My question involves a dispute that occurred in the state of: GA
We bought a property in N. Ga with gorgeous mountain and lake views. The former owners had cut several trees to open the view line to make it nice for sale of property. Not disclosed that they were not our trees even. Survey very vague and no one at the county will help.
A month later we went up (we're from FL) and ran into the neighbors. The husbands chatted and told my husband those trees were on their property but we could cut them any time to keep our view, they didn't matter and were of no use to anyone. Their home is slightly in front of us so they really don't see our property without turning to actually look.
The trees after being cut the 1st time had turned into tall stumps with no real growth so they looked terrible and served no purpose. Just in our line of view, not theirs. So in May we were there and we decided to just cut them down so we didn't have to do it again for a while. It made such a difference and cleaned the area making it look much nicer.
we didn't take them out or destroy the roots. They will grow back eventually. We were not being malicious, just thought we were clearing ugly trees and paid for it even tho on his property. Really did him the favor. He said we could so we went ahead and did it not thinking much of it. When they came up to their property that next weekend, they preceded to practically bang down our door and created a scene over the fact that we cut their trees and what right did we have, etc. The wife was furious because she now had to "look our renters in the hot tub when she was on her deck". So, we figure the change of heart was because we have it listed as a vacation rental and they don't like it. Understandable, so we tried to remedy it by saying sorry and it was a misunderstanding and we could work on an agreement to pay for a tree to put between the properties to screen her view from our hot tub.
Well, they went shopping the next day and got estimates on 3 different kind of trees costing over 2000.00 and want us to pay for them and the installation. Apparently big trees that need special equipment to plant, etc. They don't want to compromise on one tree, which is all that was in from of their deck in the first place. We offered 2 trees, and they said it wouldnt work for what they had in mind.Seems they want new landscaping at our cost. We don't know our rights and feel they are just taking advantage. I've contacted a couple attorneys in GA but have not been able to get a return calls. The neighbor just emailed a new estimate today now costing 100.00 more than the original quote cos they decided they wanted cypress trees and not holly trees to achieve the right look. So, are we at their mercy??
Are we responsible to replace the previous Poplar Tree that was in front of their deck with 3 Cypress and 1 Glory Maple. Not the original tree type or condition. They obviously want a pretty new landscape at our expense when the previous one was unattractive and showed our property. And now more so because its a VC rental and has a new hot tub. We even offered to order them on line much cheaper and have our landscapers plant for 1/10th the price, but they aren't budging. Are we responsible at all if they verbally agreed to let us trim? They did not specify which ones or how much to take off, just okay to trim to preserve our view. If the trees keep growing, eventually we have no view. So, wed have to trim every year to two with the same result.
Not sure where to turn or how to handle going forward. And if we do agree to plant what the owner wants us to, should we pay the Tree Nursery? Or reimburse the owners and provide a wavier of future responsibility. Where does that leave our liability in future if trees die or he decides he wants more trees, etc. Do we need to seek out a GA lawyer to help us. Or do we just pay the guy to plant the trees and move on.
Thanks for any advice.