Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby Barty1972 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:25 pm

Hi all

Thank you for allowing me to post.

We have a problem with some Leylandii in our next door neighbours' garden. There are two of them and they are approximately 30 ft high. They are completely blocking the light from our garden and also the neighbour's garden next to us. Our grass has all died under the trees. We are informed by our local Council that they would deem this to be a hedge as there are two or more!!

Our problem is this. A couple of years ago our neighbour said that he was aware that the trees were getting too high and that he would do something with them. He never did. A couple of months ago he put the house on the market for sale. At this point we took the opportunity to mention the trees and he said yes they were way too high and he would get it sorted - he had a friend who is a gardener. I work in a Solicitors and had been advised to make the neighbours aware that there was an issue with the trees prior to a sale as they would need to disclose the issue in the Sellers Information Form. We received a text last week to say that hopefully they were completing their sale this Friday and at this point we asked whether they had managed to sort the trees. To which the answer was - no, their friend was too busy, they could not afford to pay someone and we should basically take it up with the new neighbours (something which we were desperately trying to avoid as we did not wish them to think we were the neighbours from hell!). We have had a Tree Surgeon come and look at the trees and he has given a price for the complete removal of them, but would also be willing to remove all the overhang from our side, which is approximately half the tree as we have as much on our side as the neighbours have on theirs. However, he would not be able to guarantee the stability of the trees if he did this. We are not sure where to go now. We really did not wish to have to confront the new neighbours about the trees, but it would seem that we are going to have little option. We also accept that we have no right to light either and so they do not have to remove the trees if they do not wish. The Council have said that they will intervene but an application is going to cost £500, which is twice the price of having the trees removed. I am assuming that if our neighbours have failed to disclose that there is an issue with the trees in their Sellers Information Pack then this would be something the new neighbours would have to take up with the old neighbours.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Lisa
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby ukmicky » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:58 pm

What do you want to happen to these trees.


If your neighbour is refusing to do anything your only choice is the HHL ,however please do not think that the council will automatically uphold your complaint simply because the neighbour has two evergreens of 30 foot sitting on the boundary preventing the grass from growing underneath .

You will pay your money and they will investigate and only consider taking action if the trees are causing an unreasonably amount of interference with your enjoyment of your property. What you consider unreasonable the council may not and they also have to weigh this up against your neighbours right to own these trees.


You do realise that even if the council were to uphold your complaint and there is no guarantee they will .

They cant order the removal of the trees.

They cant order anything that may cause permanent harm or death of the trees.

They cant order the trees to be reduced beyond 2 meters and could specify a height of 28 foot if they wished .
Last edited by ukmicky on Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby Treeman » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:07 pm

Barty1972 wrote:Hi all

I work in a Solicitors and had been advised to make the neighbours aware that there was an issue with the trees prior to a sale as they would need to disclose the issue in the Sellers Information Form. .


You are on a red herring here

I accept that you may have an issue with the trees but you having had a conversation with the owner about potential works is along way from declaring it to potential purchasers.

If the vendor has a purchaser. He would be best advised to present the property in the state the purchaser saw it in, i.e. with the trees.
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby Barty1972 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:09 am

Thanks for your replies.

I was however aware of the Council's view on this and that it would cost £500 to make an application to the Council and what their view may be. I know that the old or new owners do not have to remove the trees and I know I have no right to light. I am just trying to think of the best way forward. I do understand from work though that the sellers should have mentioned it in their Sellers Information Pack, but clearly if they have not this would not be my problem and something the new neighbours would have to take up with the old. I accept that this would make no difference to my situation. Looks like the trees will be staying and we will be mov
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:32 am

Barty1972 wrote:Thanks for your replies.

I was however aware of the Council's view on this and that it would cost £500 to make an application to the Council and what their view may be. I know that the old or new owners do not have to remove the trees and I know I have no right to light. I am just trying to think of the best way forward. I do understand from work though that the sellers should have mentioned it in their Sellers Information Pack, but clearly if they have not this would not be my problem and something the new neighbours would have to take up with the old. I accept that this would make no difference to my situation. Looks like the trees will be staying and we will be mov

Hi Barty,

I read and re-read the above just to be sure - you appear to need no advice so I hope you benefited from using the forum and good luck with removing the trees/moving house.

just a thought - if the guy selling acknowledged on more than one occasion the trees need sorting, maybe the buyers already have it in mind...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby arborlad » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:52 am

Barty1972 wrote:Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Lisa



Try and have a word with your current neighbours to suggest to the new owners that the trees were on their 'to do' list but hadn't got around to it, but that you are willing to fund and organise it. The big stumbling block would be the new owners like the trees and want to retain them.
arborlad

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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby Barty1972 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:13 pm

Having not used this forum, I had thought that it would be useful just to see if anyone had dealt with a similar issue and what their outcome may have been. However, I do apologise as I seem to have misunderstood the use of the forum. I am sorry that some of you have felt the need to direct your negative comments at me in such a stern manner.

