Hedge cut without permission

Hedge cut without permission

Postby speechless » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:48 pm

My neighbours paid for a firm of treecutters to cut down my trees as well as their own by a good 5ft so as to allow more light into their garden and to make it easier to trim them....all well and good but my trees are obviously in my garden and no permission was asked, the first i knew about it was the chainsaw hacking through them on Friday morning...
Does anyone know if the tree company can be held responsible for the cutting of the trees without my permission?
I am still absolutely speechless that they have done this to the point of i dont know what to do...
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Postby despair » Mon Apr 04, 2005 4:22 pm

You have not said what trees/hedge species have been cut

If its a leylandi hedge they may have premptied the new High Hedge Law coming into force June1st
see www.hedgeline.org for more info

Firstly reputable tree surgeons have liability insurance and they know full well they have no business whatever cutting trees in someone elses garden

Your neighbours employed the tree cutters and thus they are liable jointly and severally with the tree cutters

You can sue for criminal damage which could include replacing your trees with mature specimins of same size ........very very costly for them indeed

I would suggest you tackle the neighbours in the first instance ......find out on what authority they cut your trees ..........depending on their response you can hit them with you will suing them for criminal damage and the cost of replacement trees

I am sure Treeman can give you furthur info plus an idea of replacement tree costs
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Postby speechless » Mon Apr 04, 2005 4:33 pm

Thank you for your reply Despair..they are Leylandi..but i did keep them trimmed and tidy, i am just astonished that neither they or the treecutters said anything to us.
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Postby despair » Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:05 pm

Nothing excuses their actions but being on " the other side of Leylandi " I can sure say i would be sorely tempted to do what your neighbours have done

Personally i am sick of the soil desecration and the ruination of my garden never mind being unable to grow anything my side along with the constant mess of dead stuff that drops off
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Postby Vic » Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:18 pm

Speechless I had the same problem. Only found out when I got home from work and my hedge had been reduced massively. It seems amazing that some people seem to condone this sort of action because a law is due to come on the statute book on 1st June, but laws against criminal damage, theft and trespass are already in force. Your neighbour and the contractors have committed criminal acts. Don't let them get away with it! The contractors know the law about this. When I tried to take my own situation further, my neighbour lied and said I had agreed to him cutting my trees! I knew nothing about it until the deed had been done and have always trimmed my own hedges and trees each year.
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Postby despair » Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:52 pm

Vic

You are totally correct ......your neighbour has no right whatever even with the new HH Law coming in to reduce the height of your hedge

If you did take him to court the damages you could win are huge ......you only have to look at the cases that have already gone to court often over simply cutting back to the boundary
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Postby Treeman » Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:38 am

Firstly reputable tree surgeons have liability insurance and they know full well they have no business whatever cutting trees in someone else’s garden
Liability insurance isn’t relevant. This circumstance has no redress under this insurance.
If the client told the contractor that they had arranged this with the neighbour they may well have taken it on trust.


Your neighbours employed the tree cutters and thus they are liable jointly and severally with the tree cutters
No they aren’t. There are 2 offences here incitement and the act itself. The client incited the act and the contractor did it. Unless of course the client got stuck in or did the cutting in the neighbours garden themselves.




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Postby despair » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:18 am

Thanks for correcting me Treeman

Given todays litiginous society it seems strange that tree surgeons would take such matters on trust but i suppose if the tree surgeon is not liable then they dont need to worry
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Postby Treeman » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:45 am

I didn’t say they weren’t liable only that the liability isn’t joint and several. If you pursued both client and contractor on the same charge the action would probably fail.

The person doing the work has a duty of care to make sure that they are entitled to do it. The perpetrator is liable for prosecution.

In such situations it would be unwise to do the work without first speaking to the owner of the trees. This makes the contractor foolhardy or reckless. I can imagine a young and hungry contractor getting the wool pulled over just as well as some cowboy having at it.

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hedge cut without permission

Postby Countryman » Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:09 am

The first post by speechless does not indicate that anything was said to the contractor or neighbour when it was realised the hedge was being cut. Was anything said to stop damage when it was known to be occurring?

If nothing was said it weakens a complaint of damage.

The only way to find out why the contractor cut trees in a neighbouring garden is to ask them; I would suggest by registered letter. A registered letter could also go to the neighbour asking the same questions. Further action Depends on the replies. The police would likely not want to get involved; it would probably hinge on the replies to the letters (a small claims civil court has a lower standard of proof than criminal court and might be worth considering ). It would pay to seek a free interview via Citizens Advice solicitors if civil court is considered.

Quite frankly I believe that if nothing was said at the time when damage was known to be occurring it seriously weakens any case.

To see the full text of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 just do a 'google' search and read it. There are some statuatory defences which the contractor may cite (like he was told by the neighbour that the hedge owner agreed).


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Postby speechless » Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:16 pm

Thank-you everyone for your replies....
I did not say anything at the time which i know i should have but they were virtually gone when i came downstairs after being woken by the chainsaw and i was too dumbfounded to say anything.I have since spoken to the contractor and he told me that as far as he was concerned my neighbours had spoken to us and we were all in agreement..not the case.
He was very apologetic when i contacted him but as i said to him the deed is done and in future i advised him to think very carefully about cutting other peoples trees without first checking that permission has been obtained.
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Postby micky » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:03 pm

Has anyone had an 'official' response to neighbours cutting hedges without permission, no-one seems to want to know about our position - trees away from house -our land a lot lower than theirs and a neighbour whose motto seems to be 'I can so I will' - have discussed for 4 yrs his cutting of a Philadelfus - he seems to agree not to do it again waits until we are away then out come the cutters. Now the hedge has his treatment. Police not interested Community police says 'he has better things to do as these matters tend to drag on' Hedge was approx 7-8 foot their side before cutting but due it's annual cut in August when it would be down to 6ft. What now?
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