Neighbours Tree Roots

Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby milliemoo » Sat May 07, 2011 5:17 pm

Hi all.

We bought our house 3 years ago, and since we bought the house I've noticed our driveway has cracked considerably, and visible roots can be seen through the lawn area - in fact roots are lifting my (adjoining) neighbours drive. There is also a gap appearing between the floor and the skirting board in the bay window. My neighbour (detached) on the other side has a large tree just yards from the house just inside his boundary, and this is the only tree at the front of the houses that could be the culprit for the roots.

I'm concerned that the tree is causing damage to my house and driveway and I don't know what to do about it. Its a massive tree and I want to have it cut back but can't get anyone to do it they say its too big a job - so it will cost hundreds of pounds - do I have to pay for this to be done? Its so big it covers a quarter of my house, my car is constantly covered in bird poop within hours of washing it, my gutters are packed with leaves in winter, my driveway come autumn is a battleground every sunday to clear of leaves. Yet, the tree doesn't seem to overhand his side much!!!

So question one - do I have to pay tree surgeons to cut his tree back?

Question two - how can I find out if the tree roots are causing damage, and if they are, what happens then?

We had someone out to look at resurfacing the drive and he said if he resurfaced the drive he would cut any roots back to the boundary which is fair enough. However, my drive only needs resurfacing because of the damage, and I can't afford to get it done yet, and in the meantime the roots could be causing damage to the house - help!!
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Sat May 07, 2011 6:07 pm

Any overhang will have to be cut back by yourself if the neighbour does not want to do it for you or pay. You could try to recoup the cost of doing this in the small claims court, although I couldn't say whether you would be successful or not.

Leaves fall and are blown in the wind, you can't do anything about this.

If you think the trees roots are causing a problem, your insurance company can investigate. It may or may not be tree roots which are the problem, but this will have to proved by you/your insurance company.

Driveways and paving can crack if they haven't been laid properly, drives can dip in places where there isn’t enough hardcore underneath. Cracks in houses are common, don't panic and assume it is subsidence. Contact your insurance company if you want further investigation.
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby milliemoo » Sat May 07, 2011 6:39 pm

Ok Will, thank you for that. Much appreciated.
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby RUHEAP » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:08 am

for general information....be careful when touching the roots of any tree that in proximity to your boundary or effecting your property... the trees that are growing on another persons land may be protected by a tree protection order or land of special conservation. cutting them effecting the tree can cause you to be in deep trouble and expense my neighbour rebuilt a boundary fence...cutting my tpo trees roots caused the council tree man to appear post hast.
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby despair » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:07 pm

Given the extent of the damage being caused to your property coming from a neighbours tree i would suggest you involve your House Insurers

This needs a lot more expertise than you can afford to pay for
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby famflips » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:29 pm

I am no expert but being in a similar situation give you the benefit of my experiences - still ongoing

I suggest you check with your LA whether or not any TPO exists - it should only take a phone call to your local council
TPO office for an immediate answere. If negative then this should make your problem far easier to deal with -
usually via your neighbours insurers. If the tree owner should apply for a TPO in the meantime this will cause you much aggrevation - wasted time and trouble as a TPO is almost certain to be granted ! So it is vital that you avoid any mention of TPOs to your neighbour as it could then put the idea into his/her head
- I am in a similar position - worsened by the tree owner now having applied for and been granted TPOs'

BTW Dont be fooled by appeasing words from TPO - even when glaringly obvious that the trees are causing considerable damage to property they will be only too eager to issue their TPOs - without acknowledgement or interest that -

"The tree owner has legal duty of care to those around them to avoid the tree causing damage to property"
(Wokingham Boro Co)


with best wishes - famflips
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby TOTOO » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:07 pm

famflips wrote:I am no expert but being in a similar situation give you the benefit of my experiences - still ongoing

I suggest you check with your LA whether or not any TPO exists - it should only take a phone call to your local council
TPO office for an immediate answere. If negative then this should make your problem far easier to deal with -
usually via your neighbours insurers. If the tree owner should apply for a TPO in the meantime this will cause you much aggrevation - wasted time and trouble as a TPO is almost certain to be granted ! So it is vital that you avoid any mention of TPOs to your neighbour as it could then put the idea into his/her head
- I am in a similar position - worsened by the tree owner now having applied for and been granted TPOs'

BTW Dont be fooled by appeasing words from TPO - even when glaringly obvious that the trees are causing considerable damage to property they will be only too eager to issue their TPOs - without acknowledgement or interest that -

"The tree owner has legal duty of care to those around them to avoid the tree causing damage to property"
(Wokingham Boro Co)


with best wishes - famflips


Completely incorrect. Have you learned nothing from your previous thread???
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby famflips » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:36 pm

