Who's hedge is it!?

Honey Badger
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Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Honey Badger » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:28 pm

Hi there, I would really appreciate some clarification on where I stand in this situation: (apologies for the length of the post :roll: )

We live in a mid-terrace house. There is a small patio/seating area in front of our house and a privet hedge running alongside the patio (about 1.5 high and 2m long) running inbetween our property and that of the end of terrace house. The neighbour believes that as he owns the boundary (as shown on title deeds) he also owns said hedge. He has cut his side/face of the hedge back very hard and we have now lost the privacy on our patio as there are huge holes in it. He says he wants to keep the hedge low and manageable as he finds it a chore to cut it. We have asked him if we could please grow it a little higher and that we would happily maintain it. He very reluctantly agreed to let it grow a bit but warned us (we are 2 women) that if we didn't keep on top of it that he would 'get a gun and shoot both of us', this was said as a sort of a joke...I think...

The issue is that the hedge is actually planted on our side of the boundary; there is a diamond shaped pattern in the bricks exactly inbetween our two houses. I have (furtively) traced a line in chalk down from the centre of this diamond all the way down to the soil and the trunks are definitely on our side of the line. I would like to cut the hedge back to this line in order to install some kind of fence/screen/dog proofing (maybe a hazel hurdle) but this would be impossible without actually digging the hedge out as everything that remains of it is planted in our land. I don't want to sit the fence/screening on top of the patio as our broadband cable and soak away pipes run inside the hedge and we need to have access to them, not fence them off. Unfortunately, I think he has conflated 'owning the boundary' with 'owning the hedge' but surely if anything is growing on our side of the boundary line we have the right to remove it?

I have not mentioned any of our plans or my findings to him as yet as I would really like some advice on how to broach the subject with him. He can be quite tetchy and also possibly has some mild special needs as we have struggled to explain some quite basic things to him before. Really don't want to fall out with him or make him feel threatened (although perhaps we should feel threatened!) so I am looking for a way to best explain the situation to him and still have a nice private patio area. What are our rights in this situation? Is there any simply worded leaflet or something that states the law in simple terms that we could give to him so he doesn't think we are just making this up to be annoying. Please help?

span
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by span » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:35 pm

Simply point out to him that the hedge is not the boundary. Pint out where the boundary is.

And leave it like that. Let him figure out the implications from there.

MacadamB53
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by MacadamB53 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:19 am

Hi Honey Badger,

The neighbour believes that as he owns the boundary (as shown on title deeds) he also owns said hedge.

all his deeds do state is that when the end terrace was first sold the boundary feature that stood at that time was included in that transaction.

if the original boundary feature is removed and then the owner of the neighbouring property, not wanting an open-plan affair, installs a new boundary feature of their own - this doesn’t become part of the end terrace.

is this current hedge the original boundary feature?

kind regards, Mac

Collaborate
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Collaborate » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:42 am

If the hedge is all planted on your side of the boundary I don't see how you cannot erect your own fence without pulling up the hedge.

span
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by span » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:04 am

Collaborate wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:42 am
If the hedge is all planted on your side of the boundary I don't see how you cannot erect your own fence without pulling up the hedge.
Because there's a hedge in the way?

Collaborate
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Collaborate » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:04 pm

If it is to the side of the boundary it does not stand on the boundary. The boundary feature would be expected to stand on the boundary.

Honey Badger
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Honey Badger » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:05 pm

Thank you for your replies!

I had a quick chat with the previous owners of our house to see if they could clarify things. They built the patio (actually, our belligerent neighbour built it for them, how the plot thickens!) and they are under the impression that the edge of the patio I mentioned is the boundary line and not the diamond brick detail that I referenced. This is rather odd as if you stand away from the houses you can see a clear distinction between our soffit/fascia board (upvc) and the neighbours (timber) and our roof tiles and his roof tiles are very different, both of these meet at exactly in line with the centre of the 'brick diamond' and the brick diamond is exactly inline with the party wall so I think they may have judged it wrong at the time. I assume the hedge had grown over the border line over the years and they just butted the patio up to it without thinking to0 much about it!

Our house is one of 4 terraces and we get on well with the owners of opposite end of terrace which is a mirror image, we asked them to show us where they think their boundary is and lo and behold...it's in line with the centre of of their brick diamond and their neighbours hedge ends exactly at this point!

Worryingly, I have a feeling that when it comes to talking to our neighbour about removing the hedge, it is going to be a very difficult conversation to have, seeing as he put the patio where it is, and the previous owners agreed to it at the time!

I will post a photo of the deeds as well as a diagram of the current layout. I would really appreciate your thoughts?

Honey Badger
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Honey Badger » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:14 pm


Honey Badger
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:13 am

Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Honey Badger » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:18 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:19 am
Hi Honey Badger,

The neighbour believes that as he owns the boundary (as shown on title deeds) he also owns said hedge.

all his deeds do state is that when the end terrace was first sold the boundary feature that stood at that time was included in that transaction.

if the original boundary feature is removed and then the owner of the neighbouring property, not wanting an open-plan affair, installs a new boundary feature of their own - this doesn’t become part of the end terrace.

is this current hedge the original boundary feature?

kind regards, Mac
Hi Mac, not sure if it is the original feature, the houses were built in the 1930's, the trunks don't seem that substantial/80 years old. But as mentioned, the hedge was there when they built the patio :?

Collaborate
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Collaborate » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:38 pm

Take a measurement from the inside of your bay window to the party wall internally. Add the width of a brick and that should tell you where the internal boundary line is. The external boundary line is likely to follow the same path.

arborlad
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by arborlad » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:33 am

Who planted, or claims to have planted the hedge?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Honey Badger
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Honey Badger » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:24 pm

Collaborate wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:38 pm
Take a measurement from the inside of your bay window to the party wall internally. Add the width of a brick and that should tell you where the internal boundary line is. The external boundary line is likely to follow the same path.
Good idea! I have the original deeds and they show that the boundary line is in line with the party wall... thanks

Honey Badger
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by Honey Badger » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:27 pm

arborlad wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:33 am
Who planted, or claims to have planted the hedge?
Hi thanks for replying, not sure. Our previous owners who lived here for 40 years didn't plant it, it was there when they moved in I think. So perhaps grumpy neighbour did or his predecessor?

What bearing does it have?

cleo5
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by cleo5 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:00 pm

The hedge, from your drawing ,looks to be on your side of the boundary but has probably grown on both sides from the initial planting.
However is it worth all the hastle?
Hedges are good environmentally but arguements overheight, width, ownership can be wearing. Believe me I have had 40 yrs of daily hassle over hedges.

New neighbour there now and first thing he did was chop the high hedge right down and remove inner hedges. Both of us benefit from extra sunlight.
Oh the bliss of not being woken most mornings , all year long, by the sound of that hedgecutter.

You could thin back your side of the hedge and erect a willow , woven panel or two thus givingyou the privacy you want.
A few nice climbers trained up it and there you are.

Yes you lose a hedge but gain peace of mind.

arborlad
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Re: Who's hedge is it!?

Post by arborlad » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:10 am

Honey Badger wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:27 pm
arborlad wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:33 am
Who planted, or claims to have planted the hedge?
Hi thanks for replying, not sure. Our previous owners who lived here for 40 years didn't plant it, it was there when they moved in I think. So perhaps grumpy neighbour did or his predecessor?

What bearing does it have?



Currently, the hedge is the established boundary feature, if the neighbour or his predecessor planted it , and can evidence it, then the hedge and the land it occupies marks the limit of his land.

Do you or your neighbour have boundary features that abut the highway?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

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