OAP told to pay £350 !!!!

OAP told to pay £350 !!!!

Postby gezzelin » Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:35 pm

The neighbours at the bottom of my Mum's garden have those dreaded leylandi right up against the fence, in fact all the rubbish underneath has pushed my mums fence out. When the high hedges law came in, she went round and spoke to them, said the trees where blocking the light and that she couldn't grow anything because the soil was like dust. They were very understanding and said they were aware of the new law. About three weeks later nothing had been done so I sent a letter stated the new law and the damage that was being caused etc. They have cleared some of the rubbish out and that is all.
Today I phoned the council, he didn't inspire much confidence, I must have told him twice that, yes, I had sent a letter. The he said there would be a charge of £350, told him Mother has only a state pension. Answer I will send out some booklets !!!
Has anybody any suggestion please? Mum is getting worried about it, the trees are as high as the house which is not an exageration.
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Postby despair » Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:59 pm

The fees being charged by LA to administer the HH Law are a disgrace

see www.hedgeline.org for info on the fees many of which are £600

Your Mums best bet or yours is to complain bitterly to her Local Councillor
Her MP and direct to OPDM

The whole thing is outrageous

If the hedge is damaging her fence she could bring things to a head by issuing a Small claims Action for cost of replacing fence and cutting trees back to the boundary
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Postby syckend » Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:07 pm

As usual despair is spot on.
I advise as an experienced layman whose dispute via Courts lasted 5+yrs. Try to avoid this route©
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Postby Beech » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:22 am

Hi gezzelin,

I might be wrong, but I think that the fee is payable by the complainant but can be recovered through small claims court. It would be a good idea to check this with the LA and the court service.

In your/your Mum's position I would write a further letter to the neighbour telling them that you have approached the LA about the hedge and outline the out of pocket expenses they face for refusing to cooperate.

Tell them that you are willing to negotiate the height reduction, either in person or through your local (free) mediation service. You could say that you'd be happy for the hedge to be reduced to an acceptable and safe height over two or three seasons (because cutting something that tall down by more than half may kill it, or so I'm told) and that the ultimate height you would be happy with is greater than what you would expect the council to insist, and give them a time limit to respond.

You can calculate the "recommended" height from the charts on hedgeline.

It might do the trick!

Good luck.
Last edited by Beech on Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby twig » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:34 am

The fee is payable by the complainant. Not sure if there is any way to recover it.
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Postby syckend » Sat Jul 23, 2005 7:50 am

Yes it is the complainant who pays but it might be possible to reclaim in the small claims court. At the moment everything is still weighted in favour of the hedge owner and bully.
Rather than have trouble with our neighbour we paid half the cost £100] to have the hedge cut at 7'6" their side and 6'6" ours [the hedge is 6' or so wide]. They look at a lovely leafy hedge and we see brown trunks as it's so close to our boundary. But at least we have light and peace.
Your mum should write or go to see her MP and join Hedgeline. They have always been keen for victims to agitate through their MPs to keep up political pressure. I hope she can get things sorted out.
I advise as an experienced layman whose dispute via Courts lasted 5+yrs. Try to avoid this route©
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Postby gezzelin » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:11 am

Mum received the booklets and letter from the council, which said that a form was enclosed, no form :roll: Also, a not very nice letter from the neighbours, saying they had spoken to a knowledgeable person about the trees and that to cut them to the height would kill them, Mum needs to repair the fence to keep her livestock from straying (dog, 2 cats,rabbit.guinea pig and 4 chickens). We sent a letter back saying they have made a token removal of the rubbish (according to them compost) the large branches amongst the rubbish had pushed the fence over the boundary could they repair it, nothing has been done about reducing the height of the trees and they have until the end of the month, then we will be going to mediation.
I'm considering buying either a chainsaw or large bottle of weedkiller. :?
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Postby despair » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:28 am

Your Mums neighbours are bluffing

They are bullies

but on no account whatsover should you put yourself in the wrong by using a chainsaw or weedkiller

Dig the boundary and chop off the roots is legal and in this hot weather should have an affect
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Postby Vic » Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:38 pm

Just because someone grows a hedge, it does not make them a bully. My neighbour cut down my hedge when I was out at work - that's a bully - too cowardly to do it when I was at home. The victims can be the hedge owners.
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Postby despair » Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:57 pm

If your neighbour cut your hedge when you were out at work he is not only a bully he has commited crininal damage and you have the law on your side ........you can sue him for plenty

However the victims on the other side of high hedges have absolutely no recourse whatever in law

ALL LAW favours the hedge grower even now with the HH Law

Its the victim who pays ........THAT IS NOT JUSTICE
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Postby gezzelin » Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:57 pm

Neighbours have still done nothing about the trees. To go to mediation it will cost £150 for them to visit, this amount to be paid by both parties and £30 for them to send a letter. So that is a nice £360 for the mediation people. I've just spoken to a man who says he's a gardener (looks like someone from rogue traders) & asked him to cut the trees back to the boundary, all branches etc to go over the neighbours side, he his going to get back to me with a price but said it would be a challenge because of the height. If he's cheaper then I will inform the neighbours in writing what is going to be done.
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Postby despair » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:39 pm

As your Mother is an elderly pensioner have you contacted the Help the aged group in her area they may have people who will cut hedges back for her

The other option to show up just how nasty her neighbours are and how mean both Mediation and the LA charge for HH Law is to involve the local press

Sure they could have a field day on the subject
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Postby nigelrb » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:04 pm

Hi Gezz,
You've posted that the trees are 'right up against your mum's fence', but no info about their number and height. How many and how high are the trees?

Also you're inviting trouble if your 'rogue trader' does the following:
all branches etc to go over the neighbours side . . .


They may be offered back - not just thrown over.

Cheers, Nigel
Life is never what it seems; there is always two sides to every story.
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Postby gezzelin » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:12 pm

There are three trees and they are as high as the house, there is a shed in their neighbours, which I think are normally 6foot high and using the shed as a rough guide you could say the trees where 3 times the height of the shed. The rubbish around the trees has pushed the fence into my Mothers garden, but a concrete post on the boundary by the shed is solid and I'm using this as the guideline for the boundary.
Everything I've read says that overhanging branches and also any fruit from neighbouring trees that hangs over the boundary into your garden is still legally their property.
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Postby nigelrb » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:20 pm

Hi again,

Yeah, it is their property, but if you're cutting it down or removing it, you are not allowed to just throw it back (unfortunately). I'm not sure if there is a law prescribing this - but someone may enlighten us both. However, it is tantamount to throwing rubbish into your neighbour's garden if you chuck the refuse back. Cheers, Nigel
Life is never what it seems; there is always two sides to every story.
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