‘Read the rules:’ Myrtle Beach real estate expert weighs in on neighborhood landscaping disputes

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A real estate expert says it’s common for homeowners to deal with their neighbors crossing onto their property to cut trees or plants that aren’t theirs.

Two Horry County neighbors are currently dealing with this type of situation, and News13 spoke with real estate expert Blake Sloan with Sloan Realty Group to discover how homeowners can prevent things like this from happening.

When Andreann Geise’s mom died, she left a mimosa tree and azalea bushes behind for her daughter.

“They were more than just trees to me,” she said.

But, last week, when she walked outside, what her mother left was gone.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Geise. “I didn’t understand how it happened.”

Her neighbor, Joe Maher, and a police report both say he cut them down accidentally.

“She had said I can cut whatever I want, but not the mimosa or anything flowering,” said Donna Maher, Joe Maher’s wife.

Myrtle Beach real estate expert Blake Sloan says he sees disputes like this a lot, especially with so many developments around.

“This is actually a fairly common issue that we’ve run across and in selling a lot of homes, both with just plants, also we’ve seen a big issue with fences sometimes, being placed over the line, and there’s a big challenge afterwards,” said Sloan.

But, what can you do to avoid situations like this on your property?

“The first thing we kind of advise our clients to do is really get a land survey,” said Sloan. “That way, there’s not really a true dispute on exactly where that line is.”

Maher says it all starts with the Homeowners Association rule book.

“Read the rules, and somebody needs to enforce the rules,” she said.

Geise also learned something in her rule book.

“I highly recommend having at least one no trespassing sign up,” she said.

The Mahers say they plan to pay Geise for the mimosa tree, but foresee the case going to court.

In January, News13 told you a new law went into effect that will require Homeowners Associations to be more transparent with their rules and regulations.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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