Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby kitykat20 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:13 am

Hi
We leave directly behind a doctor's surgery, we have a fence up and the have a horrible, thorn bush behind the fence. They continue to let the bush grow and come through our garden. It is about 5 meters high and is over growing up over our garage roof, into the guttering and some parts are now so long it touches the floor of our garden. I know we can trim the bush however it has very painful thorns that make your skin very itchy and uncomfortable. The bush constantly drops the dried thorns all over my garden which have gone into my chidlren's feet and hands and now my dogs paws which resulted in £200 vet bill everytime he gets a thorn in his paw. I have approached them and asked if the would just cut the bush to the fence height and they said no they want privacy but they also told me they do not have the budget to cut my side of the bush and that we can do it if we want to, I do not want to cut it, I also do not have the time, It makes my garden look a mess and the thorns keep getting into the soil and i am forever hurting my hands, It is making my life a misery, i tie my dogs to posts to avoid them hurting themselves, I would like to know if there is anything i can do as they are clearly not interested, it is also pushing our fence over. Please help with any advice :)
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby Mojisola » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:50 pm

Pay someone else to cut it back. It would work out cheaper than the vet's bills.
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby kitykat20 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:57 pm

It would your right, It would be cheaper also to get rid of my dogs, i could use the money to cut someone else's bush and maybe attend to my other neighbours garden? :roll:
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:20 pm

We cut back for our neighbour, but some just don't. :? You could buy a cheap second hand hedge trimmer and cut it back and fence in front if you don't like the thorns. I don't know what else to suggest.
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby appledore » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:47 pm

You can't force them to cut the hedge back. You can cut back to the boundary, but you can't reduce the height. Some thick gardening gloves should protect you from the thorns.
Keep calm and carry on.
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby Mojisola » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:55 pm

kitykat20 wrote:It would your right, It would be cheaper also to get rid of my dogs, i could use the money to cut someone else's bush and maybe attend to my other neighbours garden? :roll:


You have two choices - either you deal with what is growing over the fence (or pay someone else to cut it back) or you live with it.

Which do you want to do?

You can only cut back what comes over the boundary - you can't go into their garden.
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby kipper » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:03 pm

This is not merely overhanging vegetation. Have you notified them that it is pushing the fence over? You should do this in writing and state that they are allowing an actionable trespass. if they do not remedy this within 2 weeks you will employ someone to remove the fence, cut back the bushes to the boundary, repair and reinstate the fence and afterwards seek recompense from them in the small claims courts.

Is there any damage to the garage roof or guttering also?
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby TO » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:43 pm

Hi

Kitykat20 Your neighbours don't have to do anything. Your only option is to exercise your right to cut the bush back to the boundary, or pay someone to do it for you.

kipper wrote:This is not merely overhanging vegetation. Have you notified them that it is pushing the fence over? You should do this in writing and state that they are allowing an actionable trespass. if they do not remedy this within 2 weeks you will employ someone to remove the fence, cut back the bushes to the boundary, repair and reinstate the fence and afterwards seek recompense from them in the small claims courts. Is there any damage to the garage roof or guttering also?
If you follow this advice you are just calling their bluff. If it works, great. If it doesn't what are you going to do, spend a load of money doing what you should be doing anyway, and then wasting money on a fruitless Court action. Money you could have used to
kitykat20 wrote: cut someone else's bush and maybe attend to my other neighbours garden
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby kipper » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:35 pm

The OP shouldn't have to repair a fence that is being damaged by a neighbours vegetation. If the neighbour does nothing once notified they become liable for the cost of rectification by the OP. The neighbour can just cut back k the part of the hedge causing the fence to be pushed over and leave the rest overhanging, as they are not legally responsible for this unless it is also causing damage to the garage.
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby Treeman » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:47 am

kipper wrote:The OP shouldn't have to repair a fence that is being damaged by a neighbours vegetation. If the neighbour does nothing once notified they become liable for the cost of rectification by the OP. The neighbour can just cut back k the part of the hedge causing the fence to be pushed over and leave the rest overhanging, as they are not legally responsible for this unless it is also causing damage to the garage.



This isn't strictly accurate

Once you have notified the neighbour of the on going damage you can (if they don't act) reclaim any elevated cost of cure

The OP should inform the other party of the on going damage and request they abate the actionable nuisance.

The owners should be informed that if they do not act within a reasonable and specified time frame, the works will be taken in hand and an action to reclaim reasonable expenses will follow.
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby TO » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:27 pm

Hi

kipper wrote:The OP shouldn't have to repair a fence that is being damaged by a neighbours vegetation.
You are assuming the fence belongs to the OP. If it doesn't............?

kipper wrote:If the neighbour does nothing once notified they become liable for the cost of rectification
No they don't. They only become liable for any elevated cost of repair that arises after they have been notified. Now prove the extent of the existing damage, in order to define the extent of the elevated damage.

The best advice has already been given. Cut it back and have done with it.

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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby kipper » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:25 pm

TO wrote: You are assuming the fence belongs to the OP. If it doesn't............?

In this case the fence is being pushed over and is therefore a trespass. The full cost of removal of the trespass could be claimed.

TO wrote:They only become liable for any elevated cost of repair that arises after they have been notified. Now prove the extent of the existing damage, in order to define the extent of the elevated damage.

If the fence is a panel fence, which is most likely as they are the least sturdy (I can't imagine a solid closeboard fence being pushed over by a hedge), then suitable repair can only be replacement of the damaged panels, if any, no matter what the extent of the existing damage before notification. For the fence being pushed over the only suitable repair is reinstatement to the vertical. The cost for both of these would be the same whether damage continued or not. Are you saying you cannot claim where there is no "elevated cost of repair", despite continuing damage? Or do you have to go to the trouble of repairing these things yourself, only for them to be damaged again before you can claim?

TO wrote:The best advice has already been given. Cut it back and have done with it.

The OP cannot cannot back anything behind the fence, which is what is pushing it over.
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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby TO » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:20 pm

Hi

kipper wrote:In this case the fence is being pushed over and is therefore a trespass
You are still assuming the fence isn't the OP's. If the fence is the OP's it can't trespass on the OP's land. Therefore how can they claim anything.

kipper wrote:If the fence is a panel fence
Another assumption.

kipper wrote:then suitable repair can only be replacement of the damaged panels
Even more assumptions

kipper wrote:Are you saying you cannot claim where there is no "elevated cost of repair", despite continuing damage
That's how it works. The neighbour would only be liable for the cost of repair of any damage that occurs after they were put on notice. Not existing damage, no matter how long it is allowed to continue.

kipper wrote:do you have to go to the trouble of repairing these things yourself, only for them to be damaged again before you can claim
Well it certainly makes it easier to prove the extent of any further damage.

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Re: Advice please on neighbour's hedge

Postby kipper » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:47 pm

TO wrote:You are still assuming the fence isn't the OP's. If the fence is the OP's it can't trespass on the OP's land. Therefore how can they claim anything
I am assuming nothing, i am merely answering your question. You assume I assume too much. There is a difference between assumptions and examples.

TO wrote:That's how it works. The neighbour would only be liable for the cost of repair of any damage that occurs after they were put on notice. Not existing damage, no matter how long it is allowed to continue.

TO wrote:Well it certainly makes it easier to prove the extent of any further damage.
Better advice than " just cut back the overhang". Useful for the OP to know they have some legal leverage to get the doctor's surgery to include pruning at least some of the hedge in their maintenance budget instead of abdicating their responsibilities.
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