Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

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Harry_Dunne
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Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by Harry_Dunne »

Hi

I have a very large horse chestnut tree at the end of my garden which overhangs a Retirement Housing car park. I received the following letter from them yesterday:

"In the interest of our residents and their cars which utilise the land where the tree overhangs, I am making the request for the tree to be pruned away from our land as it is causing a health and safety problem for residents.

I understand there is a TPO on the tree and any application would need to be made prior to any pruning taking place.

I would be grateful if you could address getting the tree cut. Alternatively, we are happy to make these arrangements and get quotes for the work, but we would require payment ahead of the work being completed....."

I really don't want to make enemies of my neighbours, but I have no intention of paying for the work, but am I obliged to do this? I'm happy for them to do, and pay, for the work themselves, but who would then need to apply for permission? Any suggestions on how I should go back to them?

Many thanks for any help on this!
syckend
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by syckend »

I'm afraid that as you own the tree then you are responsible for maintenance and for getting the appropriate permission to prune. You have been warned that the tree may cause potential problems so if anyone gets harmed you could find yourself responsible for paying compensation.

You are in the same position as a neighbour of ours who neglected 2 huge sycamores which overhung our garden, and from time to time dropped huge branches. As our neighbour was a widow in difficult circumstances we did in fact do all the legwork with the Council and in time did in fact get the trees felled - paying half the cost for the felling and replacement of 2 new trees. But that was our choice.

You will have to bear the cost unless your neighbour offers to contribute - which I doubt.
I advise as an experienced layman whose dispute via Courts lasted 5+yrs. Try to avoid this route©
TO
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by TO »

Hi
syckend wrote:I'm afraid that as you own the tree then you are responsible for maintenance and for getting the appropriate permission to prune. You have been warned that the tree may cause potential problems so if anyone gets harmed you could find yourself responsible for paying compensation.

You are in the same position as a neighbour of ours who neglected 2 huge sycamores which overhung our garden, and from time to time dropped huge branches. As our neighbour was a widow in difficult circumstances we did in fact do all the legwork with the Council and in time did in fact get the trees felled - paying half the cost for the felling and replacement of 2 new trees. But that was our choice.

You will have to bear the cost unless your neighbour offers to contribute - which I doubt.
What a load of rubish. All factually incorrect.

Ok Harry here goes. Try having a face to face chat first to see if there's a way forward that's acceptable to both of you.

You do not have to pay for the work. As the tree is TPO'd consent will be required from the local planning authority, (usually the local Council). The neighbours can apply.

In the end you can always write back explaining that if they wish to trim the tree then they must apply for and get consent, and that you will not contribute to the costs of the work. I would also tell them that consent to do the works does not confer consent to enter onto your property to carry out the prunning, and that you will not allow them under any circustances to cut beyond the boundary without your permission in writing if their proposal is consented.

TO
syckend
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by syckend »

Harry your neighbours can apply - as we did - for work to be done on the tree; but nothing can be done without your permission as the tree is on your land - unless of course the tree constitued a danger and the council made an order for work to be done.

However now that your neighbours have informed you that [in their opinion] there is a problem and you then fail to investigate whether or not their warnings are well-founded, and there IS subsequent damage to cars or individuals, then you COULD be liable to pay damages because of your negligence.

You say you don't want to make enemies of your neighbours so a site visit and discussion would be a good way forward.

If, after investigating how your tree looks from the other side of the fence, you decide that there is little chance of the tree causing any damage then you can tell your neighbours that costs for getting any over-hang pruning done [subject to the necessary TPO permission etc and your approval] must be covered by them.

On the other hand why should you not care for your own tree and make sure it's not a nuisance to other people? Splitting the cost is a more friendly way forward.
I advise as an experienced layman whose dispute via Courts lasted 5+yrs. Try to avoid this route©
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WILL*REMAIN*STRONG
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by WILL*REMAIN*STRONG »

You could tell them to sort it out, but it would be neighbourly to help.
Treeman
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by Treeman »

syckend wrote:Harry your neighbours can apply - as we did - for work to be done on the tree; but nothing can be done without your permission as the tree is on your land - unless of course the tree constitued a danger and the council made an order for work to be done.

