Real Estate Q & A


Q I own a third-floor condominium in Westchester County that has a nice view over a garden behind the building. A few years ago, the condo board planted some trees in the garden. The trees have now grown so tall and wide that they are starting to block my view. One reason for buying the apartment was the view. Do I have any right to make the board trim the trees so they don’t block my view?       

A “No unit owner has a guaranteed legal right to a view,” said Kenneth Jacobs, a real estate lawyer with offices in Yonkers and Manhattan.

Mr. Jacobs says the board has discretion in the landscaping of the common areas. “The tree that blocks the writer’s view may create shade for someone else in the building or for those who use the garden,” he said, adding that as long as the tree does not constitute a nuisance — by being too close to the writer’s apartment, for example — there is little the writer can do to force the board to trim it.

“This does not prevent the writer from making the request, or even proposing to have the tree trimmed at his expense,” Mr. Jacobs said. “But the board retains the authority to decide how to respond.”

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