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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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A giant oak tree, approx. 40-50 ft. high and growing, is situated

Resolved Question:

A giant oak tree, approx. 40-50 ft. high and growing, is situated on the boundary line to my garden. It is approx. 30ft. wide. In the evenings it blocks out the sunlight to my garden from teatime; I collect over 20 large sacks of leaves throughout autumn, winter and spring; I fear its roots could be growing under my house and could cause damage. My wife is frightened it might fall. it leans toward my house. My insurance co. don't know about it. It is very much a nuisance. I live in Northern Ireland. The owner refuses to take it down. What rights do I have? Thanking you for your help

regards,

Ted Devlin
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Josh-2010 :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Josh-2010 :

Is the tree planted entirely within your neighbours land please?

Josh-2010 :

Is there evidence that points to the tree being dangerous or do you just fear it may cause damage to your property?

Customer:

Yes, entirely within my neighbours property.

Customer:

However it is a nuisance as it blocks natural sunlight and pollutes my garden and blocks

Customer:

my drains. I'm a pensioner and have to pay someone to clear my drains twice yearly.

Customer:

Surely this monster is out of place in a heavily built up area, and should not be allowed to

Customer:

continue to grow unchecked.

Customer:

Yes, the tree is planted entirely on my neighbours land.

Customer:

no evidence that the tree is dangerous but it blocks out natural sunlight and could be dangerous, who knows?

Customer:

It is basically a nuisance, causes pollution in my garden, and as i'm a pensioner I have to pay someone

Customer:

twice yearly to clean my drains.

Customer:

It is also totally out of character in a heavily built up area.

Joshua :

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you.

Joshua :

Thank you for the above information. Unfortunately there are few laws that can assist in respect of trees as distinct from hedges and shrubs. Evergreen trees of the shrub type variety can be provided for under the antisocial behaviour act but for trees there is no such legislation. It is not possible to acquire a right to light for land which is not built upon. One can only acquire a right to light through an aperture such as a window for example. In other words it is not possible to acquire right to light for a garden. However this does not necessarily mean there is nothing you can do though it is does limit your options...

Joshua :

Providing the tree is not protected by a tree preservation order you can lop back overhanging branches that overhang your property providing you give the branches themselves back to the neighbour on whose land the tree grows; you can do the same in respect of any roots that are growing under your land however in terms of the height of the tree itself, you can only take action in respect of this if you can prove that the tree is dangerous or causing a nuisance. It is difficult to show that tree is causing a nuisance and loss of light the dropping of leaves etc is not sufficient basis in this respect.

Joshua :

If the tree is dangerous in your opinion, you can ask the local authority to assist or take action yourself; they have the power to inspect the same answer appropriate notices on your neighbour if they agree with your assessment. If the tree is not dangerous however you're likely to find it difficult to force the neighbour to take any action regrettably as there is no law that prevents them from growing trees on their land providing they are properly maintained to prevent them becoming dangerous

Joshua :

If the tree is limiting light into your property itself the position may be slightly better becasue as above it is possible to acquire a right to light into a building. Check your deeds to see if you have a right to light over their land. You can also establish a right to light if you can show 20 years or more of continuous enjoyment of such a right. If you can show that you have enjoyed right to light across someone's land 20 years or more, in the absence of anything written in your deeds, you can still claim the right to light over their land but even if you can establish a right to light over their land this can be lost very quickly if you do not act swiftly to prevent loss of light. What this means is that in respect of trees, if a neighbour plants a tree, you need to object before it grows to a level you are not happy with as opposed to waiting for it to grow and then lodging objection.

Joshua :

If you do the latter, then the owner of the tree can claim that you failed to exercise any right you had to object to the loss of light and therefore are estopped from making an objection now however it may work to limit further growth of the tree

Joshua :

It goes without saying that if the tree is not protected there is nothing stopping you agreeing with your neighbour to carry out work to the tree to improve the light. If you offer to share or even pay for costs this can often remove a sticking point with neighbours but not always of course.

Joshua :

I am sorry there is nothing in the law that enables me to offer you something more powerful than the above. If you have not tried talking to them though you may be pleasantly surprised how cooperative they may be if you advise you will bear some or all of the cost. It by no means always works but it can.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Many thanks for your help.

Customer:

Your answers are as I expected, but fully explained.

Customer:

Many thanks again for your help.

Customer:

Kind regards,

Customer:

Ted Devlin

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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