Fairfax, VA asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia

Q: Legally, can a HOA have DRC guidelines prohibiting homeowners from taking down trees they believe diseased and a threat?

In our case, we felt certain trees were diseased and a threat to our home and took them down. Although the DRC rule does state that diseased and dead trees can be cut down without prior approval, they fined us anyway because they said the trees were alive (the DRC had no published definition of what constitutes a ‘dead or dying’ tree).

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas H. Roberts
Thomas H. Roberts
  • Richmond, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: You may want to look at the Virginia Code - including https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title55.1/chapter18/section55.1-1819/ which governs the administration of home owner's associations. But be careful, the fine is much less than litigation costs where the looser pay not only their own legal fees but the other parties!

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