Removal of Beech Hedging

Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Adviceseeker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:51 am

Hi,

Any thoughts or ideas as where I stand as regards our neighbour’s insurance company and loss adjustors etc., removing a 6ft beech hedge, around 8-10 metre in length, which has been there since the house was built in the 1960’s.

It was removed on the grounds that it and some other trees in the neighbour’s garden near to the hedging had caused subsidence to the whole of their property, with cracks all around the property not just the side near the hedge. No trees were removed from elsewhere on their property.

None of this was discussed with us beforehand, on the basis that the neighbour had told the insurance company etc., that the hedge belonged to them, but then admitting a few days later to us, that it was a mistake and it was a shared boundary, obviously a little too late after the hedging had been decimated.

Also the reason they acted to resolve the subsidence, which apparently they’ve lived with for a few years, is that they intend selling the property in the next few months.

Can you please advise
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby despair » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:46 am

Plant a new hedge PDQ
Yew might be a answer because its evergreen but its costly


I cannot for the life of me understand why a Beech Hedge just 6ft high could possibly be implcated in subsidence

I bet many Arboricultural experts would like to see the proof
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Adviceseeker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:53 am

It was the insurance companies experts that insisted it was the beech hedging causing the subsidence along with the few other trees, I can't believe that they claimed it was the beech hedging, the bore hole they did had 7 roots in it 1 was a beech root the other 6 they couldn't identify, and how the roots from these tress & hedging caused subsidence all the way around the property I don't understand.
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Roblewis » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:45 pm

Your neighbour has just lost all hopes of a sale until this is settled. Ask him to get his insurers to pay for a like for like replacement as they removed property that did not belong to their client
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Adviceseeker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:23 pm

Many thanks for that advice, the only problem being is that the insurance company Churchill, who off loaded onto PMC UK Property Solutions, who then asked for a report from Arboricultural Implication Assessments, would probably comeback and say the beech hedging was causing the subsidence, and therfore had to be removed anyway. As you can see I've not only got the neighbour(s) to contend with but also one company hiding behind another, however as you say they removed it when it wasn't their's to remove. So I'll explore that avenue. Many Thanks
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Adviceseeker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:17 pm

The hedge was removed in May last year, with the company suppose to be coming back in November to carry out further bore hole test to ensure that the subsidence had been resolved, before rectifying the damage internally. They haven't returned to do the tests, but we understand that the internal work has been carried. We were present initially and stated they were not to remove the hedging as it was a shared boundary, unfortunately we had to go out and in that time they'd obviously listened to the neighbour and went ahead and removed the beech hedging.
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Roblewis » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:39 pm

Small claims court against PMC and the neighbour for wrongful removal of your property without permission. Even with the subsidence opinion they still have to talk to you first as you own the hedge. Your neighbour is still unable to sell. In the words of LJ Mummery - nobody wants to buy into legal action.
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Adviceseeker » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:39 am

Thanks for that info., we were looking at possibly going along this route, you've just confirmed our thoughts on this.
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby cloudyeyes » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:14 pm

I honestly can't see that a claim will succeed. A shared boundary says nothing about the ownership of the hedge - do you have evidence to support your claim that it's yours?
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby ukmicky » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:15 pm

cloudyeyes wrote:I honestly can't see that a claim will succeed. A shared boundary says nothing about the ownership of the hedge - do you have evidence to support your claim that it's yours?



They may not need it now.

If the deeds say it was a shared boundary then the legal presumption is that it any boundary feature is in shared ownership unless evidence can be produced to show otherwise.

By removing the hedge they have removed the evidence which could prove the case either way and due to that the legal presumption that the boundary feature was shared would stand if that is what the deeds state.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Roblewis » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:02 pm

I personally think a Small Claims court summons on neighbour, contractor and insurer with a value of £5k will get the insurers interested in settling. It will be far cheaper than a costly legal challenge which they will almost certainly lose.
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Adviceseeker » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:40 am

Again thanks for your replies and info., there's no mention in the deeds of the hedge being a shared one, but the documentation, provided by the previous owner, when we purchased the property, confirms that it was in his opinion a shared hedge, and he has confirmed that in writing, and also confirmed that there was no disputing of that by the neighbours in the 20 years he lived in the property.
Also despite the neighbours claims that it was their hedge so far they have not been forthcoming with any proof, and as stated previously have been silent on the subject, as well as verbally admitting they had got it wrong.
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Roblewis » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:03 pm

If you look at your title deeds plan for a T, H or no mark then this will give some guidance

T on your side then it is your boundary

H, looks like two Ts, on the boundary then it is defintely shared

Nothing means custom rules generally and this will be based on the last 20 years at least
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby Adviceseeker » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:10 am

Hi Roblweis,

Thanks once again for the info., can you explain what you mean by custom rules please ? You seem to have a lot of knowledge in this area, have you been through a similar situation before ?
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Re: Removal of Beech Hedging

Postby cloudyeyes » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:20 am

What do your title deeds show?
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