Neighbour's trees with TPO

Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby Edake » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:08 pm

My husband wrote to the council requesting permission to prune next door’s poplars which overhang onto our property. I must admit we were hoping for their expert opinion on one of the trees which has looked dangerous for some time. It has been inspected today, photos were taken, we have been told that the tree has to come down and a report will be submitted recommending that the tree is felled because it is rotting. This has greatly upset my neighbours who bought the house recently, one of the reasons being they loved the trees. I sympathise with them and was wondering, if at the time of the house sale the previous owners didn't declare that they had an altercation with us about this poplar would they have any liability for the cost? We told the previous owners we were concerned that it would fall on our bungalow, they were happy for the tree to be removed from their garden if we paid for it.
Edake
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:49 pm
Location: North West Coast

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby mr sheen » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:51 pm

You would have to prove that the previous owners had knowledge in the form of actual physical evidence that the tree required felling and since the council has only just assessed the tree it is highly unlikely that the previous owners had knowledge that the tree was diseased. Having an inclin that a tree may be a danger is not enough. A specialist has to determine whether a tree with a TPO needs felling. If it had fallen and caused damage then there would be a different scenario, but it didn't.

Best to deal with the issue between current owners since going down the route of trying to get some money from previous owners won't achieve much other than stress....certainly they won't dish up any cash freely...so a court case would be required with the current owners having the burden of proof to prove that the previous owners had good evidence that the tree was an imminent danger and needed to be removed. The fact that it has a TPO and the Council hadn't been engaged until now belies the assertion that the previous owners were aware that the tree needed felling.

If the neighbours truly bought the property for the trees, they should have had them surveyed prior to purchase since they are living things and hence prone to disease etc so if they were buying a property for the trees they would want to ensure they were in good health. Presumably, they didn't do this...so you can rest easy that they didn't buy the property for the trees!
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2076
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:02 am

Hi Edake,

you and your neighbour's predecessor reached an agreement about a protected tree of his which you had concerns about - if an expert ever says the tree needs felling, and the council agree this can be done, you will pay for the work on his behalf.

he ought to have disclosed this to potential buyers - for information only.

it would be very difficult, imho, to successfully argue that his failure to disclose this information amounts to a misrepresentation of what he was selling - a house and a garden with some TPOed trees in it, at least one of which looks to the layperson (i.e. you) to be in danger of falling.

they did, after all, view the property and especially the (dangerous) trees?

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 5969
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby Roblewis » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:28 am

This is always a tough position but the fact is that the council have leapt over your pruning request and have now advised the owners to fell the tree as it is rotten, your pruning request thus being refused in effect. You must now leave it with them to decide. The council may even force their hand and declare it as a danger to persons. Contrary to Mac, I believe the vendors should have clearly declared the altercation as it was, from what you say, long standing, the SPIF clearly asks if there are matters that COULD affect neighbours.

You however should keep clear except as a witness for your new neighbours against the old
Roblewis
 
Posts: 1762
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:41 pm

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby arborlad » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:18 am

Edake wrote:My husband wrote to the council requesting permission to prune next door’s poplars which overhang onto our property. I must admit we were hoping for their expert opinion on one of the trees which has looked dangerous for some time. It has been inspected today, photos were taken, we have been told that the tree has to come down and a report will be submitted recommending that the tree is felled because it is rotting. This has greatly upset my neighbours who bought the house recently, one of the reasons being they loved the trees. I sympathise with them and was wondering, if at the time of the house sale the previous owners didn't declare that they had an altercation with us about this poplar would they have any liability for the cost? We told the previous owners we were concerned that it would fall on our bungalow, they were happy for the tree to be removed from their garden if we paid for it.




