advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby tracymac » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Hi guys, ok i live in a semi detached, neighbour to right and a field to left! when i returned home from work the other day i discovered that someone had obliterated my hedging to the left??? So i obviously asked the field owner what the hell had happened, i explained that i could no longer allow MY dogs into MY garden as the hedging was now open and stupidly low and had removed ALL my privacy, he explained he hadnt touched it but had given my right hand neighbour permission to clip the overhangs onto his land!!!! shouldnt even have been an issue as his house is nowhere near the hedge as he lives to the right of me!?!?!? when i spoke to him he said he cut it down as the view of the field was blocked by MY hedge!!!! i tried the police as i felt this was criminal damage, but they cannot get involved in disputes like this :-( can someone please advice me as to what i can do legally please? many thanks in advance
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby despair » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:42 pm

Sorry but it is clearly criminal damage since your neighbour has no right to a view and has no right to reduce the height anyway.the police like to evade doing anything about situations like this sadly
You could of course replace the hedge with a 2 metre high fence and your neighbour again cannot touch it or have any right to a view
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby span » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:29 pm

So now you need a new hedge.






Leylandii is nice................
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby gardenlaw » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:43 pm

When you say "stupidly low" do you mean there is still a hedge there? Or did the neighbour cut it down to ground level? If he did this and did not grub up the roots then will it regrow in time? Please could you say how long the hedge is it? I ask these questions to have an idea of the balance you always have to strike in these situations between the cost of doing something about replacing the hedge or putting up a fence against the costs, and risks of a county court action. Do you have any choice but to put up a fence to keep your dogs safe?

If you have to install a fence then I think you should write to your neighbour saying ( but only if you are prepared to do it)

1. He unlawfully removed the hedge.

2. He knows your dogs need to be safe and secure.

3 Give him an estimate of the cost of a new fence. Say you will claim this by way of damages from him via the court if necessary. This would result in a judgement against him which would affect his credit rating.

4. Say there is no right in law to a view.

%. You could say that the fence is a temporary measure to protect your property as well as your dogs and that you will replace the fence with hedging of the same maturity/height as that cut down when it is appropriate to do so and claim that cost from him. This is a link to 2 mtre high instant hedging http://www.instanthedges.co.uk/

Do you photographs of the hedge as it was? Take photos of it as it is now.
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby hzatph » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:36 am

EDITED

There is no grounds for definitively concluding that it is criminal damage. For example, we do not know that it is the OP's hedge. EDITED

As has been said, we do not know how low this hedge is or what it is. It may well grow back quickly.

In terms of what you can do, you could try a small claims court claim against your neighbour for a replacement hedge or fence. It is not expensive and it sounds like they have admitted cutting it. You would need to prove that (i) it is your hedge and (ii) the cutting took place on your land and (iii) the neighbour would clearly understand that the permission granted by the owner of the field clearly did not extend to the work that was undertaken. This would not be treated as a criminal matter and you do not need lawyers and nor should your neighbour - all you risk are the court fees.
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby hzatph » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:37 am

gardenlaw wrote:This would result in a judgement against him which would affect his credit rating.


EDITED. If the neighbour loses then they have a period in which they can pay. Only if they fail to make payment would a county court judgement be lodged against them which could impact on their credit rating.
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby tracymac » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:45 am

Hi and thank-you to all for your responses! the hedge is in my boundary was planted by myself almost 20 years ago and re stocked in bald areas with younger hedging in or around 2011 and belongs to me,there is a small ditch then between my boundary and the field next door . It was before neighbour attacked it around 10 ft and is now around 3 ft he has also not taken the whole length of the hedge just a very large section in the middle (which adds to my distress as it looks totally hideous) so he has clearer viewing of the adjoining field to myself!!! I have general pictures of the dogs in the garden which does show the hedge prior to this and I have taken very clear pictures of the here and now hedge!!
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby despair » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:48 pm

In which case it seems I was totally correct and if I was in the OPs shoes I would be billing the neighbour and taking them to court if they do not pay

I can see no reason how it can be argued this does not constitute criminal damage ............its deliberate and done without permission, its extensive and its causing problems and expense for the OP
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby tracymac » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:59 pm

I did believe it to be criminal damage which was why I called the police but they will not get involved, I have now decided that I am going to send him a recorded delivery letter and will cc the field owner also (just so he knows what is afoot) and request that he foots the cost to replace MY hedging on My boundary to the height and maturity that he found it and that if he isn't willing to be accommodating then I shall indeed take him through the courts :-) once again thank-you for everyone's input :-)
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby arborlad » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:19 pm

What sort of hedge is it?
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smile...it confuses people
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby hzatph » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:15 pm

EDITED

Replacing hedging with mature plants may not give a good result - what is the hedge?
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby gardenlaw » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:17 pm

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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby tracymac » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:56 pm

sorry for lack of response guys the hedge is a evergreen privet and some parts have been cut down to just stumps :-(
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby despair » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:03 pm

In which case I would call the police back and demand to know how they claim its not criminal damage and get quotes for replacement of the hedge with mature plants and make the neighbour pay via court if nessecary
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Re: advice on neighbour and hedge PLEASE!!

Postby Sudynim » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:04 pm

despair wrote:In which case I would call the police back and demand to know how they claim its not criminal damage and get quotes for replacement of the hedge with mature plants and make the neighbour pay via court if nessecary


In my view the neighbour on the right has not committed criminal damage, because he believed he had permission to cut the hedge (s5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971). There is an option to sue for damages, but the hedge will naturally re-grow so I'm not sure what a court would be likely to award.
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