Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby ian100448 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:01 am

The forum contains mixed messages on whether you may return hedge offcuts to the owner i.e. next door neighbour or whether you simply have to offer them back which he may decline.

If I have to trim back my neighbours hedge that's bad enough , why do I then have to take responsibility for his property. With councils now charging for green refuse removal why should I face the cost of getting rid of what is essentially his rubbish.

Some say I have to offer back the cuttings and he may refuse !!! Others say that I legally have to return the cuttings to him and make no mention of offer and refusal. What are the facts please ?
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Re: Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby arsie » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:08 pm

Assuming the tree or hedge belongs to the neighbour then so do any cuttings. Offer and then possible refusal is the rule.

YOU MAY trim your side if you wish back to the boundary. If to do so endangers the tree/hedge you bear responsibility for any damage inflicted and consequential damage e.g. causing heave after killing the tree/hedge or killing a tree on a TPO.

The trimmings are, strictly speaking, owned by the neighbour so you should offer them back. However since you decided to trim the plant he is perfectly within his/her rights to refuse to take them: in which case you are responsible for disposing.

There are many threads on this and many confused people but that is the situation.

One of our tree gurus may be along shortly. Or not.
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Re: Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:27 am

Hi ian,

you seem to be confusing the terms "want to" and "may" with "need to" and "must".

you MAY trim any overhang if you WANT TO and ought to offer the arisings to the hedge owner.
they MAY decline your offer if they WANT TO.

the reason they don't HAVE TO is because you took possession.

imagine I dropped a fiver...

you MAY pick it up if you WANT TO and ought to offer it to the owner (me).
I MAY decline your offer if I WANT TO.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby arsie » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:36 am

Pretty bonkers to decline the return of a fiver. Analogies are usually the recourse of the weak (those unable to explain).
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Re: Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:01 am

Hi arsie,

Analogies are usually the recourse of the weak (those unable to explain)

is that a fact - amazing.

it does not follow though that all who use analogies are weak (unable to explain)...

I hope the OP benefits from the analogy.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby arsie » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:27 am

So explain away ...
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Re: Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby Treeman » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:14 am

The returning arising's thing is a convention based on the idea that chucking it back could just be fly tipping and if done maliciously could constitute criminal damage.

So what do you if you offer and they don't want it back? There is no reason you should be burdened with the expense so if returning the waste isn't an option you can tell the owner that if they don't make arrangements for the disposal of the waste you will do it for them and present them with an invoice, which will be pursued through the courts if need be.

The comments above about not damaging the hedge/tree cant be substantiated, the survival of the tree cant licence an on going nuisance, if it cant survive without using resources that it isn't entitled to then its continued existence is moot. You are responsible for your actions but you are also entitled to remove the trespass
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Re: Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby Whomping Willow » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:08 am

arsie wrote: If to do so endangers the tree/hedge you bear responsibility for any damage inflicted and consequential damage e.g. causing heave after killing the tree/hedge or killing a tree on a TPO.


It's not quite as open ended as that and it will depend upon the facts of the case; a neighbour doesn't have to put up with some overbearing plant because the options open to them will lead to a number of consequences. There is a difference between reasonable and being reckless. Communications with the neighbour/tree owner are important; inaction by the neighbour counts. I have yet to hear of a case where a neighbour kills a tree and causes heave - sounds like a chain of events that would require a lot of detailed information to prove. Warning the neighbour that you intend to undertake action and there may be consequences which may require him to seek professional advice may assist your defence if say a tree fell over. If you were able to kill a tree by merely pruning it on your side of the boundary line it suggests that the tree must be heavily overgrown.....which would suggest that pruning it was highly justifiable....

A TPO is a TPO is a TPO and is a side issue in this.
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Re: Evidence please on returning hedge offcuts

Postby RDF Jess » Fri May 29, 2015 12:15 pm

Hi, my name is Jess and I’m a Researcher at RDF Television.

I’m currently working on a new documentary for ITV exploring a variety of issues people can face in their garden and or around their home including boundary disputes, nuisances next door, infestations, pests and weeds, sinkholes, erosion and flooding.

It would be great to have a chat with you and tell you more about the programme.

If you’re interested in finding out more please call Jess on 0207 013 4076.
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