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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 814
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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We currently rent a property from a Housing Association. The

Resolved Question:

We currently rent a property from a Housing Association. The property is sheltered accommodation and all 3 of us are registered disabled and have to walk with the aid of walkers and sticks. Our problem is there are 2 large Japanese Cherry Trees in our gardens. During the spring these shed copious amounts of blossom which treads into the house and blows through the windows. When wet the blossom turns into a mushy glue like substance and is extremely slippy underfoot. In the autumn we are burdened with the shedding of the leaves and these are even more hazardous when wet. We have asked and asked the Housing Association to cut down these trees but they steadfastly refuse. We are now seeking legal advice on what we can do before someone has a serious fall. Can I please add that we do have a 90 year old woman living here as well. Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

If you have a copy of your tenancy agreement can you check to see what it says about who is responsible for the maintenance of the garden and is there any restriction on you doing it? Is the tree protected in any way eg subject to a tree preservation order. Do you live in a conservation area? (this is relevant to whether trees are protected).

LondonlawyerJ :

Are you financially able to employ a tree surgeon to remove/polder the tree if there is no protection on the trees?

Customer:

We are checking our tenancy agreement now. It is not protected, nor do we live in a conservation area.

Customer:

yes we can afford a tree surgeon

Customer:

The information under care of the garden is: If the dwelling has a garden you will keep and maintain it in a reasonably tidy condition and will not use the garden for dumping rubbish except in a proper dustbin or container for the purpose.

Customer:

We have read the tenancy and there is nothing else regarding the garden.

Customer:

We do pay a service charge which covers maintenance of the garden once a month

Customer:

I am not receiving any response, should I be patient or is there something wrong?

LondonlawyerJ :

Yes please be patient. This isn't a call centre type service and I am fitting in helping you with my working day as a lawyer. I will answer you further in a little while.

Customer:

thank you

LondonlawyerJ :

It seems to me that a good way forward is to warn the Housing Association in writing of the dangers that the trees pose. They as landlords have a duty under the Occupiers LIability Act 1957 to esnure that teh premisss are kept reasonably safe. The slip hazard you describe in a property used as Sheltered accommodation pute them in breach of this duty and if anyone is injured as a result they will be liable in damages. Allowing the trees to remain as they are will amount to a breach of a duty care under the law of negligence as well. You should also int out that your age makes you especially vulnerable to harm from falls caused by slips. You should put this in writing and demand that they remove the trees (or make them safe if you think that is possible). You should warn them that if they don't within say 14 days you will take action yourselves to render the accommodation safe and will seek compensation from them for the costs of removing the hazard.

LondonlawyerJ :

You need to be very sure that there is nothing in the contract to prevent you removing trees and that there is no tree preservation order. If you are sure then there is o reason why you cannot employ someone to come and remove the trees yourselves. One thing that you may need to consider if these are large and mature trees is whether there is any risk of damaging adjoining properties if the tree is removed. A tree surgeon should be able to advise on this.

LondonlawyerJ :

You might think it a good idea to plant some other more appropriate plants where these tress stood but that of course is a matter for you.

LondonlawyerJ :

I hope this is a helpful answer and apologise for the delay in replying but I have been very busy this afternoon. I would be grateful if you could take the time to rate my answer. This will enable me to be paid for my time answering your question. It will not close the question and I will continue to answer further questions.

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