Another leaning tree

Another leaning tree

Postby nevyn » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:41 pm

Hi everyone

new here and have a question about another leaning tree :?

I have recently moved into a new property and there is a row of three very tall conifers growing just the other side of the fence in my neighbours back garden.
One of these trees is leaning towards my garden such that it is bending the fence and will eventually break it

I originally contacted the neighbour asking to discuss the trees as I wanted to agree to have them shortened slightly so that I could get a clear satellite signal.
The neighbour was really unfriendly and does not even want to discuss the issue with me, I know they don't have to agree but had hoped we could at least talk about it.

I was of the mind that if they were willing to agree a compromise on the height that I would not worry too much about the leaning tree but as they have decided to be miserable I think I will be too

So I contacted the council and they told me I was entitled to cut any part of the tree that is overhanging my side so long as I offer the cuttings back.
I explained that the tree is leaning so much that if I was to do this it would mean basically cutting the tree off at just above fence height effectively killing the tree, They didn't seem to think this was a problem but I thought that trimming my side must not damage the health of the neighbours tree. When I explained this they said I should talk to citizens advice, who have told me to talk to the neighbour (Well we all know that is going nowhere)

So I want to write to them and if necessary through a lawyer so they take it seriously.

Can anyone A. recommend a lawyer in the northwest London area B. advise on where I stand on this issue

Many thanks in advance for your comments.

Nev

PS:

I got some pictures with the house dated 2000 that show that all or part of these trees have fallen into my property and crushed the fence in that year. When I mentioned this to the neighbour she denied it and said the trees had been there since 1963. she asked where I got the pictures, I told her they came with the house.
I dont understand why she wanted to deny something I have photographic evidence of and how she felt it benefitted her to deny that this had happened 14 years ago.
I say this because it gives an indication of the attitude and behaviour of this neighbour.
nevyn
 
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby despair » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:24 pm

I suspect she was difficult with the previous owner of your property and you will have an uphill battle

1) check all mortgages/insurances/credit cards/union memberships for Legal Expenses Cover

2) Write a polite letter informing the neighbour that the tree is leaning and threatening your property and the safety of anyone in your garden
that the fence is being damaged and you are formally requesting her to abate the nuiscance within 14 days or you will legally cut back vertically to the boundary and return the arisings but that she needs to realise this will mean the tree is cut to fence height ...................keep a copy safe

You might also want to look at the High Hedge Law and see if it could apply
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby nevyn » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:04 pm

Hi Dispair

Thanks for that, I will certainly check for legal cover
I had not heard of the high hedge act and upon reading I think it could apply and could also take in the huge laurel tree that continues immediately after the three conifers.

I would be interested in a list of appropriate things that would constitute loss of amenity

I can think of

Inability to properly get satellite signal but not sure if this will count
Lawn teken over by moss and impossible to encourage proper grass
loss of light
unable to safely trim the overhang on my side due to excessive height


Any more people can think of ? or have I missed the point completely with the above?

Regards
Nev
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:28 pm

Hi nevyn,

Can you stand upright on your land in that area?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby nevyn » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:58 am

Hi

I probably will be able too as, although I am 6'2", the foliage of the conifers starts about 6" above fence height.
The leaning might be a different story, will have to jump in the bush there on my side to check.

Surely though if branches were on my side low enough to prevent me standing the argument would be to just cut them off under my right to trim stuff on my side.

Nev
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:11 pm

Hi nev,

I realise you could just trim if you can't stand on your land.
So if you can stand what can't you do (that you want to)?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby nevyn » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:46 pm

Hi

Well the primary reason for initially wanting to ask the neighbour to shorten them a little was to get a satellite signal with a wall mounted dish.
the other reason would be that I would like to fight off the moss in that area of the lawn so better light
Would also like a small greenhouse in the garden that would need more light

Apart from that I am hoping the members here could come up with things that I might reasonably want to do with my land that perhaps I have not thought of ;)

I will also try and take some picture at the weekend and post them to give some context to the discussion

Regards
Nev
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:57 pm

Hi nevyn,

Apart from that I am hoping the members here could come up with things that I might reasonably want to do with my land that perhaps I have not thought of

You can't say "I might want to build a two storey playhouse at some point in the future..."

