What's my worst case legal scenario ?

What's my worst case legal scenario ?

Postby Mervking » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:44 pm

Hello, I am new to the forum and have (at the moment) 2 tree questions.
My next door neighbour doesn't much care for his garden and seems to do the minimal amount of maintenance in it. He has four quite largish trees which are very close to my house and the roots are breaking up my path. The drains, water and gas services run alongside in close proximity. We have had discussions with him before about the possible threat to foundations / services and he is quite apologetic but says his wife (who is a very peculiar woman)' likes the trees'. They have made small concessions to allow me to have some branches lopped (at my expense). Unbeknown to him I dug up the path and severed and took out the roots where the path was being pushed up and re-laid the path (which by law I am apparently allowed to do). What would happen if, as a result, a tree collapsed on his land causing damage to his property - and what if it fell against MY property? Would I be liable ?

Also, further down the garden, in what used to be a clearly defined hedge he has allowed maple saplings to seed themselves will-nilly up through the hedge which have started to grow to a fair height and which cause sticky substances to land on our washing, create masses of leaves in winter and also block out the sun from our garden when in full leaf. I have now started to cut out these maples while they're out at work. At some stage they must notice. I plan to say that I am trying to restore the structure of the hedge to what it was. If he gets difficult, what is the worst he can inflict legally ? Remember these aren't planned trees, just saplings that have seeded themselves higgledy-piggledy in the hedge from a larger tree on his property but which could grow very substantial if left. Thank you for any responses.
Mervking
 
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Re: What's my worst case legal scenario ?

Postby Treeman » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:59 pm

IF your root cutting results in the tree failure or death the owner can bring an action for damages, the rest is in the lap of lawyers and expert testimony

If the small trees you are cutting are on his property you are in the wrong and you should stop it.
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Re: What's my worst case legal scenario ?

Postby Mervking » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:55 am

The small trees are springing up inside the dividing hedge and through the 'top'. In fact in all cases their roots are on my side of the hedge. I want to get rid of the things and face any arguments after, because they're not organised 'plantings' - they just seed themselves like weeds.
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Re: What's my worst case legal scenario ?

Postby Treeman » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:42 am

How they start to grow is of no significance, the only thing that matters is where they are growing, as long as they are growing on your land there is no issue and the neighbour has no say.
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Re: What's my worst case legal scenario ?

Postby Mervking » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:18 am

The hedge is quite broad, so if a dividing line was placed down the centre line of the hedge and the sapling roots were on my side of the dividing line, the saplings would be considered mine - irrespective of whether the 'trunks' might lean towards my neighbours side where they emerge through the top of the hedge ? Or indeed whether he (neighbour) is responsible for the hedge / fence according to the deeds ?
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Re: What's my worst case legal scenario ?

Postby cobdale » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:44 pm

Mervking wrote:The hedge is quite broad, so if a dividing line was placed down the centre line of the hedge and the sapling roots were on my side of the dividing line, the saplings would be considered mine - irrespective of whether the 'trunks' might lean towards my neighbours side where they emerge through the top of the hedge ? Or indeed whether he (neighbour) is responsible for the hedge / fence according to the deeds ?
by i don,t think you would be daft enough to admit chopping his roots if the tree fell would you//???????
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Re: What's my worst case legal scenario ?

Postby catapult1 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:14 pm

If you have already cut through the roots by your path and regardless of wether the tree dies or not, I would put in strong root barriers to stop them growing back.
My answers are not of a legal nature, only what I consider to be common sense.
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