Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my consent

Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my consent

Postby tone » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:46 pm

Hi,

I wonder if anyone with some legal knowledge about landlords and leaseholders can help with my situation.

I have a tree in my garden and part of it was encroaching on to our building of flats on my side of the flats. The building management agency, Hamilton King, decided to trim all the tree without contacting me first and without my consent. They just went ahead and paid a tree surgeon to do it and I got the bill for it, which was quite hefty. I'm no expert in leasehold law, however as far as I know the landlord, Southern Land Securities and Hamilton King illegally trespassed into my own private property, not once but twice or maybe even more. I just want to know if I have a right here. They could have easily contacted me first and I would have been happy to trim the tree myself at my expense on the part that was encroaching on to the building and not the entire tree.

I heard a lot of people complaining about the illegally activities and extortionate costs that Hamilton King management agency and Southern Land Securities landlords are doing. They need to be stopped and struck off. People have had enough of them. All they do is constantly send invoices for highly extortionate insurance costs, and works that do not even need to be carried out. Where's the law here to stop them. Surely there must be something that can be done about them.

Thanks,
tone
 
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:29 pm

Hi tone,

I have a tree in my garden...

...the landlord, Southern Land Securities


is it your garden though, or one your lease grants you the use of on condition you pay a contribution towards its maintenance?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby Collaborate » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:51 pm

Mac - my guess would be that it's the landlord of the flats whose management company has raised the invoice.

Tone - as far as I'm aware only the Highways authority can bill you for work cutting down overhanging vegetation, and even then they have to write to you to give you notice that you must cut it back to the boundary otherwise they will do so at your cost.

There is no corresponding law that gives a private landowner the right to do the same.

If they trespassed to cut it back, you are entitled to ask for a promise not to trespass again. Whether you are entitled to damages depends on whether you have sustained a loss. Merely having your tree cut back doesn't mean you have suffered a loss.
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby mr sheen » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:25 pm

The management company has a duty to protect the building from damage for the benefit of the freeholder and all the residents. If you look at the legal documents relating to your purchase of the flat you will probably find amongst the pages of small print that they can act proactively to protect the fabric of the building, that you have the responsibility not to do anything that might put the building at risk etc etc etc....and this is where you can start to find out your position and responsibilities.

If they have the right to act to protect the building (which is likely since that is their role) then they had the right to remove a tree that could have damaged the building. You then need to check if they also have the right to bill you for removing something that you should have ensured did not put the fabric of the building at risk.

Once you have checked all the small print, you may find that you have come off lucky since if they had not acted, you could have been paying for major repairs to the block of flats!

You could try disputing having to pay the bill but someone has to pay for you not having kept vegetation away from the building, either you or the rest of the residents.
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby tone » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:25 pm

Hi MacadamB53, thank you for your response.

It's definitely my garden and I don't lease it or pay a contribution towards it's maintenance. I have a mortgage on the property and the boundaries are set within my property.

Southern Land Securities are money grabbing, fleecing cons. We are in the process of doing a Right To Manage company and once that is completed we will have nothing to do with Hamilton King who share a director with Southern Land Securities. Do not trust any of these companies, they are a big con and will do anything in their power to fleece you. If your landlord is Southern Land Securities, then your management agency will surely be Hamilton King.

Regards,
Tone
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby tone » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:29 pm

Collaborate wrote:Mac - my guess would be that it's the landlord of the flats whose management company has raised the invoice.

Tone - as far as I'm aware only the Highways authority can bill you for work cutting down overhanging vegetation, and even then they have to write to you to give you notice that you must cut it back to the boundary otherwise they will do so at your cost.

There is no corresponding law that gives a private landowner the right to do the same.

If they trespassed to cut it back, you are entitled to ask for a promise not to trespass again. Whether you are entitled to damages depends on whether you have sustained a loss. Merely having your tree cut back doesn't mean you have suffered a loss.


Hi Collaborate, thanks for your response.

This will help me to fight them.
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby mr sheen » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:36 pm

I'm afraid the above is not likely to help you in the case of Leasehold flats with a Management company since you only own a lease, the building is owned by someone else and you are subject to legal agreements with the freeholders and management company.
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby tone » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:39 pm

mr sheen wrote:The management company has a duty to protect the building from damage for the benefit of the freeholder and all the residents. If you look at the legal documents relating to your purchase of the flat you will probably find amongst the pages of small print that they can act proactively to protect the fabric of the building, that you have the responsibility not to do anything that might put the building at risk etc etc etc....and this is where you can start to find out your position and responsibilities.

