Residential Property Management/Is it legal?


QUESTION: Hi I am looking for advice.  I have had a trellis in front of my home for over 10 years, now I get a letter stating I must remove it.  They claim its messing up my roof (its not)  in the way of painting, it has screws I can remove for painting.  I have expensive plants on it, and it gives me a little privacy.  Must I remove it?  I am following the rule of no items past the roof line its right under it.

ANSWER: Hi and thanks for your question.  The best answer is, "Maybe." I recently saw a piece on a show like 20/20 that showed a small item like a trellis being the cause that a relatively low-speed wind ripped the roof off of a house like it was a sardine can.  The other factor is your lease.  You don't specify if this is a single-family house, although it seems like it might be.  No matter how long it's been there, unless it was there when you moved in, the owner or manager might have the right to ask you to remove it if it's yours.  Another factor is Homeowner's Association rules.  If your residence falls under a homeowner's association (HOA) the HOA has rules that apply to everyone in the community. These rules generally keep uniformity in the community.  They're very common here where I am in South Florida.  I can't put up a storage shed in my backyard.  I can't park a commercial vehicle in my driveway overnight.

I hope this helps.  However, this opinion does not and should not constitute legal advice.  If you believe you have a concern, you should contact an attorney who is familiar with landlord - tenant relations.

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi thank you for answering my question.  I do live in S. Fla too.  I have had the trellis up for over 10 years and suddenly they want me to remove it.  I have lived here for over 20 years my rules book is very old and I just requested a new one.  I haven't done anything special with it its been here a long time with no problem.  The old association president passed away and a new one did take his place.

It could be the new president is flexing some muscle and enforcing rules.  Or the HOA got complaints about the trellis.  I'm in the first house as you enter  our subdivision, so everybody sees everything at our house.  You'd be surprised to read the letters we've gotten from the HOA. The flip side is that they maintain everything, including trash collection, lawn care (excluding shrubs & trees), streets (including the gates), sprinklers, the pond, the common - area private park and our community pool.  So they have a purpose.

Again,  I hope this helps. I'm happy to answer any further questions you have in the future!  This opinion does not and should not constitute legal advice.  If you believe you have a concern, you should contact an attorney who is familiar with landlord - tenant relations. 

Thanks for using AllExperts and please remember to rate your Expert!

Residential Property Management

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Adam L. Greenberg CPS


I have several years of experience in commercial property management, particularly in tenant retention but also in day-to-day tenant relations and service. Tenant relations and property management are the same whether residential or commercial--everyone takes he same licensing classes. It's the practical work experience that differentiates the two. I can answer questions relating to general topics but by law, because I was formerly licensed as a Real Estate Salesperson by The Missouri Real Estate Commission (2005-2014), I cannot give legal advice and as per Items #4 and #5 of the AllExperts User Agreement, and my answers may not be construed as such.


I began my career in property management with the residence hall operations at a large state university. I worked with everything that had to do with the tenants (students), from directly managing front desk operations to working behind-the-scenes with support staff. Professionally, for over six years, I was a member of a property management team which managed dozens of commercial and residential properties in Downtown Washington, DC; Arlington, Virginia; and Bethesda, Maryland. I also have an additional ten years of experience as a management agent for an absentee owner in Saint Louis, Missouri. I retired early in 2014 and I now live in Florida, which has provided me the experience of interaction with Homeowners' Associations (HOAs). Some of my Answers have reflected this experience.

Former member, Washington Area Concierge Association (WACA), Washington, DC Former member, St. Louis Association of REALTORS.

BA Speech Communication, University of Maryland, 1993 Graduate of American School of Real Estate, St. Louis, Missouri, 2005 Certified Property Management Specialist (CPS), 2010 Successful completion of Continuing Education courses in Ethics, Diversity

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