Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby Loo » Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:31 pm

The boundary fence line at the bottom of my garden belongs to me and is clearly marked on the deeds. About 6 years ago my neighbor decided to install a fence line on her side as she wanted a posh fence and all was fine there. A couple of years later I removed two of my fence panels and put a bamboo plant in its place. It was another couple of years before my neighbor realised that I had done this but once she had, she removed all of her fencing and replaced it with trellis panels on top of gravel board. She said that she wished she had never replaced her fence and that by removing my fence i had gained 1 or 2 inches of her garden. She sent me a solicitors letter saying that if I touched or grew anything on her trellis she would take me to court.
Another two years go by and I have now have another solicitors letter stating that I have planted a plant on her land and that this is trespass and she intends to take me to court.

The letter from the solicitor states that my plants have grown and encroach on her property. That some have grown through the gap that I created by removing my fence and others I have planted on her land.
I had 21 days to remove all plants and objects belonging to me from her property.

It makes no sense - she removed her fences too? Its not that my bamboo will grow into her garden as the other side of her gravel board is a raised patio area. Plus it is a clumping bamboo rather than a running one.

Can she take me to court? Have I encroached an inch onto her land? Did we have a double boundary for a while and does that count for anything?

Any advise welcome :(
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby ukmicky » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:24 pm

Did you plant on her land ,if you did the awnser easy.


Write back and say

No plants were originally planted on her land and the law of trespass does not apply to natural plant growth which is legally deemed to be a non actionable nuisance unless damage is being caused.

Taking that into account should you still wish to take me to court and argue that your client should be treated as a special case , i will defend my position and will ask the court for all my legal fees to be borne by your client.



---------------------------------


However please bear in mind common law gives her the legal right to remove any plant growth which is encroaching on her land.So if you want to keep them it maybe worth moving them.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby Hugh Jaleak » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:29 pm

Reading 'Conveyancer's' Thread 'Put the tape measure away' might be a good start. :wink:

No Court is going to entertain someone quibbling over 1 or 2inches of ground.
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:23 pm

Hi Loo,

here is what I'd have to say in your shoes - assuming none of the encroaching is causing damage to her property (or damage is imminent...):

I am confused as to why you've sent me a letter demanding I remove my plants from your client's land because the specific 2" strip of land in question is a part of my legal estate.
indeed, as the client should confirm, for many years I had a fence stood on that land to define the limit of my legal estate and prior to its removal your client erected herself a fence to define the limit of her legal estate.

so, although I do have many plants in my garden - including some on the 2" strip, I have never planted any plants on your client's land.

I trust this brings a close to the matter and, if you have not done so already but now consider it appropriate, that you will advise your client that should any vegetation encroach into her property from any neighbouring property she can lawfully remove it to the boundary without seeking her neighbours' permission.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby Loo » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:59 pm

Thank you for the responses, very much appreciated :)
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby arborlad » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:41 am

Loo wrote:The boundary fence line at the bottom of my garden belongs to me and is clearly marked on the deeds. About 6 years ago my neighbor decided to install a fence line on her side as she wanted a posh fence and all was fine there.


Did we have a double boundary for a while and does that count for anything?



No, there's no such thing as a double boundary, there is only one boundary and it should have only one boundary feature to define it. Having two fences always leads to problems, you can never be sure what they are though.




She said that she wished she had never replaced her fence and that by removing my fence i had gained 1 or 2 inches of her garden.




I'm assuming the 1 or 2 inches is the gap between the two fences.
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby Eliza » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:57 am

I am wondering if this isn't so much about the fence and trellis situation? To me, the question is when your bamboo got planted. I wonder if the real issue is not so much that you are using 1"-2" wide strip of her garden - as that the plant you have planted there is a bamboo plant.

I doubt most people would be that aware of the difference between clumping bamboo and running bamboo. I would tend to look at a plant I had been told was a clumping bamboo and wonder if I had been told the truth about that being the type it was or no. Even if I had got in a horticulturalist to give their verdict as to which type it is - I would still be concerned that even a clumping one might spread itself out at least some inches (and probably would). Bamboo are aggressive type plants.

Would the whole issue be resolved if you just remove that bamboo and invite the neighbour to have a look for themselves immediately after the plant has been removed - so that they can see for themselves that every trace of it has been removed?

I know that when a next door neighbour of my last house (who wasn't exactly a Soul of Sweetness and Light type) came complaining to me one time that my house was making his house damp I invited him to come in and have a look for himself. He duly had a darn good look-round and realised it wasn't the fault of my house and that was the end of that particular matter.

EDIT; I've read the boundary thread by Conveyancer - and would echo its worth reading. Threads by that particular poster (sadly no longer active on the Board) are well-informed and written in an objective impartial way (ie he doesn't make any personal jibes at anyone).

All round - its my understanding that the position is that the "boundary" is an invisible line in the air basically. The "boundary feature" (or "features") may or may not be sited on the actual boundary itself. From what you say - it looks likely that the "boundary" is immediately beside and touching the other side of that (removed) fence of the neighbour. From what you say - it does look as if you probably are using a 1-2" wide strip of neighbours garden.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby arborlad » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:03 pm

Hugh Jaleak wrote:Reading 'Conveyancer's' Thread 'Put the tape measure away' might be a good start. :wink:

No Court is going to entertain someone quibbling over 1 or 2inches of ground.



+1............if a response to the solicitors letters is felt necessary, can I suggest the following:

Dear Sir, I am sitting here in the smallest room in the house with your letter before me - it will shortly be behind me.
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby arborlad » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:12 pm

Eliza wrote:All round - its my understanding that the position is that the "boundary" is an invisible line in the air basically. The "boundary feature" (or "features") may or may not be sited on the actual boundary itself. From what you say - it looks likely that the "boundary" is immediately beside and touching the other side of that (removed) fence of the neighbour. From what you say - it does look as if you probably are using a 1-2" wide strip of neighbours garden.



Your understanding is vastly flawed.
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby Eliza » Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:18 pm

By "the other side" of that fence - I mean the nearest side of the (now missing) neighbours fence to OP.

Of course, anyone who wishes to put up a "personal" post - is quite welcome (and asked to) put up evidence (including source) for what they believe is the "boundary" and what they are citing as evidence of that.

I expect that particular point is covered somewhere on the objective/impartial thread Conveyancer wrote.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby Collaborate » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:12 am

My reading of the situation is that the neighbour still has a fence on her side of the boundary. It is a gravel board fence.

As the boundary is on the side of that fence facing OP's garden, it is impossible for the bamboo to grow beyond hypothetical line that is the boundary.

Putting aside for one moment the fact that plants growing over or on to neighbouring property can not constitute trespass, there is nothing the neighbour can do. I suspect that the neighbour wrongly believes that the boundary if on the internal face of OP's original fence.
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby arborlad » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:25 am

Loo wrote:The boundary fence line at the bottom of my garden belongs to me and is clearly marked on the deeds.



With nothing to refute this statement, I have no problem in concluding where the boundary is - the limit of the OPs land.


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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby jonahinoz » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:40 am

Hi,

Just in passing ....

The fence on my Southern boundary is the responsibility of my neighbour. It is constructed of thin sawn boards arranged in 6ft panels, 6ft high. It seems that over the years, the supporting posts have been strengthened, re-enforced, and buttressed. My neighbour has a well controlled Leylandi hedge on his side of the fence, so has no interest in the fence.

I am replacing his fence at my expense (about £10 per foot), using 4" x 4" posts, set in concrete, clad with 6" x 1" horizontal boards. 6ft high.

On removing the matchwood fence, I found another fence behind it, about 3ft high, vertical boards. Behind that is another fence .... chestnut palings, and then the hedge.

I think I will take a few photographs, before continuing with MY fence. :D

602
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby arborlad » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:02 pm

jonahinoz wrote:I think I will take a few photographs, before continuing with MY fence. :D

602



If you care to share those photos in your own thread, we may be able to unravel the conundrum.
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Re: Have I stolen 2 inches of my neighbors garden?

Postby Loo » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:14 pm

I have just received another solicitors letter......

She claims that her fence was installed 4 - 6 inches away from my land. And the trellis was installed in the same place. I have a photograph which proves this is not true. In my photo I can show that the gap between my fence and her trellis is 6 cm in total.

Actions you need to take
1. Remove all plants and root systems from our clients land
2. Reinstate the boundary fence line, You have an obligation to maintain the boundary fence in your title deeds
3. Cease all harassment with immediate effect.

We refer you to clause 3 of the recital of the 1991 Transfer. You will note from the clause that if you fail to comply with the covenants then Wimpy Homes Holdings can take action against you to force the same as can "every other person who is the registered proprietor of any part of the Estate" namely our client or your neighbours.

If necessary our client is prepared to engage in formal ADR by way of mediation.
If such an agreement is not forthcoming by return then the next letter will be a formal letter of a claim prior to commencement of court proceedings for an injunction, damages and costs.

Do I have to reinstate the fence? Can my plants not be deemed the boundary line?
Should I send this photo to her solicitor and basically call her a liar?

PS: No 3 is a new one as she is now claiming I play music in the garden to annoy her. I am not worried about this as it is simply not true.

Thanks for any responses
Loo
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