It is not a governmental issue.


Agree. But OP's question was about code enforcement.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17599


04/06/2021 7:31 PM  
Posted By NpS on 04/06/2021 5:54 PM

But OP's question was about code enforcement.




Actually, the question was about using licensed or unlicensed contractors and was there a law requiring who to use.

The code enforcement office was simply the source that led to the question.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4170


04/07/2021 3:22 AM  
Correction. Code requirements and enforcement.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
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