Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought pls

Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought pls

Postby Janmoo » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:53 am

At the end of my garden I have three hugh conifers (I assume they might be leylandii). We have been very happy with them as they screen us from the house behind and mean our garden is not over looked. Our neighbour at the back is also very happy with them as he doesn't want us looking in his windows. Periodically over the years we have come to a mutual agreement to get them trimmed a little and sometimes we have split the cost.

Recently the neighbour asked us if he could arrange this again as he was doing some work to his garden. We agreed that he could organise for someone to come and cut some of the lower branches on his side, trim out a bit of dead wood and trim the tops. We also gave permission for the contractors to remove the fence panel and come onto our land for ease of access. My husband and the neighbour spoke to the contractor at the same time when he visited and stressed that we wanted a screen to remain between our houses. We went away for the weekend and have come back to find the trees decimated! We are so angry and upset. Basically all branches up to about 6 or 7 meters have been removed and there are three bare trunks with about 4 meters of branches/greenery at the top.

He now has a straight view of our garden and directly into our house via our back patio doors. It has removed all the privacy from what was previously a secluded garden. This isn't going to grow back. I haven't spoken to the neighbour yet - he was also away and not back yet. Lesson number 1 - do not trust the contractors to do what is asked and go away!

Anyway I am basically looking for some advice as to how to approach this. Should we involve the police (we did give permission for the work and for them to come onto our land but not for the travesty that has occurred!). We had agreed to split the cost but there is no way I am paying for this. Is it worth pursuing for compensation and replacement (these cannot be replaced, you cannot buy anything that high) and if so should I pursue the neighbour or the company (he organised it). What can be done in terms of replacement and screening for privacy?

Many thanks for any advice, I am fuming and need some sensible advice!
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Re: Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought p

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:48 pm

Hi Janmoo,

how very unfortunate for both of you.

it sounds like the contractor was given very clear instructions and made a complete balls up - has he been paid yet?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought p

Postby Janmoo » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:28 pm

No he hasn't been paid. And our neighbour has actually just returned home and is as shocked as we are.

What is a reasonable proposal going forward? Presumably it is up to the neighbour to take it up with the contractor.

I think the trees will need to come down in fact. So in an ideal world I would think that the contractor has messed it up so he should take them down at his own cost. If not the neighbour needs to arrange for this to be done and pay for it ???
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Re: Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought p

Postby arsie » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:01 pm

I tend to agree Janmoo. Pity you had to go away on that crucial weekend and the neighbour was away too. It all hinges on the instructions that the neighbour gave the contractor who will try and get paid. It would be very wrong for you to pay.
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Re: Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought p

Postby arborlad » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:13 pm

Janmoo wrote:At the end of my garden I have three hugh conifers (I assume they might be leylandii).



You need to confirm this, if they are, it's not sounding good, if they're something like thuja, it could be a lot better.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought p

Postby Janmoo » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:34 pm

Yes, lesson number one - do not instruct the contractor and then go away! Both my husband and the neighbour met with him together and discussed what was wanted. They have done pretty much the exact opposite. It is almost as if we said take six foot off (meaning the top and they have taken six foot of branches off working from the bottom. They are like big sails and will probably have to come down as they are ruined. I wonder if the contractor they spoke to just gave instruction to his workers and wasn't on site.
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Re: Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought p

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:02 pm

Hi Janmoo,

I wonder if the contractor they spoke to just gave instruction to his workers and wasn't on site.

I'm dealing with the fallout of a similar scenario - work completed by The Flowerpot Me on my trees matched what my neighbour discussed with Bill on Monday not what I agreed with Ben on Tuesday. Bill and Ben didn't have a proper conversation before Bill did the work on Wednesday.

They admit an error on their part so I've refused to pay and asked them to propose a solution - seven weeks later I'm still waiting (my guess is they've written it off so I'll spend the money on a solution).

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought p

Postby jonahinoz » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:21 pm

Hi,

Sorry to be frivolous, but it reminds me of the joke that ends .....

"It wasn't a Porch, it was a Mercedes ... but I painted it white like you told me" :shock:

Much better if you can stay friends.

John W
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Re: Neighbour has ruined my trees - advice and help sought p

Postby appledore » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:30 pm

Janmoo wrote:Yes, lesson number one - do not instruct the contractor and then go away! .


We often find it difficult to get contractors to do what we want when we're standing watching them. We are lucky to have a tree surgeon who comes every year and he does exactly what we want. I wish I could say the same about some of the other contractors we've had.

I'm sorry you've lost your privacy. I'd be annoyed too.
Keep calm and carry on.
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