Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby hedgerama » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:37 pm

Hello,

I own a house which I rent out. The house has just been vacated and is going on the market shortly. While visiting the property yesterday, my neighbour came round and, very aggressively, said that I owe her £1200 so she can get a new mature Leylandii hedge! The hedge in question is on her property but has branches overhanging my garden. I have never done anything with the hedge but she says that the tenants who rented the property from 2010 to 2011 "cut it wrongly" (?) and that the hedge is now dead. It doesn't look dead to me, but she says there's yellowing on her side. She said I'd better pay for it or she'd take me to court. She was very unpleasant.

Can anyone advise me on whether I need to be concerned about this or not? Am I right in thinking that the tenants were totally within their rights to cut any branches overhanging their (my) garden, even if this would cause damage to the hedge? Would cutting carried out four years ago only be having an effect now? Surely if she has a bone to pick with anyone it's the old tenants and not me? She's incredibly difficult to talk to about this - I think she genuinely believes that I owe her this money. I don't think she has any evidence that the tenants cut the hedge, and I have no recollection.

I'm in Scotland, I'm not sure if that makes a difference.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Re: Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby mugwump » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:02 pm

It sounds more like she has cut it back too far on her side if the yellow is only on her side
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Re: Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby Collaborate » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:01 pm

Don't think Scotland will be different to E&W on this one.

You will not be responsible for the actions of your tenants. They were not your agents unless you asked them to do the work to the hedge on your behalf.

Even if you had wielded the trimmer yourself, you'd have been within your rights to trim it back to the boundary.
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Re: Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:09 am

Hi hedgerama,

the neighbour is spouting nonsense - tell her you'll see her in court :D

seriously, though inform her you that although are not liable for your tenant's actions (so it would be a waste of time taking you to court) you may have been able to help her and squeezed the tenant had she brought the matter to your attention back in 2011, but if she is serious about seeking compensation you could give her the tenant's name...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby Collaborate » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:25 am

I'd be careful about that Mac. Could be breach of the DPA.
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Re: Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:18 am

Collaborate wrote:I'd be careful about that Mac. Could be breach of the DPA.

yeah, I know - but only if you actually share ;)
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Re: Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby arborlad » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:12 am

hedgerama wrote:.........going on the market shortly......I owe her £1200...........



This seems like blatant opportunism to me, but, it does have the potential to delay or prevent a house sale if she unwisely pursues this.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby Collaborate » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:24 am

arborlad wrote:
hedgerama wrote:.........going on the market shortly......I owe her £1200...........



This seems like blatant opportunism to me, but, it does have the potential to delay or prevent a house sale if she unwisely pursues this.


It shouldn't do. It's not a dispute over the property. It's merely a dispute over something a previous occupier did or didn't do. It may well have to be declared as a dispute, but it would have no bearing on the title or indeed on the liability of any future owner.
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Re: Tenant cut neighbour's hedge, maybe...

Postby Roblewis » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:00 pm

Not so sure about non revelation at sale in Scotland, in England and Wales I definitively know, one has to be upfront about any situation that could affect the house value and a neighbour such as this could be an issue down the line. I cannot see Scotland deviating too greatly if at all.
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