I have a tenant that is moving out after his second lease with us and he has planted a tree of unknown type within three feet of the home. He has provided notice of leaving and I'd like to be certain that he should be responsible for removing it if there is any possibility that it will compromise the slab foundation plumbing or building structure.

A secondary question is there are three palm trees that he had planted during his original stay with us over 10 years ago, not this current lease. Would he still be responsible for removing them or have I inherited this after he had originally moved out?

ATM I believe I am responsible for his original trees but he would be responsible for the new trees planted at the start of his current lease.

  • 1
    Did he plant the trees with your permission - either by asking at the time or by the lease allowing him to do so? Also, where is this?
    – Dale M
    Feb 24, 2020 at 20:16
  • There was not an explicit request for the trees although we did welcome him to use the soil areas for planting though we did not specify that could be planted. It is located in Los Angeles Ca. Sounds like I should explicit describe what can be planted in future leases though I'm not that familiar with what type of trees should be allowed or not.
    – simgineer
    Feb 24, 2020 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


What does the lease say?

If the lease is silent on the matter then the tenant has the right to remove fixtures (like a tree) but is not obliged to.

However, a tenant only has the right to add fixtures to the land with the landlord’s consent. The landlord can require the removal of unapproved fixtures.

However to the however, if the landlord has knowingly suffered the fixture to be there for an extended period of time then the tenant can raise an estoppel argument that the requirement for permission was waived.

Of course, if the lease actually deals with this stuff (as a good lease should) then follow the lease.

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