How many poplars are there?..........if one requires felling, unless it's the result of some physical damage - bonfire, digger strike etc., it must put the health of the others in question.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7359
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby TO » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:28 am

Hi

Couple of things;

MacadamB53 wrote:you and your neighbour's predecessor reached an agreement about a protected tree of his which you had concerns about - if an expert ever says the tree needs felling, and the council agree this can be done, you will pay for the work on his behalf.
As Mac points out the tree owner and the neighbour reached an agreement, so there's no neighbour dispute to declare. The agreement wasn't implemented, and that would have required the consent of the council as the tree was TPO'd. That aside, the tree is the responsibility of its owner and that includes cost of management. Why would the neighbour/OP have to pay.

Roblewis wrote:... the council have leapt over your pruning request and have now advised the owners to fell the tree as it is rotten, your pruning request thus being refused in effect. You must now leave it with them to decide. The council may even force their hand and declare it as a danger to persons. Contrary to Mac, I believe the vendors should have clearly declared the altercation as it was, from what you say, long standing, the SPIF clearly asks if there are matters that COULD affect neighbours.
The pruning application will be judged on its merits and will be approved. Just because the tree owner has been advised the tree needs to be felled it doesn't follow that they will fell it. Other works are almost certainly possible that will reduce the risk to an acceptable level, or the tree owner may just accept the risk and keep the tree. In either of those scenarios it may still be possible to prune the tree in accordance with the application, and the OP may still want to implement their consent. There has been no altercation, disagreement, or dispute to declare. Rather there has been agreement about felling the tree, it was just never done. A list of matters that COULD affect neighbours would be infinite. Common sense and a reasonable view of what COULD affect neighbours must apply.

arborlad wrote:if one requires felling, unless it's the result of some physical damage - bonfire, digger strike etc., it must put the health of the others in question.
A common knee jerk reaction. Why must the health of the other trees be in question. Each one is an individual and should be assessed individually.
TO
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:05 pm

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:13 pm

Hi Rob,

Contrary to Mac, I believe the vendors should have clearly declared the altercation

here's what I stated:

he ought to have disclosed this to potential buyers

think you've misread my post (says me! :) )

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 5969
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby Roblewis » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:56 pm

Mac

I was simply being stronger rather than it being advisory.

TO
The SPIF requires the declaration of settled disputes NOT JUST UNRESOLVED. This latter is a common misbelief. It is about any information and "discussions" that are or could be price sensitive in a purchase situation. In essence the vendor has created an agreement with the neighbour that they can enter the property to remove at least one tree this would seem to be something that a buyer should be made aware of at the very least.
Roblewis
 
Posts: 1762
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:41 pm

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby ukmicky » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:36 am

I sympathise with them and was wondering, if at the time of the house sale the previous owners didn't declare that they had an altercation with us about this poplar would they have any liability for the cost?
No

Just because he failed to declare he had an altercation with you doesn't automatically make him him liable for damages for misrepresentation. For him to be liable there needed to be a dispute to the level that it caused actual harm to the future value of the property. To win your new neighbours have to show they have actually lost money due to the dispute , not the tree.

If you were not being a neighbour from hell which I gather you were not, your dispute has not and is not affecting your new neighbours ability to sell at full market value.

The condition of the tree come under 'Caveat emptor’ (Let the buyer beware ) unless directly asked about its condition and he knowingly lied.



The permission he gave you to work on the tree is now also void , so you will need to get permission from the new owners and if given unless they agree to also share the cost of the works it will have to be at your expense.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
ukmicky
 
Posts: 4515
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: London

Re: Neighbour's trees with TPO

Postby Edake » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:57 pm

Thank you for the much appreciated comments. We now have a long list of buyer beware hints should they be required. We shall probably be an estate agent's nightmare. The council have said the tree is a danger & must be felled. The new owners appear very angry and distressed so whilst sympathising we'll keep a low profile on the matter. The council tree surgeons told us the other 2 trees are safe for the time being. They also advised that a TPO is beneficial to us as the council make the decisions and their instructions have to be followed.
Edake
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:49 pm
Location: North West Coast

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Return to Trees

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests