Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignoring

Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignoring

Postby Bird Lover » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:39 pm

Hello. I had a boundary dispute with my neighbour when they planted a row of leylandii on land I believed was mine. In the course of coming to an agreement through solicitors, they agreed to maintain their hedge at 2 metres. This was an explicit condition of the agreement. They have breached our agreement and not maintained the trees at 2 metres. The leylandii hedge is currently 3 metres.

I would like to avoid the fee of complaining through the council anti-social/high hedge legislation, and/or further solicitor fees. I would also like to avoid an argument, but not so much that I'm willing to sit back and just let the hedge keep growing.

Any suggestions as to how best to approach?

Thank you.
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby span » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:49 pm

What was the full extent of the agreement? What was your commitments and compromises, what was their commitments and compromises? What sanctions were placed in the agreement in the event of one party breaching it?

In short, put up the text of the agreement.
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby Bird Lover » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:54 pm

My compromise was that I conceded the land that I thought was mine (life is too short). I stipulated the condition that the hedge should be kept at 2 metres. They agreed to commit to that condition. There were no sanctions written into the agreement.
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby Roblewis » Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:30 pm

Badly worded agreement then - suggest to your solicitor that s/he might want to sort this without fee as I would regard it as negligent to have no sanction. Of course your claim to the land is now back on the table. Just remind the neighbour if he wants a quiet life then the agreement MUST be followed
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby ukmicky » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:24 am

Roblewis wrote:Badly worded agreement then - suggest to your solicitor that s/he might want to sort this without fee as I would regard it as negligent to have no sanction. Of course your claim to the land is now back on the table. Just remind the neighbour if he wants a quiet life then the agreement MUST be followed



Don't need sanctions but If he fails to honour the contract your only option is court I am afraid.


When the agreement was drafted If it said words to the effect of '' I conceded the land to the neighbour in return for them keeping the height of the tree to 2 meters'' and the neighbour signed such an agreement.

He has basically signed a legally binding contract and a boundary agreement, agreeing that land which was yours would be legally transferred to them with the promise (consideration) that they would keep the trees cut back to 2 meters in height.

The courts have recently agreed that minor boundary agreements that involve trivial areas of land can happen without involving the land registry so there is nothing wrong with what you did.


Under contract law if they have failed to honour the terms of the agreement and the breech is not considered minor or immaterial breach you can take the neighbours to court for breech of contract.

If you can then argue that there has been a total failure of consideration (the promise to keep the trees to two meters) you can ask the court to treat the contract as if it never happened and the land returned to you. On top of you can argue for compensation for any loses incurred to return everything back to how it was.

A court does however has other remedies available

A solicitor who specialises in contract law would be a good starting point if you want to take this further .
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby Bird Lover » Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:30 am

Thanks for the replies. I suspected their failure to maintain the height at 2 metres – an explicit condition of the agreement reached – could (in theory) lead to the contract being null and void.

As I said, however, I am very eager to avoid further legal embroilment. I don't have the funds for a solicitor, a member of my family is ill, and I just don't have the appetite for it.

Would it be appropriate/wise/safe for me to write them a polite letter reminding them of their obligation and that their failure to honour the terms constitutes a breach of our agreement? I would hope that a letter worded that firmly might be enough to get a result.

Thanks again.
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:44 pm

Hi Bird Lover,

does the neighbour acknowledge the contract?
from what date did the contract take effect?
how long after the contract has the hedge stood +2m?
what methodology has been agreed to calculate the height?
is there any lawful reason they haven't yet attended to the hedge?

I haven't posted these questions because I want answers.
it's a list of questions I'd be asking myself in your shoes before I contemplated sending a letter.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby arborlad » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:02 pm

Bird Lover wrote:Hello. I had a boundary dispute with my neighbour when they planted a row of leylandii on land I believed was mine. In the course of coming to an agreement through solicitors, they agreed to maintain their hedge at 2 metres. This was an explicit condition of the agreement. They have breached our agreement and not maintained the trees at 2 metres. The leylandii hedge is currently 3 metres.

I would like to avoid the fee of complaining through the council anti-social/high hedge legislation, and/or further solicitor fees. I would also like to avoid an argument, but not so much that I'm willing to sit back and just let the hedge keep growing.

Any suggestions as to how best to approach?

Thank you.



It looks like you have been badly served by your solicitor, not only have you lost land, but any control over what grows there. I know of no 'sanction' that can be imposed under these circumstances, it's a 'carrot and stick' approach but it's all carrot with no stick.
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby cobdale » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:37 pm

can you not just cut it down to the two metre height yourself ? what can he do?
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby despair » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:39 pm

I would simply cut the hedge down to 2 metres yourself
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:43 pm

cobdale wrote:can you not just cut it down to the two metre height yourself ? what can he do?
I was thinking the same...
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby span » Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:21 pm

How long since The Agreement was made? Since The Agreement was made, has the neighbour ever trimmed down the hedge to keep it in compliance? Could he be under the impression that it's your responsibility to do the trimming?
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby Bird Lover » Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:04 pm

Agreement has been in place for a year. Neighbour has trimmed once to exactly 2 metres (using a measuring stick, and measuring upwards from the ground). Within a month, the hedge was above the agreed height. Within three months, it was well above it. Over the summer they trimmed the tops of the branches that were "uneven" - but not the height.

Neighbour most definitely is not expecting us to trim. If we were to do so, I have no doubt that they would do everything they could to come after me legally. (Yes, they employed intimidating tactics during the property dispute.)

I would like to write them a polite but firm letter reminding them of their obligation under the terms of our agreement and that if they fail to do so they are in breech of our agreement. Is there anything I should (or should not) be saying in such a letter?

Thank you again.
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby span » Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:09 pm

are in breech of our agreement


And are you clear in your own mind what the consequences will be of their being in breach?
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Re: Hedge height agreed (through solicitor). Neighbour ignor

Postby arborlad » Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:38 pm

Bird Lover wrote:
I would like to write them a polite but firm letter reminding them of their obligation under the terms of our agreement and that if they fail to do so they are in breech of our agreement. Is there anything I should (or should not) be saying in such a letter?

Thank you again.



It may help us to see that agreement, but I doubt it!

You don't seem to have anything that is enforceable.
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