Article Courtesy of lapublicfrontage.org
Currently, the City of Los Angeles is responsible for the repair of broken sidewalks in Los Angeles that are damaged due to tree roots. However, the City has been exploring options to switch this responsibility to the home owner. Some of the current options include point-of-sale (meaning you can’t sell your home until the sidewalks are repaired); point-of-permit (meaning if you apply for a building and safety permit that exceeds a certain dollar amount, you will not be granted the permit until the sidewalks are repaired). Another option being explored is point-of-service. This means that when a new tenant moves into a property (even if it’s a renter) and they request to have the utilities turned on, they will be denied these services until the sidewalks are repaired.
No matter which option is chosen, the objective is to eliminate the City’s responsibility for damages done to curbs, driveways and sidewalks due to tree roots (City Attorney Report og-o27o) and to make the property owner the responsible party.
Why should you care?
Think about the added expense and burden this creates for home owners and those wishing to sell their homes – permit fees, fines, late charges, property liens, and lawsuits. The City is planning to turn over to the public a damaged walkway system and then hold property owners liable for its own failure to maintain it. Moreover, as soon as responsibility is transferred, the City can take action on these fees and punishments if the Board of Public Works determines that the sidewalk is damaged to create a menace to the public or is a public nuisance.
If the City ordered the property owners to plant a certain type of tree, which later causes sidewalk damage, why should YOU be liable for the repairs? Why does the City of Los Angeles think its fair to hand over damaged goods to the property owner and make them liable for repairing it?