Trees on unregistered land

Trees on unregistered land

Postby jameegray1 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:46 pm

About to buy a house which has a long row of reasonably large trees outside the boundary at the bottom of the garden. The trees adorn a bridle path. According to land registry the area of trees is unregistered land. We have been told that the trees have TPOs but this is unconfirmed.

Can anyone help explain who is responsible for the upkeep of these trees?

Many thanks for any help or advice with this.
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Re: Trees on unregistered land

Postby Treeman » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:01 pm

They belong to whoever owns the land and they have a duty of care but not a responsibility to maintain, only to ensure they are not dangerous.
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Re: Trees on unregistered land

Postby jameegray1 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:39 pm

Hi Treeman. Thanks for your reply but the specific concern is that there is no owner of the land as it is unregistered.
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Re: Trees on unregistered land

Postby FrTed » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:51 pm

jameegray1 wrote:Hi Treeman. Thanks for your reply but the specific concern is that there is no owner of the land as it is unregistered.

There likely will be an owner, but prior to 1990 I think, it wasnt compulsory for owners to register with the LR.
"No Dougal, these cows are SMALL, those cows are FAR AWAY"
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Re: Trees on unregistered land

Postby Treeman » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:17 pm

jameegray1 wrote:Hi Treeman. Thanks for your reply but the specific concern is that there is no owner of the land as it is unregistered.



Not all titles are registered but that in itself does not mean the land is not owned by someone.

You woud be wise to check on the TPO aspect, primarily because it will restrict what you can and can't do with regard to the trees but significantly if a order were made the owner would need to have been served with notice, an owner can be served in absentia but the LA may well know who the owner is.

Supposing you discover the owner of the trees, there is no duty for them to do anything other than keeping the trees in a safe condition, with safe being the legal definition rather than what you or anyone else says is safe.

Caveat emptor
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Re: Trees on unregistered land

Postby Roblewis » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:40 pm

Treeman

As a matter of interest - does a TPO have to be served on an owner to be valid or simply "published" in some way by the LA?
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Re: Trees on unregistered land

Postby Treeman » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:48 pm

Roblewis wrote:Treeman

As a matter of interest - does a TPO have to be served on an owner to be valid or simply "published" in some way by the LA?



Any new orders should be served on the landowner and copied to all interested parties, if the owner of the land cannot be discovered publicising the order by posting it on the land concerned is considered sufficient.
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Re: Trees on unregistered land

Postby jameegray1 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:31 pm

Thanks for your advice. Guy at the council appeared to know this strip of land well and suggested that if the trees demonstrated potential hazard to the public right of way then they would deal with the issue. However if only a hazard to private land then they would wash their hands. Apparently the owner of the land is unknown. Something to do with the developer owning the land but then never using it back in 1976 when the houses were built.
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Re: Trees on unregistered land

Postby henners » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:42 am

This is a very interesting question...

This situation arises frequently in the context of private roads - there are trees on the verge of the road, the roads are generally unmaintained as the original owner of the land over which the road runs as done a runner. Find a book called Private Roads: The Legal Framework.

A there is no owner of the road, or at least n oowner of the road that can be traced, this presents a number of problems in terms of claims of negligence, claims of nuisance.

People with interests in the land, say a private right of way, can, to a point, maintain the road, and can cut back branches to the width of the allocated way.

If the trees, are dead dying or dangerous there is little an interest in the land can do themselves. It is likely that the trees are on land not given over to the way so it is technically trespass to go on the verge to do remedial action to the trees. LPA however do have very limited statutory power to go on to private land where trees are dead, dying or dangerous. They will generally make a tree safe and place a Land Charge on the land for the works undertaken - in practice these costs are seldom recovered.

TPO are current served on:
the owner or occupier of the “land affected by the order” - which means the land on which the trees, groups of trees or woodlands
to which the order relates are situated;
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