Neighbour planted row of bay trees against my house wall

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Atbay
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:26 pm

Neighbour planted row of bay trees against my house wall

Post by Atbay »

The side of my house (a listed building) forms the end wall of the garden of my neighbour round the corner - his house is at right angles to mine. A few years ago he planted a row of bay trees in the ground right up against my house wall, barely 20cm from it. When he put them in, I tried to persuade him that it would be better to have them in large pots rather than in the ground. He interprets this as my being rude. Researches tell me that the mature height of bay trees upruned can be up to 15m in time and that, as they have an invasive root system they should not be planted closer to a house than half their mature height. I make that 37.5 times further than he has planted them! I asked for advice from RHS who said that, provided the trees were kept to a height of 2m or less, my house wall should be safe. He is not keeping them regularly pruned and they are now about 4m high and growing fast. Is there anything I can do - preferably before the roots appear through my cellar walls?
cleo5
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 12:33 pm

Re: Neighbour planted row of bay trees against my house wall

Post by cleo5 »

Since there is no room for you to trim the roots then you must explain the situation to him by recorded letter. Keep a copy.

You may find you have to pay extra house insurance premiums as the trees are so close to the house so be prepared to do so.

Explain to the neighbour that he will be liable for any damage to your property caused by his bay tree roots and as he has had fair warning and he needs to take notice.
Atbay
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:26 pm

Re: Neighbour planted row of bay trees against my house wall

Post by Atbay »

An update on an old post: Since my home insurance includes a legal cover extension, I spoke to the insurer's retained solicitor who immediately appreciated my concerns about possible damage to my house and advised that, if it came to it, I could (supported by the legal insurance) apply to the Court for an injunction (on grounds of the neighbour's negligence) which if granted and the neighbour did not comply with it would become a criminal offence by them.

She suggested that in the first instance I write to the neighbour (posted recorded delivery rather than put through the letterbox) giving them a month to remove the trees. I duely did this. They wrote back offering to cut back the trees. I wrote back (giving them a further month) describing the kinds of damage the tree roots could do to my house and mentioning the word "negligence" - although not referring to a possible injunction. This time, they wrote back to say that they would be redesigning their garden and would remove the trees in the course of this. To my great relief, this was done.

Since then, their house has changed hands and the new owners currently have contractors in who have cleared away their predecessors' artificial grass and are in process of removing a lot of concrete their predecessors put down.
CherryBlack
Posts: 416
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2021 3:47 pm

Re: Neighbour planted row of bay trees against my house wall

Post by CherryBlack »

Always great to hear a conclusion - especially such a positive one. Thank you.

Also good to hear that your LegProt was seemingly on the case - very reassuring.

Happy Bay-Tree-Free House :-)
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