Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby dewblay » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:41 am

What is the legal position for a boundary that is defined exclusively by a hedge, and the T mark on the deeds shows that said boundary is owned by one house (mine)?

Does that same house automatically also own the hedge?

Should the neighbouring house be cutting the height of said hedge the full way across, and without any consultation?

The hedge was planted long before either current owner moved in (it is probably several decades old).
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby despair » Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:18 pm

if its definitely your hedge then your neighbour has no right to reduce its height at all

if its a shared hedge you both need to agree on its maintenance etc

where do the main stems and roots lie ?

are they your side of the boundary line or do they straddle it
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby dewblay » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:43 pm

It's hard to say because there is no clear boundary line, the hedge is the only boundary feature. I would say as the gardens step slightly the stems are marginally my side of that step up.
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:03 pm

Hi dew,

'T' marks on plans mean nothing unless they are referred to in the wording of a deed.

even then they typically indicate which boundary features stood on the land at the time of the conveyance (as a means of identifying the limits of the land being conveyed).

whether the hedge was already planted when the conveyance took place, or was planted on your land some time afterward may need investigating.

'T' marks do not indicate who "owns" a boundary.

if you and your neighbour have differing opinions about who's land the hedge stands on you're facing the beginnings of a boundary dispute.

if you agree it's your hedge then he needs to understand he has no lawful right to tamper with your property beyond cutting back any growth which hangs into his property's airspace.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby arsie » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:30 am

Hi dewblay.

You don't say how long this has been happening or if you have already had any exchanges with the neighbour about whose hedge it is, where the boundary might be and if they hold the same or a different view from you. That could make a difference in what you had best say or do next. Which could be, nothing at all. Or have a friendly chat.

I am sure there are lots of variations on hedge maintenance. For example, currently I trim my side and the entire width of the top of what is left of my young neighbours hedge because he CBA. Otherwise it grows to a silly height. The older (OAP like me) previous neighbour got tree workers in twice a year to do both sides. It is the neighbour's boundary to maintain so the hedge is, over time, being replaced by fencing he puts up. The boundary is agreed as the line of the hedge main trunks.

There might be a similar history here?
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby johnnyb » Tue May 26, 2015 6:32 pm

Macadam

this is what I really don't understand. In our case we have a line going right through the centre of a row of trees at the same offset angle to where trunks lie. So the trees clearly sit ON the border, and were there when our house was built by the developer. The plan has the T pointing to us. If the developer intended the hedges to be joint (in my case) why would a T be facing me? They would have put no T or an H? It was the 1970's so not that long ago
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue May 26, 2015 8:12 pm

Hi johnny,

you need to read the original conveyance to discover whether the 'T' marks were added for a reason.

if there is no reference to them in the original conveyance then they are meaningless.

Kind regards, Mac
PS are you certain they are 'T' marks added by the conveyancer?
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby johnnyb » Tue May 26, 2015 9:43 pm

they are on the title plan and are also specifically mentioned in the Transfer of Part which contains the covenants. It says that I am responsible for any borders marked with an inward T.
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue May 26, 2015 11:25 pm

johnnyb wrote:they are on the title plan and are also specifically mentioned in the Transfer of Part which contains the covenants. It says that I am responsible for any borders marked with an inward T.

is that the phrase used?
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby johnnyb » Wed May 27, 2015 7:11 am

I'll dig out the exact wording, but yes I'm pretty certain
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby arborlad » Wed May 27, 2015 7:38 am

johnnyb wrote:.........the trees clearly sit ON the border,



Abut or astride are better terms to use when describing how a boundary feature relates to a boundary.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu May 28, 2015 9:32 am

Hi johnny,

should the wording says something like:

at all times hereafter to maintain and keep in good condition the fence on the sides of the property marked "T"

then this would be referring to the fences that were in situ at the time - not a line of trees.

the ONLY reason that boundary was given 'T' marks was to confirm that if there was a fence there then it sits on your land.

is there any evidence on the ground of there ever being a fence near the line of trees?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Does boundary owner also own the hedge?

Postby sittingonfence » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:14 am

I am following this post with interest, as I find myself in a similar situation where the conifers are straddling the boundary line which is also a step up.
In our case, Ts are there to indicate that its our side and the exact wording is "owns or accepts responsibility for the boundary". Does that mean that I am with in my right to trim these conifers ? There's no mention of conifers specifically in the paperwork.
Thanks
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