Neighbours Tree causing damage...

adamjohn393
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:42 pm

Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by adamjohn393 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:33 pm

Dear all I hope you can help with my issue

I own a property in Berkshire and a neighbours tree has been causing us nuisance for the last few years.

We moved into the property 5 years ago and noticed our front fence was damaged. On closer inspection it was the neighbours tree trunk that had damaged our fence. The girth had grown so much it damaged the existing panel and knocked over a concrete post. We instructed a local fencer in 2014 to carry out the work and as a result of the tree erected a new fence but had to move the boundary because of the obstruction caused by the tree (in hindsight I should of approached my neighbour the minute we realised it was their tree causing the damage but for whatever reason I didn’t think of it at the time) - I’ve enclosed a photograph.

Fast forward to 2017 and the tree has got a lot bigger and as a result needles are constantly blocking our gutters, damaging the sills of our cars, cluttered our gravel driveway and damaged our fence and resulted in us moving our boundary. I approached the neighbour in February 2017 to outline these issues and asked if they could get it cut back to the boundary (enclosed is another picture of said tree from the road). The neighbours outlined they’d have it carried out in autumn which was an annoyance to us because it was months away but we had to accept it.

We decided because we didn’t want our cars to get further damaged we wouldn’t park on our drive. We have 2 young children and over the past 9 months this has been a real hassle. We’ve sometimes haven’t been able to park outside our house and has caused other tensions with other neighbours who also now struggle to park. We feel there’s been no urgency by the neighbours to sort the tree out and it appears they are dragging their heels over the issue.

In October I approached the neighbours for an update and they said a tree surgeon was coming out to quote later in the month (unfortunately we were on holiday when they attended). I was a bit aggrieved and asked why quotes hadn’t already been obtained so the work could be carried out ASAP... they didn’t offer any apology or any answers. They told me they’d pop over with the details of the work to be carried out but this was 4 weeks ago.

Fast forward to November and I was informed our neighbours where the tree resides do not own the property but in fact rent it (a land registry search also confirmed this) - I also obtained the owners name and address and who his mortgage lender is. This probably explains the lack of understanding and poor attitude in sorting the issue out.

I then approached my neighbours (by this time I’d lost patience and aired my frustrations to them). I asked where was the quote and I wanted the owners phone number but it was not forthcoming. They were surprised I had such details but said it will be sorted but simply do not care about how much an inconvenience this has become. They outlined the land owner would also pay for any work

I initially just wanted the branches cut to the boundary by a tree surgeon but now I want to move my boundary back to where it should be but currently I cannot because of the tree.

I have written to the land owner at the address on the land registry but it appears he doesn’t live at the address contained in the land registry details (I sent a letter via recorded delivery but was signed for by another name and then the letter was returned to me via Royal Mail) The neighbours have also not provided his details but have confirmed the name of the owner is correct. They informed me the land owner is not well and so wouldn’t want me calling him. So I’m unsure how to proceed, can anyone offer advise please?

The tree is spoiling our enjoyment of the land and is proving a real nuisance. We have been extremely patient but now want something done about it. If the tree branches are just trimmed in a few years the girth of the tree will get thicker and damage the fence again. I feel the only option is to get it cut down but am unsure how to proceed because of the delays occurred thus far. I have tried to resolve the dispute amicably but talking to the neighbours hasn’t resolved my issues

My thoughts are do I instruct a dispute solicitor and leave it to them but I’d incur charges which I feel wouldn’t be fair but may be my only option

Please help....

Many Thanks

Adam

MacadamB53
Posts: 6391
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by MacadamB53 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:11 pm

Hi Adam,

if you want the tree cutting back to the boundary then this is your responsibility - it is not something the neighbour has to do for you.

kind regards, Mac

adamjohn393
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:42 pm

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by adamjohn393 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:48 pm

Hi thanks for your reply

In this scenario if it was your tree that had damaged your neighbours property wouldn’t you pay for its pruning?

Our fence was originally damaged and we have moved the boundary. What rights do we have to ask to have the boundary fence moved back to where it originally was (this would mean cutting the tree down)

Thanks

Adam

MacadamB53
Posts: 6391
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by MacadamB53 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:47 am

adamjohn393 wrote:Hi thanks for your reply

In this scenario if it was your tree that had damaged your neighbours property wouldn’t you pay for its pruning? what I might do is irrelevant - if you want to cut the tree back then you cut the tree back

Our fence was originally damaged and we have moved the boundary. What rights do we have to ask to have the boundary fence moved back to where it originally was (this would mean cutting the tree down) you can ask, and the neighbour can refuse

Thanks

Adam
best way forward is to advise the neighbour of your intention to cut the tree back to the boundary and then get the job done.

adamjohn393
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:42 pm

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by adamjohn393 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:06 am

In terms of the law would it not side with me I’m relation to the tree trunk going past the boundary onto my property? As a result of it were to go to a judge they’d ask for it to be removed?

Thanks

MacadamB53
Posts: 6391
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by MacadamB53 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:45 am

adamjohn393 wrote:In terms of the law would it not side with me I’m relation to the tree trunk going past the boundary onto my property? As a result of it were to go to a judge they’d ask for it to be removed?

Thanks
no - the law allows trees to grow because that is what trees do...

is your concern that you’ve lost a bit of land?

kind regards, Mac

adamjohn393
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:42 pm

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by adamjohn393 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:42 am

Thanks for your reply

Yes that’s one concern losing land and also in future as the tree grows the fence will get damaged again (this time I’ll approach the neighbours and if they don’t cooperate will go through my insurers)

Surely if a tree is damaging property it needs to be removed?

