roots from a neighbour's tree

roots from a neighbour's tree

Postby Wodrass » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:16 pm

I'm a director of a company that holds the freehold to and manages a block of flats. The individual flat leaseholders are the shareholders of the company. Thus the individual flat owners collectively, through the company, own the building and the grounds.

Part of our building is five metres from the boundary of our land, and seven metres from the boundary on our neighbours side (on his land) is a tree - a Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides). The roots of the tree have grown across the boundary. They have caused disturbance to our landscaped gardens and are now in places reaching the building. There is no evidence of damage to the building. A number of leaseholders are concerned about the loss of value to their flat if damage occurs, if the close proximity of the roots is raised as a concern by a surveyor should they wish to sell,or by possible disruption to them if building works become necessary.

Damage to drains in the landscaped part of our garden was found recently. The matter was handled by our insurer who surveyed the drains and paid for remedial works to be completed. Their report was contradictory as to whether or not the damage was caused by the tree roots and so far as I know the owner of the tree was not pursued for the costs of repair.

The owner of the tree is sympathetic to our situation and indeed also suffers damage himself due to the tree roots in so much as they break up the surface of his service road between the tree and our boundary. His application to fell the tree has been rejected by the local authority. A preservation order exists on the tree. They hold that the problem of the roots crossing the boundary can be managed, their suggestion being that a trench (3 metres deep and 1 metre wide) is dug along the boundary, the roots cut under the supervision of an arboricultural consultant, and the trench filled with large granular shingle, such that it may be excavated every two to three years to prune any new growth. The tree owner appears reluctant to install and maintain such a trench.

I am trying to ascertain where we stand and how much support the law could offer in our attempt to progress this matter satisfactorily.

Questions: -

1) Can we do anything to require (force) the neighbour to carry out the installation of the trench or cut the roots at the boundary?

2) Despite the preservation order, are we are still entitled to cut the roots at the boundary? Do we have to give notice of our intention to the tree owner or to the local authority, the latter because we would be working on a tree with a preservation order?

3) Can we seek repayment of our costs from the tree owner if we employ someone to install a trench and/or cut the roots?

4) If nothing is done to the tree roots and they damage the building, is the tree owner responsible for the costs of repairing the damage? I know we would pursue the matter through our own insurance, but they may pursue their costs from him.

5) Can we hold the tree owner responsible for the costs of making good the damage to the landscaped gardens which have been caused by the roots?
Wodrass
 
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Re: roots from a neighbour's tree

Postby Treeman » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:15 pm

1) Can we do anything to require (force) the neighbour to carry out the installation of the trench or cut the roots at the boundary?
Only if you heave an actionable nuisance

2) Despite the preservation order, are we are still entitled to cut the roots at the boundary? Do we have to give notice of our intention to the tree owner or to the local authority, the latter because we would be working on a tree with a preservation order?
All parts of the tree are protected, you need consent for anything other than deadwooding

3) Can we seek repayment of our costs from the tree owner if we employ someone to install a trench and/or cut the roots?
See 1)

4) if nothing is done to the tree roots and they damage the building, is the tree owner responsible for the costs of repairing the damage? I know we would pursue the matter through our own insurance, but they may pursue their costs from him.
That would be a matter for the insurers and would depend on the circumstances.

5) Can we hold the tree owner responsible for the costs of making good the damage to the landscaped gardens which have been caused by the roots?

You can try your luck with the courts.
Treeman
 
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Re: roots from a neighbour's tree

Postby Wodrass » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:23 pm

Treeman wrote:
Wodrass wrote:1) Can we do anything to require (force) the neighbour to carry out the installation of the trench or cut the roots at the boundary?

Only if you heave an actionable nuisance

Could you explain that a little more? What's an actionable nuisance?
Wodrass
 
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Re: roots from a neighbour's tree

Postby Wodrass » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:05 am

Wodrass wrote:Could you explain that a little more? What's an actionable nuisance?

It's OK ... I've looked it up now :oops:
Wodrass
 
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Re: roots from a neighbour's tree

Postby APC » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:38 pm

Everything about Metasequoia glyptostroboides is the best thing in the world.
Pucka tree.
Probably the best tree name to write too.
APC
 
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