... It is only natural that some - especially any one employed within a local boro council - will see and hear of no wrongs or inadequacies disclosed about their work colleagues. Victims of tree root damage coming up against a TPO will then (unfortuneatly) be able to make their own independant assessment as to whom the PTO will be of the greater hindrance - The victim or the owner of the nuisance.
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby syckend » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:36 pm

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... dela-1.htm
In the Delaware Mansions case 25 October 2001 Lord Cooke of Thorndon delivered a judgement [which had unanimous support of fellow judges] in which he dismissed an appeal by Westminster City Council who were claiming they were not responsible for damage to flats caused by tree roots.
38. In the end, in my opinion, the law can be summed up in the proposition that, where there is a continuing nuisance of which the defendant knew or ought to have known, reasonable remedial expenditure may be recovered by the owner who has had to incur it. In the present case this was Flecksun. Accordingly I would dismiss the appeal with costs.

[Info - Flecksun who were joint plaintiffs, had in 1990 acquired the freehold of Delaware Mansions from the original owners and developers, the Church Commissioners.]

This judgement puts the onus for preventing or paying for subsequent damage caused by tree roots firmly on the tree owner.
So if a tree owner knows that trees are causing damage - or are big enough to cause damage in the future they ignore the situation at their peril. And to follow the argument to a logical conclusion I would expect [but I'm not a lawer!] that if a TPO imposed by a Council prevents a tree owner from taking remedial action - then they could be liable too......

If you do not want to wade through the dense judgement from the House of Lords, I can recommend a succinct report of it compiled by Dot Sharman of Hedgeline which can be viewed here under Potential damage to buildings http://freespace.virgin.net/clare.h/hdg ... htm#DAMAGE
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby Whomping Willow » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:06 pm

syckend wrote:http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldjudgmt/jd011025/dela-1.htm
In the Delaware Mansions case 25 October 2001 Lord Cooke of Thorndon delivered a judgement [which had unanimous support of fellow judges] in which he dismissed an appeal by Westminster City Council who were claiming they were not responsible for damage to flats caused by tree roots.
38. In the end, in my opinion, the law can be summed up in the proposition that, where there is a continuing nuisance of which the defendant knew or ought to have known, reasonable remedial expenditure may be recovered by the owner who has had to incur it. In the present case this was Flecksun. Accordingly I would dismiss the appeal with costs.

[Info - Flecksun who were joint plaintiffs, had in 1990 acquired the freehold of Delaware Mansions from the original owners and developers, the Church Commissioners.]

This judgement puts the onus for preventing or paying for subsequent damage caused by tree roots firmly on the tree owner.
So if a tree owner knows that trees are causing damage - or are big enough to cause damage in the future they ignore the situation at their peril. And to follow the argument to a logical conclusion I would expect [but I'm not a lawer!] that if a TPO imposed by a Council prevents a tree owner from taking remedial action - then they could be liable too......

If you do not want to wade through the dense judgement from the House of Lords, I can recommend a succinct report of it compiled by Dot Sharman of Hedgeline which can be viewed here under Potential damage to buildings http://freespace.virgin.net/clare.h/hdg ... htm#DAMAGE



A little knowledge is a dangerous thing; I am not a lawyer but have been involved in numerous tree root cases. So let's point out some details:

i) a commercial owner of property (if you own a property that you rent out it might be judged to be "commercial") is in a different situation to a domestic one; Flecksun was probably commercial. The ABI tree root agreement effectively takes most households out of the liability issues; it doesn't remove the liability, but it provides a first point of call - insurance companies will deal with the matter, as long as you, as a tree owner, undertake, or allow tree work to be undertaken on your behalf. If you own a tree and someone has written to you, with no evidence, stating that your tree is causing "damage" you don't need to panic; you may need to inform your liability insurer (often included as part of your contents insurance) of the potential problem; you may need to seek professional advice, depending on the case.

ii) preventing damage is entirely different from dealing with documented damage with evidence; preventing damage is a grey area, not in law, but in what to do about it; let's remove all trees, just in case! No, that is not reasonable! Not planting potentially large trees next a neighbour's driveway is reasonable, or at least pruning them annualy so that they don't become large - but the law doesn't stop you planting them.

iii) the liability of a local authority that has served a TPO will only come into effect after a tree works application has been refused or approved conditionally; the liability is likely to be limited to damage and losses that occur after the Council's decision.
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Re: Neighbours Tree Roots

Postby famflips » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:12 pm

Further to my earlier reports regarding a neighbours large tree roots breaking up a concrete drive etc - and only to be confronted with neighbour putting in for and being granted a TPO in collusion with the local council - This is to let every one know that as forcast we have applied to have the TPO operation cancelled - being an entire waste of tax payers money - together with causing us unnecessary delay in having the damaged areas attended to - with the result I am pleased to say that the TPO no longer applies.

Thanks every one for your interest and wishing you good luck if you have a similar problem.

...
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