If they have the right to act to protect the building (which is likely since that is their role) then they had the right to remove a tree that could have damaged the building. You then need to check if they also have the right to bill you for removing something that you should have ensured did not put the fabric of the building at risk.

Once you have checked all the small print, you may find that you have come off lucky since if they had not acted, you could have been paying for major repairs to the block of flats!

You could try disputing having to pay the bill but someone has to pay for you not having kept vegetation away from the building, either you or the rest of the residents.


Hi Mr Sheen, thanks for you response.

True, the management company does have a duty to protect their interest, however I'm not complaining about that. I'm complaining about the fact that they entered my private property and they trimmed my tree without contacting me first and then billed me for it as if I don't matter or even exist. This must be illegal, surely. If they ask me first, it would have been very easy for me to cut it back as my balcony is next to that tree and I have easy access to it.

They took pictures of the tree and it was not endangering the building, you can see a few leaves and small branches touching the guttering, that's all. They did it deliberately as these two companies, Hamilton King and Southern Land Securities con many leaseholders and fleece as much money from them as possible. They will find the smallest of issues and charge you quadruple for their work. I'm having none of it and these two companies should be struck-off and never to work in the industry again. They took over our building under 2 years ago and we've had nothing but trouble with them. Every week we receive a bill or some sort of demand. I mean enough is enough. I hope people who are under these two companies understand my situation.
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:41 pm

Hi tone,

I have a mortgage on the property and the boundaries are set within my property.

yes, but is that a leasehold property or a freehold property?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby tone » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:42 pm

mr sheen wrote:I'm afraid the above is not likely to help you in the case of Leasehold flats with a Management company since you only own a lease, the building is owned by someone else and you are subject to legal agreements with the freeholders and management company.


I fully understand, but don't you think they should have contacted the flat owner who's tree it is before commencing work. It's only logical. So surely, the way they acted upon this must be illegal. I would have been very happy to trim the tree myself if only they told me first and with no cost whatsoever, except for my life.
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby tone » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:50 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi tone,

I have a mortgage on the property and the boundaries are set within my property.

yes, but is that a leasehold property or a freehold property?

Kind regards, Mac


HI MacadamB53,

It's a leasehold flat. But it's still my private property as I am paying a mortgage on it. Otherwise, the landlord should pay for my mortgage for the garden. We must have a right here somehow, i.e. we need to be informed of any such work beforehand, this must be our right and they cannot just enter without consent, it's my personal space.

Tone
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:54 pm

Hi tone,

is anyone on here saying otherwise? no, they're not, so please calm down.

in what way was your tree encroaching onto the building of flats?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby mr sheen » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:20 pm

You can only find out whether they acted beyond their remit by checking the agreements you have with them, we on here have no idea whether they overstepped the mark or they acted within the remit of their legal contract with you. No point getting into an argument with them before you are fully aware of your position. Our opinions relating to the tree and your privacy are completely irrelevant to your legal position. Only you can find that out by consulting your legal documents.

However, we own a number of leasehold flats that come with an inherent right for the freeholder and/or Mgt Co to take whatever action they deem necessary to protect the fabric of the building for the benefit of all. (Which is why I replied to your post).
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby tone » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:18 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi tone,

is anyone on here saying otherwise? no, they're not, so please calm down.

in what way was your tree encroaching onto the building of flats?

Kind regards, Mac


Hi Mac,

Sorry I was rambling on. As you can probably see I am very annoyed with Hamilton King and Southern Land Securities. I have a bill of nearly £3000 for 1 and half years of management with them. So you can see how frustrated I am.

Some leaves and the tips of some branches were just touching one little part of the building and guttering, that's all. I could have quite easily trimmed that myself for free.

Regards,
Tone
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Re: Tree was trimmed by landlord in my garden without my con

Postby mr sheen » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:30 pm

Lesson learned then...well, well, WELL before tree gets anywhere near gutter, that is the time to trim it back.

£3000 for 18months management...where is this? Are there any for sale??? Not bad fees!

They are also doing a good job because they ensured that a tree that had leaves near a gutter is cut back so as not to cause all leaseholders hassle and additional costs from blocked or damaged gutters.
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