Just purchased the park in upstate NYS. One of the homes that is owned by the resident has 2 trees that almost touching the sides of the home. The trees are mature. The original lease that I still have to adhere to does not say anything about the maintenance of the trees. However park rules indicate that the home owners must maintain the property grounds adjacent to their homes (cut the grass, et. Now the resident is asking for me to remove the trees. Now do I push back by saying it is his responsibility or I am on the hook to remove them. Obviously the previous owner ignored this issue or was not aware of it.
Thanks in advance.
I have the same situation here in central pa, took over 2 years ago, but the lease says that tenants are responsible and none of the trees have been trimmed in 20 years. I still stand by that its tenants responsibility, but I am looking for a safe tree company to have them removed. My reasoning is this, what happens when that tree comes down, from a liability stand point I think I am covered cause some of the tenants have had the same lease for 10+ years and the tenants have never trimmed it. But if the tree does come down and they get a insurance payout, odds are they will just leave and buy another home somewhere else and ill be left with a home with a giant branch through it. Another reason I want the trees down is because of the roots, I know past plumbers have been using the rubber couplings which i hate with a passion, the pipe ends up moving, water might leak a little and the roots will grow towards it. In the future I plan to replace all these will 4 inch repair couplings but for now i think the trees cut down will go a long way towards making the park a better place to live.
If you change your lease to make the trees a tenants responsibility, I doubt anyone will actually move, and if someone does you can easily find someone to take their place. At least that is what I have experienced in central pa. One of my tenants moved in 2 years ago, and signed our lease which said it was her responsibility. A year and a half later when we changed some things in the lease she signed it again which she still understood it was her responsibility. She still complains about them every time I see her, but is unwilling to move and the 2 trees she has are 15 ft in circumference and 2 ft from her home. I have even explained to her it would be cheaper for me to move her home cut the trees and put the home back then to cut the trees the way they are. Its an on going issue but she understand that its easily a 6k job and is willing to wait for me to do it when I have funds available. Hope this sheds some light on your issue, wish you well.
If you own the park the tree is YOUR responsibility. We find that no limbs should touch tenants homes or endanger their health or safety. Rsp, do you also force the tenants to take responsibility for YOUR roads, signs, etc. you just collect money?? As owners we are there to present a safe, nice, clean, environment so the words slum lord is never mentioned.
Trees are the park owners property and responsibility. I tell tenants that I do not remove healthy trees unless they are a danger to property. If they want a healthy tree removed I might approve it at their expense. Dangerous trees/limbs I pay to remove. A danger would be broken limbs or limbs touching a home. I do not remove trees simply because they are large or close to a home. If I did I would need to remove every tree in the park.
I have only owned for 2 years, year 1 we cut down the trees that effected the most people, this is year 2 and I plan to do the same. But my lease which I obtained from the Pennsylvania manufactured housing association states thats lawn care including (grass, shrubs, flowers and trees) are tenants responsibility. This is a widely used lease, and has been defended in court many times. If the tenant rents the lot then either everything or nothing on that lot is their responsibility, let me explain, either they have complete landscape rights or I do. I dont see how it could be both. UMH properties near me has a park where the tenants have to apply to plant anything on their lot. They are not responsible for any landscaping and has a different company come in to take care of the whole parks landscaping.
Thanks Greg, it makes sense
I am wondering if there is a close in the lease that states “within 15 feet of the home the ground maintenance including trees is responsibility of the home owner” , will it stand the legal challenge. And I am referring only to the residents who own homes in the park. As the home owner it is my responsibility to take care of the trees on my property why is should be different in the MHP for the home owners. They can build the porches, sheds etc. adjacent the home why not take responsibility for the trees.
Maybe try an see if the ny manufactured home association has a lease that they have been using. This will cover lot of your bases not just in terms of trees but every scenario. When we sign a new lease its a packet about 32 pages long. As for the 15ft rule it could be tricky cause leases usually say yard maintenance is tenants responsibility, so maybe the tenant is responsibility for cutting grass thats 50ft from there home but only trees that are 15ft could cause more issues. I think a defined lot is better for each tenant and they are responsible for maintaining all of it.
My park is has about 36 homes on 3 acres, so its very tight, home lengths are limited to 40ft in some cases and the yards are extremely small. Most homes are 15-20ft from one another and the right side of the home is always the tenants yard. You can see how trees become an issues very quickly, and my plan is to cut everyone down, so I think your best bet is to have it tenants responsibility but have a plan in place to have them removed. It will help your parks appeal as well as worrying about the leaves that come down.
Thanks again Rsp, good info
Trees are the park owners property and responsibility.
It is your responsibility to remove or cut down any trees that are dangerous, if the owners of the mobile home simply want to trim trees for aesthetic reasons, then it is their responsibility. However, dangerous trees are yours.
Yes, so right you are.
This is something beyond understanding because YOU own the land and the tenant rents. The trees are owned by YOU, and therefore part of your responsibility. Trees are not like flowers which die in winter or leaves to be raked or lawn to be mowed.
Furthermore, leaving trees in the care of tenants is quite risky! There are specific insurance and tremendous safety rules involved…especially since mobile homes are usually close together. I wonder what mobile home insurance companies would say if they knew tenants were responsible for cutting down or maintaining trees. The premiums would triple no doubt.
I will be reading leases way more slowly and carefully from now on. Thankfully, where my parents live, the TOH is responsible for lawn care, but trees are strictly the land/park owner’s responsibility. I clearly understand a difference between lawn care, and tree care.
RSP, there are several (around 6 ) mobile home parks in my parent’s region. The most popular ones have the lovely old trees, and the trees play a big part in why many people choose the park they do. Of course cleanliness and safety count, but for aesthetics, the trees do bring people in. When people move in, planning to stay many years, and you come an cut all the trees down, you just might be ending some great tenant owners willingness to stay there.
I understand what you mean, but know that trees are what usually make property more valuable as well as aesthetically desirable.