This question about the removal of a tree on common property and who pays has been answered by Jan Browne, Whittles Strata Partners.
Question: We have received a Notice of Decision, Tree Protection Act 2005 for the removal of a tree located on the common property of our unit title. Who is responsible for the cost?
I live in the ACT in an apartment complex. We have received a Notice of Decision, Tree Protection Act 2005 for the removal of a cypress tree located on the common property of our unit title. Can you please advise if the cost of the felling/removal of this tree falls is covered by the levies paid by the owners into the administration fund? Or would it be only paid by those lot owners impacted by the tree?
The tree is on the common property of the unit title and not specifically within a lot owners courtyard.
Can you please advise and provide any examples of where the body corporate as a whole has paid for the felling/removal of a tree on common property?
Answer: The owners corporation is responsible for managing the common property and enforcing its rules.
As the owners corporation holds the common property as agent for the unit owners, the law imposes an obligation on the owners corporation to maintain the common property and any other property it holds. This includes maintaining all common property grounds etc.
Would be up to the owners corporation to determine if the cost is paid out of admin or sinking but would normally be a budgeted item. If the Units Plan does not have enough money to pay for the works to be done then a special purpose levy would have to be raised and paid for by all owners.
And each manager would have examples of the owners corporation paying for tree removal as part and parcel of the obligations of the owners corporation to maintain and repair common property.
This post appears in Strata News #213.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.