New Neighbour is 'Telling me' he is going to take my border hedge out.

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    New Neighbour is 'Telling me' he is going to take my border hedge out.

    Hello,

    I have a question relating to a hedge at the rear of my garden, to my surprise a new owner at the rear has just called to say he will be ripping the whole hedge out as a good part of it overhangs on his side.

    I'm not totally sure he can do this as we have been living in the house for 35 years and more importantly BEFORE the house at the rear was even built, the hedge has always been the border between our house and what used to be a field since the 1970's.

    What are my next steps?

    #2
    Tell him if he does you will report him to the police for criminal damage, and sue for the cost of replacing it.

    Comment


      #3
      As above

      The new owner is entitled to cut back anything that overhangs his property, and throw it back over your side ( Once having told you his intentions ).

      Before you wake up one morning to see your hedge gone, write a letter to him stating that the hedge belongs to you, and was there before his house was built, and he does not have permission to remove or damage your hedge. He may trim it back were it overhangs onto his property, but other than that, the hedge is not his to remove.

      See the reaction from that. and as stated, do for tresspass and theft if he ignors you.

      Comment


        #4
        Wot they said:

        Sensible advice & information from CaB here..
        http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/englan...r_disputes.htm

        He sounds a loony:

        The bad news is you (very probably) now have a dispute you would need to declare when you sell the place...
        http://www.leonkaye.co.uk/declaring-...your-property/
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ram View Post
          The new owner is entitled to cut back anything that overhangs his property
          Correct, subject to not fatally damaging the hedge.

          Originally posted by ram View Post
          ...and throw it back over your side ( Once having told you his intentions ).
          Not correct. Throwing anything onto your neighbour's land without his consent is a trespass.

          *

          Hedges do not make good boundary features. A wall or fence does not expand in width and (assuming the wall or fence is on the boundary) the boundary will run either run down one side or the other or through the middle. Hedges however expand and one side may be allowed to grow more than another. It is often unknown who planted the hedge. One cannot be sure if the hedge was planted to allow for expansion. The best one can usually say with an established hedge is that the boundary is to be found in it somewhere.

          New owners thinking they know where their boundary is can be a problem. Have a look at these two threads:

          http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2247

          http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3149

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
            Not correct. Throwing anything onto your neighbour's land without his consent is a trespass.
            Informing your neighbour that their trees / plants / weeds from their property is coming onto the ajoining property, and from reading much on this, provided ( as I said ) "Once having told you his intentions" you may pop the neighbour's greenery back on the neighbour's land.

            But Up to Matthew_1000 to confirm this, as he will researching all avenues on his plight, and not just on here.

            Comment


              #7
              I have written to my Neighbour after finding the following information from a solicitor:

              If the hedge was planted in the late 1970’s I would say the boundary is down the centre line of the trucks regardless of what the plans may say, unless there is evidence to prove the contrary. There is no right acquired by long possession as regards ownership of a hedge, but the area of land occupied by the hedge trunks may now be yours by adverse possession over more than 20 years. A surveyor would confirm the correct position of the trunks vis-a-vie the exact boundary line

              Even if the hedge is yours, he is entitled to cut the overhangs of the hedge back to the exact boundary line, provide he returns the cuttings to you. He is not entitled to remove the hedge or damage its roots so that it dies if it is not his hedge. If he tries to do so call the Police and claim criminal damage. You could sue him privately for damages to compensate you for the loss, but the cost may make that uneconomical, even if you get a costs order against him.

              You should make it clear to him that the hedge is yours and he has no rights to cut it down and if he attempts to do so you will commence criminal and civil proceedings against him without further notice.

              Comment


                #8
                I agree with what you've said in post 7 Matthew:

                Take quite a few photos, with a witness, just-in-case: Hopefully matters can be resolved amicably....
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Neighbour has sent a reply to my letter today, where he states he will cut any overhang, agreed! However he says he will also cut roots which go onto his side. Since the border is right in the middle of the hedge with a few roots going onto his side surely this would kill it or make it look rather odd.

                  I will warn him I will commence criminal and civil proceedings against him without further notice should he destroy any roots.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Matthew_1000 View Post
                    I may need to write a firmer letter waring him about police and sueing him etc...
                    Difficult situation.

                    I assume the roots do not encroach on any buildings, or are not sprouting little hedges on his side.
                    If so, then state the hedge belongs to you and a few inches of hidden roots cannot harm anyone.