I will arrange to have myself removed from the forums.
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:46 pm

Barty1972 wrote:Having not used this forum, I had thought that it would be useful just to see if anyone had dealt with a similar issue and what their outcome may have been. However, I do apologise as I seem to have misunderstood the use of the forum. I am sorry that some of you have felt the need to direct your negative comments at me in such a stern manner.

I will arrange to have myself removed from the forums.

Hi Barty,

who are you addressing?

don't remove yourself from the forum just because you think someone has been stern with you (I can't say I think anyone has btw).

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby arsie » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:40 pm

Hi Barty1972

Quite a few people have offered advice but no two situations are the same as you may find by using the search facility to do your own research. I think the advice may not have been seen to be helpful but that is because of the situation, not the 'sternness' of members. You did ask for 'the way forward' but reading your posts I was not entirely sure which way you want to go? Sadly there is no 'true path to salvation' but I would say you need to interact with people here to get the best from this site. Try not present your thoughts as a 'fait accompli'. Be flexible. My thoughts for what they may be worth:

1) High Hedge legislation is about cutting down light in your house. I don't think it can help with your garden.

2) As has been said, a conversation with the outgoing neighbour is not an on-going dispute. What is there in writing?

3) Even so, I would write to him/her ASAP documenting your discussions and the agreement in principle to fell the trees and offering to pay say 50/50 and to sound out the other neighbour you say is also affected for a contribution.

4) In the letter I would ask him/her to mention this agreement to the purchaser. Send this recorded signed for. Today.

5) CC the letter to the vendor's estate agent.

The new purchaser doesn't have to be bound by the vendor's agreement but if he reneges on the agreement you may have grounds to sue the vendor (former neighbour) and/or estate agent. But this is clutching at straws and would be risky and expensive to pursue through the Courts. Cooperation would be a better way forward than conflict.

Really you are dependent on what the purchaser might want to do but I would say to them it would be better for these trees to be removed as they have grown beyond economic cultivation. Discuss planting a jointly-funded hedge to mark the mutual boundary and suggest arrangements for keeping this trimmed - to allow privacy without growing too big.

A mixed deciduous hedge would be better as Leylandii hedges only grow leaves on the outside They grow fast but are much less stable - once out of control neglected there is no way back short of felling them. Which is what you have here.
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby arborlad » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:11 am

arsie wrote:
5) CC the letter to the vendor's estate agent.

.



I'd be very wary of this, especially at this late stage.

Talking is always going to be the best first option, only escalating to letters if all other avenues are exhausted.
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby Roblewis » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:11 am

Treeman I think you are being a little relaxed over this as the neighbour does need to report the situation if the SPIF is to be accurate. It is not just disputes but also matters that bthe vendors or neighbours have done or failed to do that might affect the property.

As I have noted in other threads relaxed interpretations of the SPIF questions really can put vendors on a knife edge of legal action
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby Roblewis » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:11 am

Treeman I think you are being a little relaxed over this as the neighbour does need to report the situation if the SPIF is to be accurate. It is not just disputes but also matters that bthe vendors or neighbours have done or failed to do that might affect the property.

As I have noted in other threads relaxed interpretations of the SPIF questions really can put vendors on a knife edge of legal action
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Re: Leylandii, Council and moving neighbours

Postby Treeman » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:50 am

Roblewis wrote:Treeman I think you are being a little relaxed over this as the neighbour does need to report the situation if the SPIF is to be accurate. It is not just disputes but also matters that bthe vendors or neighbours have done or failed to do that might affect the property.

As I have noted in other threads relaxed interpretations of the SPIF questions really can put vendors on a knife edge of legal action



I disagree, the trees were the subject of a conversation, nothing more than that.

You also ignore the fact that the buyer saw the property with the trees and made an offer to buy the house with them in situ, if you agreed to buy a car and the seller painted it a different colour before you paid for it...........................
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