If the tree is causing an ACTUAL problem then try and get it sorted. And if all efforts fail, complain to your council.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby nevyn » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:48 am

What knowledge do your predecessors have regarding the neighbours?


Hi
Sadly the previous owners passed away
I can only assume that the reason they felt the need to take pictures of the fallen trees and keep them for 14 years suggests the relationship was not great
I have also had comments from other neighbours in the other direction that the previous owners of my property were "The nicest people you could ever meet"

I will try and ask one elderly gentleman who said the previous owner was his best friend and see if he knows any history.

other replies (thanks for your input guys) have suggested I try to resolve with the neighbour before going to council.

Well I think I tried to get across that the neighbour does not even want to talk to me about it really. She keeps referring to her husband needing to make the decision but won't let me talk to him directly to discuss. The last time I spoke to her she said I should write a letter, which I intend to do, I have come here for some opinions on what I could put in the letter, what I can ask for etc.

I wonder if I should just ask for them to be shortened a bit at first or do I wade straight in and threaten them with the high hedge act ?
As for the leaning tree, if I get that cut off it will create a gap between the other two and the laurel effectively removing the laurel from the "hedge" so I need to plan carefully

Regards
Nev
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:02 am

Hi Nev,

I have come here for some opinions on what I could put in the letter

I'd just keep it to a polite request to meet so you can both discuss the hedge.

Kind regards, Mac
PS is it a hedge or just one tree?
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby nevyn » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:37 am

Hi Mac
MacadamB53 wrote:I'd just keep it to a polite request to meet so you can both discuss the hedge.

I am sure they do not want to discuss they seem to want to exchange letters. I suspect because they think they can drag out the decision that way. I feel I am going to have to time bound the decision somehow, what do people think is a reasonable amount of time to give them?

MacadamB53 wrote:PS is it a hedge or just one tree?

It is a row of three conifers, one of which is leaning, followed by a huge laurel.

Thanks
Nev
nevyn
 
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby nevyn » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:47 pm

nothingtodowithme wrote:As mac appears to be giving you the advice you require; I shall opt out of this thread, all the best.


Hi ntdwm

Thanks for your advice to keep good records with dates and that i should approach the issue gently first. I have taken that on board as good advice.


If you have any other opinion, either in agreement or against what mac is saying it is always nice to get a range of views
That way I can weigh up the options and be well informed

I would welcome input from more people if thats ok

Regards
Nev
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby despair » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:21 pm

I have already pointed out the High Hedge Law and there are specimin letters to write in the Hedgeline website plus a huge load of information

You may well need to see if the High Hedge Law will help you but even that requires a raft of letters and an offer of mediation before you can file a formal complaint with the council

Your whole argument rests on being denied the peaceful enjoyment of your garden and maybe loss of light to habitable rooms together with damage to fences and if it falls

Satellite reception is a side issue entirely

Your neighbours clearly have a cavalier attitude to others and the more info you can get from other neighbours the better as i suspect the person whose house you bought was browbeaten into submission to living with the moss and the gloom and broken fencing
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:43 pm

Hi Nev,

I am sure they do not want to discuss they seem to want to exchange letters.

Have either of you sent one another a letter asking for a meeting which the other has ignored?
If not you're jumping ahead. Resist the temptation to not make all reasonable attempts to come to an agreement.
Just send a polite letter, briefly outlining the ACTUAL effect his hedge is having on your enjoyment of your land, and asking for a face-to-face chat:

Hi Terry,

I spoke to June last week about whether something could be done to sort out some of your hedge as it's having a negative impact on my property and she suggested I write you a note.

I think we should get together to talk it over and agree a common sense solution before it gets any worse and causes actual damage.

I'm in most evenings so just pop round for a cuppa and a chat. I'm sure we can work something out between us.

Kind regards, Nev
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Re: Another leaning tree

Postby nevyn » Fri May 02, 2014 10:28 am

Hi all

I had a very nice email from macadam, thanks Mac
asking if I would update the forum on any progress.

Well not very much I have to say, but that is because I have not done anything yet.

As Mac said in his letter. Spring is in full swing now so perhaps it is a good time to try and resolve the issue
I will endeavour to write a letter and let you all know what happens next...


I have to say that this forum has now made me smile. Never before have I had a message asking how things are going with a problem posted, in recognition of that I will be sure to keep this thread updated till the eventual resolution. one way, or another.

Kind regards
Nev
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