Subsidence

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janey
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:56 pm

Subsidence

Post by janey » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:32 pm

I own a field. Part of the boundary hedge is running alongside the neighbours house and garden. Over the years the hedging has spread out into the field in parts and unknown to me a small extension was build up to the boundary. This extension now has subsidence.
I have received notification from their insurers that the part of the hedge alongside the extension has to be removed and also the hedging spreading out into the field. I have removed the spread.
I now have a letter from the insurers asking that as owner of the hedge to give permission for 16m of hedging alongside a 3m extension to be removed, they will pay.
A surveyor was unable to determine the ownership. The neighbours are not claiming ownership and it can't be proved that I am the owner. So possibly jointly owned. I might add the neighbours have always trimmed the hedge on their side and cut the top to a height of their choosing. I have never done anything to it. Some of this hedge has now grown into trees.
I am reluctant to sign this letter as I am then admitting ownership and liable for all foreseeable problems that might arise in the future.
Also do I have to allow access through my field or can this work be carried out from their garden.
Your thoughts and advice would be much appreciated. Thank-you.

mr sheen
Posts: 2444
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: Subsidence

Post by mr sheen » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:58 pm

Subsidence of a property is a costly and upsetting thing to happen. You have the choice to cooperate and assist your neighbours or be awkward and make life even more difficult for them at this time.

I would write back and ask for the insurers to cover my necessary legal costs to assess their request and get my lawyers to respond with a view to being supportive of their client's predicament whilst protecting my interests. If they agree I would consult my lawyers and get them to respond in a helpful manner that does not leave me open to future claims.

If they refuse I would consult my lawyers anyway and reassess how cooperative I wish to be.

janey
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Subsidence

Post by janey » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:38 pm

Yes thank-you. I have no wish to be awkward, just don't want to be left open to any future claims.
As we found all their builder rubble and old wire fencing thrown into our field could we ask for this to be removed.
There are three quite substantial piles. Also a pipe where they have been draining out foul water into the field, probably the reason the hedge has spread out into the field so much.

cleo5
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 12:33 pm

Re: Subsidence

Post by cleo5 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:23 pm

They should not have any water draining into your field so make sure this is mentioned when you write/ speak to your solicitor.

It would seem that for subsidence to occur with their extension proper ground surveys were omitted or foundations were unsuitable.

If the foul water was draining away from th extension then it could have easily pooled and hastened the subsidence.
You do not say how long the extension has been there. Hedge roots may have been partly to blame.

Are the boundaries not marked on the deeds?

To build right against the hedge seems foolhardy as how were they to cut the hedge and remove any encroaching roots?

If it is a shared hedge then you each maintain it.

Certaiinly they should remove builders' rubbish.
Make sure this is included in your negotiations.

It is all very well trying to be amicable but it must be settled to your satisfaction. Why should you pay for someone's lack of common sense in building right up to a hedge?

Ensure you are not faced with more than a fair share of the costs..

A competent solicitor will advise you.
If you have no objection to the hedge being removed in part then let them do so but if it will distress you then refuse.
You did not cause the problem.

janey
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Subsidence

Post by janey » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:52 pm

Thank-you cleo5.
A full and very helpful reply.
I now know what issues to bring up to ensure my own best interests.
To be honest I don't feel particularly helpful as in the past they have reported me to the environmental health because of horse manure in the field causing flies in their house. Also the smell of 3 horses making it impossible to sit in their garden. And swearing at me when I ignored them. The environmental health man visited me after the complaint and went off laughing. !!

cleo5
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 12:33 pm

Re: Subsidence

Post by cleo5 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:34 pm

We had 300 pigs in a shed living less than 50 yards from us for ten years The stench was horrid but we never complained because we and the old farmer got on so well. He even offered me first refusal on the farm when he retired and sold up. A much regretted lost opportunity!

I preferred the poor little pigs to the humans who live there now.

Give me horses any time. Their smell is wonderful.

Each to his own.
. Bag up the manure and sell it.

I would pile it up against he hedge......! Neighbourliness is a two way thing.

Being kind and reasonable is all very well but do get legal advice and feel comfortable about things before you agree.
Get your money from them before they even start.

Is there nothing about the hedge as a boundary in your deeds?
I hope it all works out well.

janey
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Subsidence

Post by janey » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:40 am

The red boundary line on the deeds is right through the hedge line.
So some of the hedge is the neighbours side and some mine.
And some appears to be right through the middle of tree trunks.
So I would say shared. Nothng on the deeds mentions a hedge.
The neighbours insurers have agreed to pay for all necessary works. But I don't see why all the mess should be on my side even though a field. Their problem, they can sort it out.

despair
Posts: 16378
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Subsidence

Post by despair » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:07 pm

Janey ...i know exactly the kind of neighbours your dealing with and i would not give an inch .....insist right up front that you want a deposit held by your solicitor to cover all the costs of rectification because the neighbours have proved already to show no consideration for you and used your field
as a dumping ground for building waste .....make sure you have 3 quotes to clear the rubbish and reinstate the hedge with mature plants not saplings plus temporary fencing to prevent your horses escaping

janey
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Subsidence

Post by janey » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:20 pm

Thank you for your reply despair,
Very helpful and useful points to remember. I will take note. The deposit is an excellent suggestion as I know from previous experience that there's no chance of getting reimbursed once the deed is done.

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