Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby digger11 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:49 pm

After delaying the inevitable for years I am going to have to finally do it.

I am looking for appropriate template or form letter to "give notice" to my neighbour regarding future structural damage to my garden wall or house from his tree roots.

I found one on line but it stated as only suitable for England and Wales, and would not download. I would be interested to understand the legal difference.

My insurers are not interested in providing guidance without processing a claim and paying the excess, and do not want a copy.

The alternative is to process a nil claim and let them do the administration, that is what we pay insurance for, but it is never as simple as that, is it ?

Would be interested to know how others have got on via insurance provider or on their own.

Thanks
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Re: Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:15 pm

Hi digger,

I am looking for appropriate template or form letter to "give notice" to my neighbour regarding future structural damage to my garden wall or house from his tree roots.

you don't need a template, you need evidence.

do you realise they will only be found liable for damage sustained from the date you notify them? (rhetorical)
I mention this because it has been almost a full three years since you informed this forum you were going to send such a letter.

if it is proven the wall was poorly constructed or was also damaged by other forces the courts will take this into account when/if awarding damages.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby mr sheen » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:18 pm

Damage will require proof of losses with a proven causal link to said roots and tree. A current report of any damage and a survey of the wall etc would be a starting point...but you then have a dispute and a big (possibly pointless) hit on the bank balance.

The lack of interest of insurance company should be a pointer.

Without current damage, a notice that you intend to sue in the event that at some point in the future there may be damage could be compared with sending him a letter telling him you will sue him if his car bumps into your car and causes damage. Otherwise we would all be sending letters to neighbours telling them we will sue if their trees cause future damage as soon as they plant anything.

You do have the option of cutting back roots and branches at the boundary of your land.
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Re: Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby digger11 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:44 pm

Thanks for replies, I did not explain very well.

Proposed notice is for future damage which could be caused by several other mature trees within one meter of garden wall. I have been very reluctant to do this to long standing neighbour's even if they are prepared to let their trees damage others property.

I am aware that any claim for existing damage is going to fail without having previously "given notice" of the foreseeable risk of damage. I am following the recommendations given in many posts on this forum, but would prefer another solution.
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Re: Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby ukmicky » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:42 pm

digger11 wrote:Thanks for replies, I did not explain very well.

Proposed notice is for future damage which could be caused by several other mature trees within one meter of garden wall. I have been very reluctant to do this to long standing neighbour's even if they are prepared to let their trees damage others property.

I am aware that any claim for existing damage is going to fail without having previously "given notice" of the foreseeable risk of damage. I am following the recommendations given in many posts on this forum, but would prefer another solution.




If you can prove its the tree that has caused the existing damage you can send a letter about that damage and tell him you expect him to remove the nuisance being caused by the tree withing a reasonable time and warn him that should he not take action he will be legally liable for any further damage that occurs due to the continuing nuisance.

But you cant send a letter and put him on notice for the other trees due to something that may or may not occur . It is not reasonably foreseeable that damage will ever occur.

Just to show you how easy it is to blame an innocent tree, when i bought the house im in now the concrete drive was cracked and lifted by about an inch and a half and the crack ran directly from a monkey tree and ended up at the face of the house. The surveyor blamed the tree and in his report he said it must be removed as it will be causing damage to the foundations of the house. This report obviously was sent to the mortgage company so we had no choice but to remove the tree . When we dug the drive up to lay a new block driveway it became obvious that the tree had no roots running in the direction of the crack and was not to blame, unfortuantly we had already removed the tree.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby digger11 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:17 pm

UK Micky, thanks for that, although not what others are advising, but i agree, what is the point of preparing for court activity if you have no intention of going that far due to the significant financial risk ?

My original post in 2011 explained a 45 degree crack starting where the two trees, (one pressed into deep grouting of the brick wall and probably hooked under the wall foundation), rise from ground level. The trunks are about 12 inches diameter and were planted by the owner when the wall was built 30+ years ago.

The lower part of the wall is a retaining wall for my two foot higher garden. The reason for damage is not disputed, a month after showing him the damage, (with no response), I wrote (2012) asking him to accept liability and got a unhelpful reply. He just won't claim his insurance for my damage but is quick to get his trees delt with after storm damage.

This year I verbally advised him that the wall was still under pressure and moving. After various conversations, trying to involve me in the work, he had a workman briefly -+start to uncover the root structure but no further work has been done. The agreed removal of the stump between wall and other tree is not happening.

Time for another letter ? I really do not know. One lawyer suggested I dig it out. Another that I should write the local Council as they "have a duty of care"
The council response is it is a civil matter and they don't get involved. I think we are all deluding ourselves even considering a fair solution is obtainable in these circumstances.
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Re: Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby ukmicky » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:00 pm

UK Micky, thanks for that, although not what others are advising
Who are the others

but i agree, what is the point of preparing for court activity if you have no intention of going that far due to the significant financial risk ?


?

My original post in 2011 explained a 45 degree crack starting where the two trees, (one pressed into deep grouting of the brick wall and probably hooked under the wall foundation), rise from ground level. The trunks are about 12 inches diameter and were planted by the owner when the wall was built 30+ years ago.
The reason for damage is not disputed, a month after showing him the damage, (with no response), I wrote (2012) asking him to accept liability and got a unhelpful reply. He just won't claim his insurance for my damage but is quick to get his trees delt with after storm damage.


He cant claim on his insurance if it is your wall and If you require it to be repaired via an insurance company you will need to claim on yours.

Time for another letter ?
You can try but what is the point if you are not prepared to take him to court if he ignores you. If you want him to stop the nuisance and are prepared to go as far as is needed ,which could ultimatly mean court action you need real evidence that the wall is the cause of the damage. Pictures and a structural engineers report alongside a letter based on what i said earlier pasted again below.

''If you can prove its the tree that has caused the existing damage you can send a letter about that damage and tell him you expect him to remove the nuisance being caused by the tree withing a reasonable time and warn him that should he not take action he will be legally liable for any further damage that occurs due to the continuing nuisance''
.
You can then wait for further damage to occur and sue him for a continuing nuisance or gain an injuction straight away ordering him to stop his trees from causing a nuisance without a claim for any damage.
One lawyer suggested I dig it out. Another that I should write the local Council as they "have a duty of care"
Because they were crap solicitors.

The council response is it is a civil matter and they don't get involved.
It is a civil matter
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby digger11 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:58 pm

ukmicky, thank you, that clarified a few points, I will investigate the cost of procuring a structural engineers report and seeking an injunction to stop nuisance without damages.

I will not dig it out, I will not dig it out, I will not dig it out, I will not dig it out, I will not dig it out, I will not dig it out, I will have to dig it out.
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Re: Legal text to put neighbour on notice re damage

Postby APC » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:59 pm

Just out of interest, is there any chance you could take a pic of the trees with the wall showing please.
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