Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby mike1972 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Hi,

We recently bought a house with a mature silver birch about 4m from the boundary. Our neighbour has a hedge, just inside his boundary and a lawn of which he is very proud. During the hot dry weather in July, the side of the lawn closest to us yellowed (not as much as other lawns but noticeable to the rest of his lawn). The roots are not visible. It affected about a 2ftx10ft area. Within a week of the rain returning the grass returned to normal.

My neighbour keeps theatening legal action to cover for the lawn damage. I spoke to the council (we live in a conservation area) who said it would be unlikely to approve planning to remove the tree for just this amount of damage. Does anyone know what the likely payout would be so I could consider just settling it? I approached a solicitor but I expect their charges for telling me would be more than the compensation.

Thanks!
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby despair » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:58 pm

your neighbour is talking bo*****s
He cannot hold you responsible for your tree drying out his lawn during the recent heatwave

My entire lawn is totally brown too
and my freezer went wild flashing red lights due to 36 degree heat but I cant blame my neighbours trees or hedges

Just tell him to go ahead and waste his money on a court case because there's no case to answer
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby kipper » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:25 pm

Likely payout = £0
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby ukmicky » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:35 pm

He has no legal claim against you.

Grass not receiving water due to the presence of a tree is not something someone can sue and win damages for. If it were there would be thousands of claims against neighbours every year and our gardens ,streets , parks etc would be devoid of trees or bushes. You have just moved in and he is trying his luck in hope that you will be scared by his claims to a degree that will cause you to remove a tree that he dislikes.

He probably tried it with the previous owners and failed so he is now seeing whether you are naive enough to cave in . Do not pay anything and do not remove the tree due to his threats.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby arborlad » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:10 pm

mike1972 wrote:Hi,
. Our neighbour has a hedge,

Thanks!



I think he should be looking a little closer to home. is it privet?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby henners » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:29 pm

It is my guess that the weakness of your neighbours claim is his hedge.

I''d guess that the roots and branches of trees which encrouch into a neighbours property is a nuisance in the same way that say the leakage of fuel oil from a storage tank might be considered a nuisance. The person affected by the nuisance is entitled abate the nuisance and to recover the cost involved to reinstate his land. What might be the difference between say twenty litres of fuel oil leaking into the borders and lawn of a neighbours garden and your trees roots.

So, assuming your neighbour had no hedge, he had formally asked you to abate the nuisance and you had refused to abate the nuisance, he should be able to install a root barrier on his side of the fence and recover the cost from you. It might prudent of your neighbour had he previously commissioned a survey which showed that your trees roots were encrouching onto his land and preventing some reasonable use of his land.

However, as you are the owner of the tree, I expect you'd undertake some preventative work yourself just to maintain good relations with your neighbour, after all you'd be pretty pissed should your neighbour say start tossing the odd litre of fuel oil onto your lawn.

Given these hypothetical circumstances, I see that a LPA might not grant consent to fell the trees, however I see no reason why the LPA would not grant you permission to install a root barrier on the boundary of your land, especially as you might get hit by total costs far in excess of the cost of a root barrier. It might be worth looking closely at Perrin v Northhampton, if I read the outcome of this case correctly, hypothetically you should be able to install a root barrier yourself without the concent of the LPA.
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby TOTOO » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:41 am

Poor advice from the post above.


There is no case for compensation. Whatever hypothetical nonsense has been spouted above.
Don't entertain your neighbour.
Don't worry about it.
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby arsie » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:52 am

I agree with most on here: there is no damage case to answer. My father-in-law is a gardener and says "you can't kill grass".
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby arborlad » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:14 pm

henners wrote:It is my guess that the weakness of your neighbours claim is his hedge.



...............'tis a shame you didn't stop there.
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Re: Compensation/settlement for lawn damage

Postby mike1972 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:07 pm

Thanks for all the advice!

I expect the cause is part tree, part hedge and mostly weather. I just can't see how there could be any monetary value associated with the issue.

My original thought was to bung him £20 as a goodwill payment to see off any legal action and that would be much cheaper than involving horticultural experts etc.

I managed to contact the previous owners of the house who told me they fell out with him on the same issue but he eventually shut up about it. So hopefully, I am heading that way as well!
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