However now that your neighbours have informed you that [in their opinion] there is a problem and you then fail to investigate whether or not their warnings are well-founded, and there IS subsequent damage to cars or individuals, then you COULD be liable to pay damages because of your negligence.

You say you don't want to make enemies of your neighbours so a site visit and discussion would be a good way forward.

If, after investigating how your tree looks from the other side of the fence, you decide that there is little chance of the tree causing any damage then you can tell your neighbours that costs for getting any over-hang pruning done [subject to the necessary TPO permission etc and your approval] must be covered by them.

On the other hand why should you not care for your own tree and make sure it's not a nuisance to other people? Splitting the cost is a more friendly way forward.

Not true, they can do anything they can achieve as long as they don’t trespass and if they do trespass, provided they do no damage your only option is a private action in court to prevent a re occurrence.

The original quote was
“as it is causing a health and safety problem for residents”
I would speculate conkers and leaves, not something you can be held responsible for but ask them to be specific about the problem just in case. Look the tree over, if you see anything you don’t like the look of call an expert, otherwise all is good.
syckend
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by syckend »

[quote="Treeman"][quote="syckend"]Harry your neighbours can apply - as we did - for work to be done on the tree; but nothing can be done without your permission as the tree is on your land

Thanks. I stand corrected Treeman - you said 'not true'! The neighbours can of course prune up to the boundary. I was thinking of work on the owner's land - but that's no excuse!

[On a personal note I still value the help/advice you gave on our tree problem so many years ago!]
I advise as an experienced layman whose dispute via Courts lasted 5+yrs. Try to avoid this route©
Harry_Dunne
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by Harry_Dunne »

Thanks for all your replies.

I've had a few quotes done and it looks like to work will cost about £400, which I would rather spend elswhere atm! The tree specialists said that there was no reason to get the work done immediately and that the tree was in good health. I'm going to go back to the neighbours and let them know that I would be happy for them to do the work at their cost and am happy to allow them access to my property at pre-arranged times.
Sudynim
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by Sudynim »

Harry_Dunne wrote:Thanks for all your replies.

I've had a few quotes done and it looks like to work will cost about £400, which I would rather spend elswhere atm! The tree specialists said that there was no reason to get the work done immediately and that the tree was in good health. I'm going to go back to the neighbours and let them know that I would be happy for them to do the work at their cost and am happy to allow them access to my property at pre-arranged times.
A good response - helpful, but clear about the costs.
Roblewis
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by Roblewis »

It is down to the landowner to ameliorate the H&S risks of their own property. They have the right to prune back to the boundary and this is all that would be necessary for them to comply with their duties. You have no responsibility for an overhanging tree in good health towards this neighbour. As also stated above they can apply for consent and in fact must do so as they will be specifying the works to their ultimate contractor. Good try by them though :)
hzatph
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by hzatph »

Harry_Dunne wrote:Thanks for all your replies.

I've had a few quotes done and it looks like to work will cost about £400, which I would rather spend elswhere atm! The tree specialists said that there was no reason to get the work done immediately and that the tree was in good health. I'm going to go back to the neighbours and let them know that I would be happy for them to do the work at their cost and am happy to allow them access to my property at pre-arranged times.
It is probably too late to suggest adding that this is subject to them gaining permission due to the TPO - it is an offence to permit others to do work in breach of a TPO.
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Mattylad
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by Mattylad »

You could also advise them not to park underneath the tree.
Then if they complain because something has fallen on their car they cannot say they have not been told :)
TO
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Re: Overhanging Branches - Letter from neighbour

Post by TO »

Hi
Mattylad wrote:You could also advise them not to park underneath the tree.
Then if they complain because something has fallen on their car they cannot say they have not been told :)
I wouldn't go down this route. Duty of care, admission of knowledge of defects, liability, etc

TO
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