                    The hedge is a CLEAR boundary, and should stay there to verify the boundary, and even though the hedge is yours, it IS a boundary marker.

                    What would he do if it was a brick wall ? would he remove the bricks that half encroach on his side ?

                    Tell him if he wants to remove your property, he needs your permission, and at present you do not give him permission. Tell him if it concerns him so much that you will consider him paying for concrete bases to fit posts in, and fence panels, to be done at his cost with a deed to remove the fence panels and treat them / paint them every 2 years, both sides, at his cost.

                    That will alleviate his concerns as to the roots.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ram View Post
                      Informing your neighbour that their trees / plants / weeds from their property is coming onto the ajoining property, and from reading much on this, provided ( as I said ) "Once having told you his intentions" you may pop the neighbour's greenery back on the neighbour's land.
                      There is much conflicting advice around about this. What I have read on one local authority site is contradicted on another. Having given the question careful consideration over the years (see my posts over on Gardenlaw under the names "Conveyancer") I have concluded that the arisings from any hedge trimming or tree pruning cannot be "returned" by any means to the land of the owner of the hedge or tree without his consent. Telling the owner that you are going to do it does not give you licence to do it. What the law requires is that the arisings be offered to the owner, which is not the same thing at all. The owner is entitled to decline the offer.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Throwing clippings or bits of tree back can often lead to what in 70's might have been a News Of the World Story

                        " The garden hedge clippings murders of Sudbury on Thames"
                        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Personally I would invite him round for tea, ask him what you can do to make his life easier - reduce the size of the hedge, trim it back, make it shorter, etc. Just be friendly. No point in writing letters or consulting solicitors when two neighbours could form a friendly bond and talk through the issues.

                          By the way some previous comments - report him for theft? The police won't take action as it is a civil matter. Trespass is a claim for damages, and how much would you say a hedge is worth? Not a lot I don't think.

                          Make friends, come to an arrangement, drink tea together ;-)


                          Charlie

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well looks like my neighbour has just gone ahead and taken half my hedge down, admitedly its on his side although the hedge is now 'Wafer thin' to the point where I can see right through to his house, so no privacy any more and a silhouette of a little fence on the other side. In addition he has built an extension so i can see a big white strip where the roof is which runs right through the midd There are also holes now in the hedge which look terrible. I asked him not to take any main roots out but he has just gone ahead and done so anyway.

                            I have contacted RICS and awaiting advice on the Boundary, don't forget this hedge has been a good solid hedge in our garden since the 1970's.

                            Criminal damage? Damaging my hedge?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Matthew_1000 View Post
                              Well looks like my neighbour has just gone ahead and taken half my hedge down, admitedly its on his side although the hedge is now 'Wafer thin' to the point where I can see right through to his house, so no privacy any more and a silhouette of a little fence on the other side.
                              Tricky this. I must admit I don't agree entirely with some of the other advice given here before. A thick hedge can easily encroach onto neighbouring property and can have roots which cause a nuisance - not sure why some people suggest this is trespass, it is clearly a form of nuisance instead. So he may have been within his right to trim it back. Obviously the question then becomes one of reasonableness which is very difficult in those neighbourhood dispute cases.

                              Are you planning on continuing to live in your house for the next 35 years? Just saying because (as pointed out beforehand) if one wants to sell on their property then one needs to declare any boundary issues which can easily frighten sellers away. So if you think that your neighbour is going to move on in a few years but you know you wont, then you could send him a clear letter stating that he has impeded on your property and you are treating this as a boundary dispute, which means he will need to disclose this to any sellers he may wish to sell to (and you yourself will make sure you let any estate agent know who he might want to instruct - because they will have a duty to forward your information to prospective sellers).

                              But be aware of the ramifications of this approach - the relationship with your neighbour will be soured forever. Depends on whether you think this is worth it or not.

                              In addition he has built an extension so i can see a big white strip where the roof is which runs right through the midd[le]
                              How far is this extension away from your boundary? Did he receive planning permission for it? I believe if it is less than one metre from a boundary then there needs to be planning consent. This could be another point for you to pick up - if you want to make your (and his) life more difficult

                              I have contacted RICS and awaiting advice on the Boundary, don't forget this hedge has been a good solid hedge in our garden since the 1970's.
                              I'm sorry but the fact that hedges have been there for long periods of time doesn't necessarily mean that the new owner needs to accept it. A nuisance is still a nuisance despite it having been there for a long time.

                              Comment

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