• Property Management Company
February 22, 2024 TQuinn

Tree Removal & Maintenance: Who is Responsible?

Keeping mobile home communities well-maintained and looking beautiful is a key part of property management. This includes buildings, common areas, signage, and landscaping. We get a lot of questions from clients about tree removal and who is responsible – the park owner or the homeowner – so we want to address a couple of key points to consider, as co-presented at the WMA Conference by Thomas Pacelli, our vice president of operations.

Tree Location is Key in determining the responsible party. Trees located in the park’s common area are the responsibility of the park owner. Parks are responsible for the maintenance of all trees and other landscaping in common areas.

Trees on homesites can be the responsibility of the homeowner if park owners require this of their tenants. This would include trees in existence when a homeowner buys a home in a space that has trees on the site. However, as noted in the MRL (Mobilehome Residency Law), if a tree becomes a health and safety risk to the residents, as determined by the California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) or the local agency in charge of the enforcement of the Mobile Home Parks Act, then the mobile home park owner will be responsible for trimming or removing the tree.

If the signed lease or rental agreement makes the homeowner responsible, then the homeowner must pay for the tree pruning or removal. If there is no stipulation of responsibility in the lease agreement, then the park is only responsible if it is determined to be a health and safety hazard by the enforcement/inspection agency.

Homeowners may have to pay an inspection fee when there is a dispute between the park owner and the homeowner over a tree and if the homeowner requests an inspection by HCD or the local enforcement agency. Inspectors have wide discretion in this regard, and if the inspector does not find a violation, the homeowner may end up having to pay to remove the tree anyway.

Like trees that mature and can create property issues, driveways may sustain damage from tree roots or other wear and tear. Driveways are typically the responsibility of the park owner unless the driveway was installed by the homeowner or damaged by the homeowner.

Legal counsel has suggested that Civil Code Sec.798.37.5(c) seems to leave open the question of whether a current homeowner is responsible for the maintenance of a driveway installed by a prior homeowner, arguing that such a prior installation belongs to the park.

This general overview is meant to provide a basic understanding of park owner vs. homeowner responsibility, but there are always unique situations where we are happy to guide clients.

If you are a current client, please let us know if you have additional questions that we can answer. If you’re not a current J & H Asset Property Management client, contact us if you’d like to elevate your property management.

Contact

Let's Work Together.

J & H Asset Property Management
22880 Savi Ranch Pkwy
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
(714) 974-0397
jandh@jandhmgt.com

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