Hedge: whose is it?

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:37 am

TO wrote:Hi
Janejane wrote:Hopefully the deeds may shed more light on it. If they don't is there anything else that we can do to find out who the wall belongs to?
Wait till it needs repairing, or fails. You'll very quickly find your neighbours all of a sudden have a change of view on who the retaining wall belongs to. Congratulations you now own the retaining wall. :lol:

It's your hedge, it's on your land , do as you will with it.

TO


Yes your right and we have discussed this: they definitley would have a change of opinion if our terraced garden had a land slide and ended up in their garden: we can imagine that the walls would very quickly be ours. We are now going to mention this: ever so gently...
There's no two ways about it: the hedge is ours. But they have written to us and also said that they have sought legal advice and have been told that the hedge is theirs: I often wonder if they are omitting to tell their legal advisor that our garden is substantially higher than theirs & that the hedge grows in our garden. I also wonder if they have ever mentioned that the wall is a retaining wall.

it's really helped hearing everyones advice on this: we were going to accept what they have told us: more for a quiet life than anything. But this would be the wrong thing to do and could pave the way for all sorts of future problems. We are going to look into it further and stand our ground as far as the wall and hedge go.
They have also agreed to meet to discuss the other boundary issues and mutually agree on these: tthe other issue we have is that they have attempted establishing land by encroachment: we challenged this and I think this is why we are in this horrible position now: but hopefully we can resolve it all and move on.
It's all a terrible shame really and anyone reading this with any issues around gardens, boundaries, hedges etc: always try and talk things through: always let your neighbours know any plans that are going to impact on their homes and gardens. The moment you stop doing this or choose not to, you are in my view responsible for when things go wrong. And if you don't communicate your plans and intentions to your neighbours verbally or in writing: don't be surprised when someone politley challenges what you are doing.
Janejane
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby arborlad » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:38 am

Are you in a row of houses, are there any others that are similar in layout to yours?

There is a rule of thumb that a retaining wall is owned by the land that is retained, the higher land, this can be rebutted if the two lands were originally at the same height and one was lowered, the one doing the lowering would be responsible for retaining the higher land.

Disregarding the retaining nature of the wall, it is a boundary feature, and marks the limits of your land, the hedge is planted within that limit.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7382
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:33 am

arborlad wrote:Are you in a row of houses, are there any others that are similar in layout to yours?

There is a rule of thumb that a retaining wall is owned by the land that is retained, the higher land, this can be rebutted if the two lands were originally at the same height and one was lowered, the one doing the lowering would be responsible for retaining the higher land.

Disregarding the retaining nature of the wall, it is a boundary feature, and marks the limits of your land, the hedge is planted within that limit.

Hi Yes we are in a row of very old terrace house: early 1800's the gardens are all roughly similar and varying heights. Our neighbours house is approxiamtely 4-5 lower than ours and that is why their garden is also lower: the row of terraces are built on a slight incline: in groups of 3 that stagger to accomodate the incline. The gardens are all either terraced or left as slopes. So I am assuming, and thats all that I can do, is that the garden has always been lower because their house is also lower.

Again this has really helped: thanks!
Janejane
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby arborlad » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:14 am

Janejane wrote: But they have written to us and also said that they have sought legal advice and have been told that the hedge is theirs: .


Just for balance, you have also sought legal advice (this forum) and despite this disclaimer: Garden Law is for general information only and does not constitute professional advice. , we are telling you the opposite. To claim the hedge as theirs, they would have to claim the land it is planted in, are they claiming part of your land, or just the hedge?

Can you be more specific about where their advice is coming from, or an extract from their letter.

There does seem to be a bit of the jigsaw missing!
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7382
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby span » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:36 pm

If it's your land then it's it's your hedge. Do what you like with it.
span
 
Posts: 1465
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:13 pm

arborlad wrote:
Janejane wrote: But they have written to us and also said that they have sought legal advice and have been told that the hedge is theirs: .


Just for balance, you have also sought legal advice (this forum) and despite this disclaimer: Garden Law is for general information only and does not constitute professional advice. , we are telling you the opposite. To claim the hedge as theirs, they would have to claim the land it is planted in, are they claiming part of your land, or just the hedge?

