Hedge responsibility - not clear

Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby johna999x » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:09 am

On the far side of the property we have a set of laurels in a hedge separating our property ands the neighbours. They are responsible for the border on that side at the back.

It is hard to line out the border accurately from the fence in the garden to the front of the property. There hasn't been an issue with regards the laurels as we have tended to our side and let them tend to there side as it would seem that the laurels were deliberately planted on the border.

The neighbour hasn't tended to their side and it has grown rapidly on their side. Out about 6 foot from the border over the front of their property on the ground then up to the height of their house. Its not been an issue for many years, however, my neighbour would like to at the very least reduce the height and width of the laurel on their side.

The exact position of the border isn't very clear, but of the 3 laurels, one would definitely seem to be on my land (one furthest from their house/back fence) and the first 2 either on the border or just my land.

It is an unusual growth as all that is on my land is a small stump in the ground, the branches shoot off out 6foot or so then up quite high over their land. Literally 95% is on their side.


I've read a number of threads about who is responsible for cutting down the branches/hedges over their land. Some have said it is their responsibility (certainly the shared laurel.). But are they responsible for the growth on their side from the laurel planted on my land? Some say they are responsible and can't force me or charge me to cut it down but they can cut it back to the border at their expense, some say it is my responsibility and I would have to pay. Which is it?

I don't want a situation where one day he gets a tree surgeon in at great expense to cut down the laurel on his side back to the border and then presents me with the bill and I have to pay it. If it is my responsibility, I would cut it down.


If it is my responsibility for the growth on their side, and I have to either do it or pay for it, can I dictate how high it is (upto 2 meters?) ie take responsibility to cut it down to say 1.8m high. But then if they want it cut back further to the border, they either do it or pay for it? I wouldn't have to pay for it? I don't want to cut it back to the border straight away as it could well either kill it or leave it as hard dangerous branches with no leaves and hence no hedge like quality as the branches are a good 6ft and it would literally be cutting it back to the stump.

I don't find it entirely clear!

Advice would be very welcome!

thanks
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby despair » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:27 am

As its a shared laurel hedge you should both agree on a plan of height and maintenance

Laurels do not grow upright to order they often send branches out to one side

why not go and talk to the neighbour and see if you can get a tree surgeon to cut it right back on both sides and reduce the height to an agreed height share the cost and from therein it will be much easier to keep it in check
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby COGGY » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:35 pm

Despair
May I suggest that you read the question again?
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby despair » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:44 pm

The question is a total muddle

The QP fears the neighbour could get in a tree surgeon and then try to claim costs ...............not a chance he can claim costs

The OP thinks one laurel might be his ............seems unlikely

The OP needs to establish who the hedge belongs to and if its shared proceed with negotiation
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby johna999x » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:49 pm

On my side it has been maintained. There is no additional work on my side.

I will continue to talk to my neighbour, I'm sure we will come to an arrangement.

Just want to understand where I stand. If he on his own instructs a tree surgeon, whether he can present me with the bill and I have to pay it. Plus the other aspects I mentioned in the OP

thanks
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby kipper » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:12 pm

It is extremely unlikely, even if the entire hedge was proven to be your property, that you would be ordered to pay costs of trimming on the neighbour's side.
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby johna999x » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:22 pm

despair wrote:The question is a total muddle

The QP fears the neighbour could get in a tree surgeon and then try to claim costs ...............not a chance he can claim costs

The OP thinks one laurel might be his ............seems unlikely

The OP needs to establish who the hedge belongs to and if its shared proceed with negotiation



OK, so it is his responsibility to cut down the laurel that is planted in my land that has grown over on to his? If push came to shove, he would have to do it and incur any costs?
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby COGGY » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:04 pm

If the laurel belongs to you I believe you have some responsibility in law for maintaining it on the neighbours side. I am not an expert but I think you need to take advice from someone who is an expert.
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby kipper » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:39 pm

No one knows who the laurels belong to or what the exact boundary is. It would be best to determine who trims what and to where with the neighbour and come to an agreement on height, each being responsible for their own side. Is this a possibility, or are you not on good terms with the neighbour?
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby johna999x » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:02 am

kipper wrote:No one knows who the laurels belong to or what the exact boundary is. It would be best to determine who trims what and to where with the neighbour and come to an agreement on height, each being responsible for their own side. Is this a possibility, or are you not on good terms with the neighbour?


I get on well with the neighbour at the moment. However, these things can deteriate quite quickly due to issues such as these!

My neighbour does not seem that interested in gardening or maintaining the hedge on his side. Hence why it has grown out and up so much.

I suspect we will come to an arrangement that the first and or second laurel is shared as basically on the boundary. He has a tree on his side and the third laurel on my side would be my responsibility.

The exact location of the border is subjective and hard to accurately determine. I don't want a situation irrespective of any agreement between ourselves where he hires a tree surgeon and then presents me with the bill because one or more of the laurels is mine.
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby despair » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:18 pm

As you like gardening why not simply agree to keep the entire hedge to an agreed height and width
cutting his side and the top when you do yours is hardly going to take a lot of time

Even hiring a tree surgeon to cut the lot once a year should not be an arm and a leg
Theres no question of him being able to claim back costs from you or vica versa it simply does not happen

Just negotiate a sensible arrangement and put pen to paper so you both know the score
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Re: Hedge responsibility - not clear

Postby arsie » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:16 am

We have/had a similar situation.

Since the old neighbour moved five years ago, a (dying off) mixed deciduous hedge which he had cultivated on our mutual boundary has gone wild. The new neighbour is a miserable sod and, while he has spent £thousands chopping down and removing the front privet hedge (also 6 foot thick and 10 foot tall), only says "It's on my list" when I raise the issue. By agreement however I grubbed up part of this hedge when laying a new drive, which he replaced with fencing thus accepting responsibility for the boundary albeit the wrong side of the fencing faces our way :roll:

After mentioning it twice in a year I asked him again. His face fell, so I said "Do you want me to have a go at trimming it back?" which he said agreed as he was closing the door on me.

Cue chain saw and not a pretty job but the hedge is now approx two metres high where it was more like three and with young hazel branches sprouting to twice that. While I was at it I thoroughly "trimmed" a few trees that overhung on our side. I didn't bother with the "offering back" but what fell off when I went round to his side where growth was vigourous being south-facing I gathered up into a pile and left on his lawn. I burnt what fell off my side.

That was early spring and no come back so I shall continue. RESULT :mrgreen:

Maybe this helps give you some ideas?
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