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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I have a problem with a neighbours evergreen hedge. It is approx

Customer Question

I have a problem with a neighbours evergreen hedge. It is approx 15 feet high and is blocking the light from my own garden. I have spoken and written to the neighbour requesting he trims the hedge to a more sensible height, but at present he appears to be very reluctant to do so. According to the hedge height law I can get my local authority to requests he cuts the hedge, providing they agree it is too high. However, they will charge me between £350 and £400 for them to issue a notice to the neighbour. My question is can I claim this amount back from my neighbour via a small claims court or another body?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Has he refused?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes my neighbour has refused to cut the hedge.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.




This is a very common question. A
person cannot make an adjoining property owner cut the trees per se but please
see my later comments about trespass and nuisance.

Consent is needed to trim
deciduous trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and a licence
may be needed to fell trees which are not protected by a TPO.



Evergreens cannot usually have a
TPO.



Regarding evergreens, a complaint
can be made to the council and they will deal with them under the nuisance tree
legislation but only with regard to the height. They want £300 fee to start the process and if they
find that the trees are a nuisance, they can compel a tree owner to cut them
down to 2 m high.



With regard to branches and roots
growing boundary, these are nuisance and trespass. The overhanging pieces can
be chopped off as can roots growing underground but they do not belong to
anyone other than the tree owner, so the pieces should be given back although
if they are unceremoniously dumped over their hedge without warning, it is not
good for already fraught neighbour relation



The following are links will give
you some reading with regard to high hedges and nuisance trees. Don't worry
about where the sites are geographically because the rules apply nationwide.



 



http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/environment/planning/high_hedges/high_hedges_frequently_asked_questions.htm



 



http://www.tameside.gov.uk/planning/highhedges



 



http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/trees.html



As this cost is incurred through no fault of your own, there is no reason why you cannot claim it back BUT you do have to warn the neighbour that if you do go to the council he will incur that cost.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My neighbour will not initially incur the cost this will have to be met by myself. My question was can I claim this back from my neighbour through the small claims court or somewhere else?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.






Correct, he will not incur the cost. You have to pay it and
then claim it back from him through the Small Claims Court.



You have to warn him that if does not cut the hedge, he will
incur this cost which you will claim back by the Small Claims Court.



I assume that not only will he not cut it, he will not let
you cut it either.



If you have not raised that, it might be cheaper to cut the
hedge yourself (if he is agreeable) rather than have the grief of the Council
and court