Can you be more specific about where their advice is coming from, or an extract from their letter.

There does seem to be a bit of the jigsaw missing!


Hi, no they haven't at anytime said that the land is theirs. They have said the wall is theirs and implied the hedge is part of that boundary. They have also said that if we touch the hedge we will be doing something illegal: they haven't as yet explained that further.
They implied that the legal advice they have sought is from someone that they know (a property solicitor): not a paid proffessional etc.
The tone of their last letter has now changed.They now say they are willing to consider removing the hedge and now say that they would only consider replacing it with a fence.
We aren't keen with them replacing anything and are worried that if we allow this without being absolutely sure about the retaining wall, they will then say as they have replaced the hedge with a fence and paid for this it is theirs etc etc. They are also suggested that they move the boundary, we will not let this happen.We no longer trust them.
a extract from their letter:

"firstly after speaking to a property solicitor..... I gather the Priver hedge, which constitutes part of our boundary on the left hand side of the rear gardens...... is in our ownership and has been maintained by us since August 2002 and likewise by the previous owner.... We can understand you being unhappy over the hedge being adjacent to your garden due to action of the roots, and we will consider removing it by mutual agreement and replacing it in exactly the same position in line with where the roofs meet, according to the land registry plan....... possibly interwoven willow fencing would be attractive and give us both privacy."

From this you can see that they are now trying to claim part of our garden too and move the boundary in line with the roofs of our houses. We both bought our houses knowing exactly the extent of our gardens when they were purchased. The gardens have been this way for many many decades, we have met a gentleman who used to live in our house many years ago & his father did much of the work in our garden.
Janejane
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby span » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:41 pm

Time to get the hedge out and your fence in asap, positioned on the full extent of your land. Stop talking, start doing.
span
 
Posts: 1465
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:06 am

span wrote:Time to get the hedge out and your fence in asap, positioned on the full extent of your land. Stop talking, start doing.


Hi,
we had wanted to replace the hedge for a more suitable one: this is how it all began, we had always hoped to work together. As they have now removed the fence, posts and plants at the top of our garden, as we originally had asked them to, that go over our boundary don't want to do anything that will set them off on another roll of action that isn't within their boundary etc.
We want to work hard at being as pleasant as possible: don't want to act as they have. Thats when things can become nasty I think.

But doing what you have advised is very tempting!
Janejane
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby arborlad » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:23 pm

Janejane wrote:"firstly after speaking to a property solicitor..... I gather the Priver hedge, which constitutes part of our boundary ............


This does sound more like wishful thinking, rather than any evidence based, qualified opinion.

The hedge can't be "part" of the boundary, allied with the wall, there is only one boundary, that is the line that seperates your land from your neighbours, and there can only be one boundary feature to define it, the wall or the hedge, it can't be both, it's not a pick 'n mix scenario.

If the wall is the boundary feature, once ownership is established, you will have a very precisely defined boundary, with the neighbour having no rights on the land beyond it - your land.

If the hedge is the boundary feature, this is a very imprecise item to establish an exact boundary line from, but it would mean the wall has no relevance to the boundary and a lot of your land is at risk.

............and has been maintained by us since August 2002 and likewise by the previous owner....


There are probably many thousands of hedges being maintained in just this manner by an adjoining landowner, this will give them no ownership rights to the land it is growing in. Have they ever cut 'your' side of the hedge?

We both bought our houses knowing exactly the extent of our gardens when they were purchased.


That should have been the case, but sadly not the reality.

Any chance of a drawing or photo?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7382
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:59 pm

arborlad wrote:
Janejane wrote:"firstly after speaking to a property solicitor..... I gather the Priver hedge, which constitutes part of our boundary ............


This does sound more like wishful thinking, rather than any evidence based, qualified opinion.

The hedge can't be "part" of the boundary, allied with the wall, there is only one boundary, that is the line that seperates your land from your neighbours, and there can only be one boundary feature to define it, the wall or the hedge, it can't be both, it's not a pick 'n mix scenario.

