hedge boundary

hedge boundary

Postby snoops2306 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Hi, advice needed please, I have lived in my house 6 years, i have a small back garden and on one side there is a 6 foot hedge dividing my house to my neighbour. No one knows when the hedge was planted but it was at 6 foot when i moved in, however in the past it has not been maintained so the width of the hedge has got to about 4 foot in places so here's the problem as i have a small back garden it's taking up too much of my garden. I've done some digging (not literally!) but the boundary is my neighbours and the hedge is theirs, Ideally i want to cut my side back to the boundary line and i'd like a nice fence but my neighbours aren't keen on getting rid of it. Last year we cut alot off of it and now its bear in places all brown and looks awful! This year we want to redo all the garden, new patio etc to i want to sort this hedge out but my neighbour doesn't maintain there side, it just gets left i think it's 3 years now since they last cut it. I have tried to approach my neighbour and discuss it but all she says is her hubby likes the hedge, I know i need to talk to him but i want to know where I stand i'm pretty sure i'm aloud to cut my side back to my boundary line but i'm sure this will kill the hedge as whoever planted it planted the roots right on the line. So if I do this will I then be liable to pay for a complete new fence? I am willing to go halves with my neighbours but i'm not sure they are going to see this from my point of view.
any advice greatly appreciated.
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Re: hedge boundary

Postby despair » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:37 pm

Your neighbour needs to recognise you are fully legally entitled to cut the hedge right back to the boundary

you could also cut back every root to the boundary

if the hedge dies as a result that could be tricky but i doubt they can legally do much so long as you are careful in what you do

take photos get witnesses
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Re: hedge boundary

Postby barinlaw » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:46 pm

There are a few things that need to be clarified-
Are you aware of where the roots of the hedge are located- it was not clear from the post whether you had done any digging or was it presumed. The reason being if the roots are in the neighbours property (sometimes this is the case when the adjoining property is at different heights )then your neighbour is under no obligation to maintain/repair or prune the barrier. On the other hand if the hedge is in your land you can repair/cut or remove the hedge so long as the debris does not fall in the neighbours property or damage the fence(in which case you will have to make good the repairs for the fence and clean up of debris falling in his/her property.
Have you approached the neighbour in person regarding the issue ? Generally good neighbours oblige with small give and take . I would avoid telephonic discussions or emails/mails which could be a proof of your intent to cut the hedge and in the event of damage to fence or debris falling in the neigbours yard could be used as proof of intervention and make you liable for any damages.
It looks like you are planning on a redo of the garden- it might be a good idea to offer cutting the hedge to mutually acceptable heights and thereby diffuse any problems or alternately ask the neighbour if they could contribute in any manner- Generally friendly overtures are accepted and people are put off by rude remarks and legal threats. At the end of the day they are going to be your neighbours like it or not- it is in mutual interest to maintain good relationships .
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Re: hedge boundary

Postby snoops2306 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:22 pm

Hi, there is no dispute over who owns the hedge, it's my neighbours hedge they have always said so from the day we moved in. As for the roots, they are on my neighbours side, JUST. The problem is that my neighbour doesn't bother to maintain it by my reckoning it's now over 3 years since they last cut it,I have been cutting my side twice a year as I didn't want it taking over my garden as it's now 2 foot into my side. The previous people who lived in my house I don't think maintained it either or it surely wouldn't have grown so wide? It's now 4 foot wide in places and it looks awful! The height doesn't really bother me it's at approx 7 foot now but I can go out there and cut my side down when the weather improves. My main concern is I want to go to my neighbour and tell her I intend to cut my side right back to the boundary and put up a fence but I have already mentioned this and she said if I do this I will no doubt kill the hedge! (Doesn't bother me!!) but her husband apparently likes the hedge and isn't going to be happy if I kill it. This is where I don't know if I will be liable to pay for the all the new fence? I get on ok with my neighbours but they are not people who do much maintenance to thier property so I know if I want something done about this if I wait for them I'll be waiting forever!! My other worry is if they do nothing and I go ahead and cut it back then try to get a fence put up I fear the roots will be in the way and cause some problems?
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Re: hedge boundary

Postby despair » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:50 pm

You have not said what species the hedge is composed of

If its privet you can cut it very hard back to the boundary and it wont care
if its leylandi then you will be cutting right back to the brown stems or trunks

Legally you can cut back branches and roots right back to the boundary and your neighbour can do nothing
If you want a fence the back of it must touch the boundary but not straddle it and you will need to pay

take lots of photos preferably in front of witnesses at all stages

Y
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Re: hedge boundary

Postby samuel » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:09 am

i would have thought that if the hedge has been there for a long time with the recognistion of being a boundary hedge, and as you say it belongs to your neighbour, then if you trim it back to the extent that it kills his hedge, that would be unreasonable (and could be criminal damage I would think). I'd suggest getting an expert in to advise on how far back you can trim it and even getting them to do the work.
An update on what happened / happens would be interesting
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Re: hedge boundary

Postby despair » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:17 am

Since the OP never advised exactly what species the hedge is we have no way of knowing

But if its privet cutting back right to boundary will not kill it

if its conifers cutting back to the boundary wont kill them either

so criminal damage claims seem unlikely
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Re: hedge boundary

Postby Treeman » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:48 pm

samuel wrote:i would have thought that if the hedge has been there for a long time with the recognistion of being a boundary hedge, and as you say it belongs to your neighbour, then if you trim it back to the extent that it kills his hedge, that would be unreasonable (and could be criminal damage I would think). I'd suggest getting an expert in to advise on how far back you can trim it and even getting them to do the work.
An update on what happened / happens would be interesting



You think wrong.
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