MacadamB53
Posts: 6391
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by MacadamB53 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:47 am

adamjohn393 wrote:Thanks for your reply

Yes that’s one concern losing land and also in future as the tree grows the fence will get damaged again (this time I’ll approach the neighbours and if they don’t cooperate will go through my insurers)

Surely if a tree is damaging property it needs to be removed?
unless I’ve misunderstood the situation the tree isn’t damaging any property?

it did damage your fence and you sorted that out...

if you intend on trying to recover money from the neighbour if it happens again then you need to forewarn them - best done in writing (after an informal chat).

maybe they might lean towards removing the tree during the chat when they realise they may have to pay for your new fence - you could even offer to contribute (the amount it’d cost you to trim it back a couple of times sounds reasonable).

kind regards, Mac

adamjohn393
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:42 pm

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by adamjohn393 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:07 am

Yes that’s correct it did damage the fence which I paid for a replacement

Currently the tree is depositing needles etc in our gutters that’s blocking them, dropped needles onto our gravel drive which cannot be removed and damaged our car window rubbers so much do we are not using our drive. Surely the fact the tree is trespassing on our land is an issue?!

I’ve i formed them the tree will continue to grow and will damage the fence. The neighbours are the tenants so don’t seem to care, it’s the registered owner I need contact with but they have not passed me his details

Thanks

Adam

MacadamB53
Posts: 6391
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by MacadamB53 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:41 am

adamjohn393 wrote:Yes that’s correct it did damage the fence which I paid for a replacement

Currently the tree is depositing needles etc in our gutters that’s blocking them, dropped needles onto our gravel drive which cannot be removed and damaged our car window rubbers so much do we are not using our drive. Surely the fact the tree is trespassing on our land is an issue?!

I’ve i formed them the tree will continue to grow and will damage the fence. The neighbours are the tenants so don’t seem to care, it’s the registered owner I need contact with but they have not passed me his details

Thanks

Adam
I’ve already explained that the law allows you to trim any overhanging branches right back to the boundary - I assume this would greatly alleviate the “needles” issue.

because the law allows this, you cannot stand by and watch the needles fall from the overhanging branches and then, accumulatively, cause damage to your property - the law has given you a means of preventing this from happening.

does this make sense from an information point of view? (appreciating it might not make sense on your moral compass).

kind regards, Mac

adamjohn393
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:42 pm

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by adamjohn393 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:48 am

I understand what your saying but why should we be the ones to pay for a neighbours tree? Especially since we pay for a fence which really they should of paid for. The least they should do is pay for the cutting back of the tree on my side?!

I’d it was the other way around I’d of sorted it months ago

MacadamB53
Posts: 6391
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by MacadamB53 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:16 am

adamjohn393 wrote:I understand what your saying but why should we be the ones to pay for a neighbours tree? Especially since we pay for a fence which really they should of paid for. The least they should do is pay for the cutting back of the tree on my side?!

I’d it was the other way around I’d of sorted it months ago
if you understand what I am saying then there’s nothing more to say - you may feel/think it’s “wrong” you have to pay to trim the tree back, but you’re entitled to that opinion and it’s not my place to try and change it.

it might be my opinion that capitalism isn’t the best solution, but I’ve still got me a job...

kind regards, Mac

arborlad
Posts: 7903
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by arborlad » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:05 pm

adamjohn393 wrote: We instructed a local fencer in 2014 to carry out the work and as a result of the tree erected a new fence but had to move the boundary because of the obstruction caused by the tree



Any competent fencer would have found a solution that didn't involve land-loss, he also would know and should have advised and dealt with any overhanging branches. You need to deal with this matter swiftly - but don't use the same 'fencer'.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

despair
Posts: 16312
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by despair » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:52 pm

regretably when it comes to neighbours trees causing trouble the law is a total ass

Halesburys law of England says " you do nit have to tolerate another mans tree"
sadly though you are lumbered with the cost of cutting back to the boundary
just because the neighbours are renting does not totally absolve them of responsibility as they nay have a clause in their renancy requiring upkeep etc of the garddn
nor does the fact the owner is elderly or ill

If the branches or the roots encroach on your property you can remove all to the boundary and you must offer back the arisings which they can refuse leaving you / your tree surgeon to dispose

If the tree caused damage to your fence
is causing damage to gutters,
cars or drive you need to clearly set out the damage and the costs of remediation in writing to the tenants and the owner
only then can you file future claims for furthur damage

The owner needs to sort the issue because you are now in dispute and this will severely damage them selling the property but can also affect you too

ukmicky
Posts: 4793
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: Neighbours Tree causing damage...

Post by ukmicky » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:10 am

MacadamB53 wrote:
adamjohn393 wrote:Yes that’s correct it did damage the fence which I paid for a replacement

Currently the tree is depositing needles etc in our gutters that’s blocking them, dropped needles onto our gravel drive which cannot be removed and damaged our car window rubbers so much do we are not using our drive. Surely the fact the tree is trespassing on our land is an issue?!

I’ve i formed them the tree will continue to grow and will damage the fence. The neighbours are the tenants so don’t seem to care, it’s the registered owner I need contact with but they have not passed me his details

Thanks

Adam
I’ve already explained that the law allows you to trim any overhanging branches right back to the boundary - I assume this would greatly alleviate the “needles” issue.

because the law allows this, you cannot stand by and watch the needles fall from the overhanging branches and then, accumulatively, cause damage to your property - the law has given you a means of preventing this from happening.

does this make sense from an information point of view? (appreciating it might not make sense on your moral compass).

kind regards, Mac
+1
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Post Reply