Hedges and neighbours

Hedges and neighbours

Postby frales » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:44 am

Hi

I have been reading the posts on hedges and disputes and wonder if I could get some advice. This may get quite long.

Firstly I am in Scotland and wonder if most of the posts are relevant under Scottish Law. My neighbour and I both own or mortgage our properties so no tenants or housing associations are involved.

I moved into this house in 2000. The lady next door had a herb garden and at least 6 mature trees including one conifer which was well over 100ft. Most of her trees were between 50 and 100ft. She sold up and a couple from another country moved in with a young child. These were a very nice couple from a different culture who were happy to pass the time of day with us. However this couple were renting or leasing.

The house was then sold to a young developer couple who then spent the next six months renovating the property. This entailed loud noise right up to the time limit of 10pm. They then sold the house on at a large profit to the people who reside there now.

The first time I met the neighbour was on the day they moved in when the man knocked on my door and asked if they could borrow a step ladder. I introduced myself and got the ladder for him. There seemed to be himself and his wife and a daughter in her twenties. I don't know what happened next but it seemed that it was only the daughter who was resident. The daughter had a housewarming which was attended by a large crowd. There was very loud music and a large crowd of people between 20 and 30 milling about in the garden. We didn't mind as we knew it was a housewarming. However, as the night wore on it got very boistrous and there was a lot of shouting and swearing. Again we thought it was a housewarming and it would be churlish to complain to new neighbours although at some point during the night I was very apprehensive that they were about to start fighting.

Anyway after this night the older couple appeared again and then the trouble started. I was awoken one morning at around 8am by the sound of a chainsaw and when I looked out the window I found that they were having the mature trees cut down in their garden. I thought this was strange as I believed that the council had to be consulted when mature trees were felled. A few weeks later I again was woken by the sound of power tools as they had builders in constructing a wall in their garden. This went on for months with them having gardeners or builders turning up and creating a noise. I have never been one to complain and didn't at this point.

We then decided to build an extension to our property and went through the normal and correct procedures and beyond. We informed all neighbours of what we intended and the only people who objected were the next dooor neighbours who said that our new kitchen window would overlook their property. Their bedroom window already overlooks our property as does our bedroom window overlook theirs. However we instructed our builders to erect a temporary fence so that they would not be inconveinianced and when the build was complete as per planning we erected a half wall and fence up to 6ft so they could keep their privacy.

We had a real problem with our builders who turned out to be cowboys and this was featured on a BBC programme. However the only neighbour who would have had a problem was our neighbour on the other side. He could not have been more helpful and understanding. By this time we felt that the other neigbours seemed to be having a confab with neibours and spreading discontent.

Anyway, the extension was built and then the fun began.

With all the hassle of the cowboy builders we had let our garden go for a bit. Our hedge, which was there when we moved in, had grown to about 8ft. My wife came home one day to find the hedge had been cut down to about 5ft. We also had mature ivy growing on the boundary which had been cut and pushed over into our garden. When we questioned the neighbours they said they need to tidy up the hedge from their side. I told them I had no problem with them cutting the hedge back to the boundary but as it was my hedge I would decide how high it was going to be. This seemed okay.

Rather than go through everything suffice to say they have cut or had a gardener cut the hedge several times. They have killed off half of the ivy by cutting and pushing it back from the boundary. They have also placed a piece of corrogated plastic on my side of the boundary to stop the ivy growing through the wall.

When I last remonstrated with them I got a mouthful of abuse. The problem is that their son in law is a police officer, they have complained about my son swearing when he was watching a football match and have said they are recording his room for future use in court. At the last spat he threatened me with his son in law being a police officer and I gave him a few choice words. Within an hour I had two police officers at my door saying that he felt threatend by the language I had used. I explained the situation to the officers and advised them that this guy is a bully who thinks because he has conncetions he can do what he wants. Within half an hour of our words his son in law was at his house with his four by four in plain view to intimidate us.

I am sorry this has rambled on but I would be grateful of any advice given, apart from hitting him over the head with a shovel and burying him in his garden, I want to stay within the law if possible.
frales
 
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Re: Hedges and neighbours

Postby hzatph » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:45 pm

Have you tried www.nfh.org.uk?
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Re: Hedges and neighbours

Postby Sudynim » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:49 pm

frales wrote:My wife came home one day to find the hedge had been cut down to about 5ft. We also had mature ivy growing on the boundary which had been cut and pushed over into our garden. When we questioned the neighbours they said they need to tidy up the hedge from their side. I told them I had no problem with them cutting the hedge back to the boundary but as it was my hedge I would decide how high it was going to be. This seemed okay.

Rather than go through everything suffice to say they have cut or had a gardener cut the hedge several times. They have killed off half of the ivy by cutting and pushing it back from the boundary. They have also placed a piece of corrogated plastic on my side of the boundary to stop the ivy growing through the wall.


So the basic issue is what rights they have to cut/control your hedge? In E&W a landowner is allowed to cut back anything which crosses over the boundary line. The plastic barrier to prevent ivy intrusion seems reasonable, although it should be on their side of the boundary. Ivy is a perniciously unwelcome intruder for many people, of course.

I'm struggling to see what the problem is, it's a trivial everyday garden hedge. But there's clearly a lot of ill-feeling building up beyond this, and that needs to be calmed down before it goes out of control. This needs someone to reach out with a peacemaking message, a few friendly words or a neighbourly gesture, and then gradually de-escalate the cold war. There is no real dispute between you, just a growing general antagonism.

People in this situation often say "Why should I be nice, when they've done blah blah blah to me?" Sometimes both neighbours take this approach, and remain obdurate until their quality of life is ruined, their property value is markedly reduced, and their legal bills have spiralled into 5 or 6 figures.
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