If the wall is the boundary feature, once ownership is established, you will have a very precisely defined boundary, with the neighbour having no rights on the land beyond it - your land.

If the hedge is the boundary feature, this is a very imprecise item to establish an exact boundary line from, but it would mean the wall has no relevance to the boundary and a lot of your land is at risk.

............and has been maintained by us since August 2002 and likewise by the previous owner....


There are probably many thousands of hedges being maintained in just this manner by an adjoining landowner, this will give them no ownership rights to the land it is growing in. Have they ever cut 'your' side of the hedge?

We both bought our houses knowing exactly the extent of our gardens when they were purchased.


That should have been the case, but sadly not the reality.

Any chance of a drawing or photo?


So we can't rely on saying that then? that we both bought our houses knowing the extent of our gardens?

Ok so we now need to find out who owns the retaining wall? once this is done & it is established as a boundary feature we will all know where we stand? I'm assuming this will be on our deeds? (which our mortgage provider has).

Can you up load photo's to here? or how would I add a photo?

Thanks for all your help: it is a big help!
Janejane
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby arborlad » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:31 pm

Can you talk to some of the other neighbours, to see how they have dealt with what must be a (fairly) common issue.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7382
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:12 pm

Hi, yes we did today: I guess a few have heard what is going on. The lady we spoke to has lived here for 16 years: she said that people used to access one anothers gardens, share the steps up to the woods and it was a give and take attitude. She said since house prices have risen and some of the houses are holiday homes and second homes etc things have changed: people have become quite particular about boundaries.

Prior to buying our house the previous owners had a gentlemans agreement with our neighbours and used their steps to access the land above our garden. Our neighbours put up a fence before we bought the house and told the previous owners that the gentlemans agreement no longer existed. We know that 20/30 years ago the man that owned our house built the very same steps. I guess things have changed dramtically. We dont have any need/want to use their steps etc: even though they curve into our garden at the top: the last 4 steps are over their boundary.

She didn't openly say it, but she implied that she may have had something said to her by the people that we are struggling with: she just said that yes her garden probably is slighty larger than theirs: she then said but these gardens have been this way for decades and I bought the house like this and thats how it is: she implied that she thought/had said to them: tough! the house were built inthe 1800's

Our garden is 3-4 foot higher than theirs: it just seems really odd that firstly they are saying the hedge that grows at the edge of our garden is theirs and secondly that they now say if we take the hedge down they will replace it with a fence that is a 1-2 foot into our garden: again when our garden is 3-4 foot higher than their garden.

We are pretty sure we have managed to sort out the issue with the land at the top of our garden: we went up their today and they have moved everything: fences, plants etc that went over the boundary of their garden. Perhaps thats what we have to do: just politely put our foot down and continue to do so?

It also seems odd that they want to own a wall that retains our garden: surely most people wouldn't want the responsibilty? and they want to own a hedge that grows in our garden.
Janejane
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby span » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:54 pm

Janejane wrote: just politely put our foot down and continue to do so?


There you go.

Janejane wrote: It also seems odd that they want to own a wall that retains our garden: surely most people wouldn't want the responsibilty? and they want to own a hedge that grows in our garden.


So, they're effectively claiming the retaining wall, plus 1-2 feet into your garden? And you're wondering why they'd want the responsibility?

I can answer that. It's a good old-fashioned land-grab.

They're trying to extend their garden at the espense of yours.
span
 
Posts: 1465
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby Janejane » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:29 pm

I think all we can do is put our foot down & make it clear that who ever the boundary/retaining wall belongs to has to take responsibilty for all repairs and maintenance and that as said previously a hedge can't be part of a boundary feature.

Also there is no mention of the wall in the title register etc...
Janejane
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Hedge: whose is it?

Postby arborlad » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:14 am

Janejane wrote: I'm assuming this will be on our deeds? (which our mortgage provider has).


These can be downloaded from here:

https://www.landregistry.gov.uk/wps/por ... rty_Search

I believe it is Mon-Fri, office hours, sure someone will correct if that's wrong.

EDIT..............can't get link to copy correctly :oops:

What is the situation on the other (left) side of your property?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7382
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 
PreviousNext

Return to Hedges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest