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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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Hello...UK Hedge law. If a property deed says that a hedge

Customer Question

Hello...UK Hedge law. If a property deed says that a hedge represents a boundary of the property (nothing else less ambiguous in mentioned)...how would that be more precisely defined, by the stumps in the ground, or by the branches or by the centre of the hedge?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 3 years ago.

Matt Jones : Hi I will try and help
Matt Jones : Is there a ditch on either side of the boundary you refer to (ie drainage ditch)? If so what side?
Customer:

Hi no ditch

Customer:

The hedge is between my house and the one next door, four metres high, on a bank overshadowing the house etc

Matt Jones : Thanks. Are there any other indications on the ground of an old boundary fence? I.e An old fence post
Customer:

The hedge is also around two metres wide

Customer:

Hi there was originally an old fence (oak posts and chestnut rails) which is referred to in the charges register (1975) later on, the charges register just refers to a hedge which i assume it was agreed had taken the place of the old fence. There is some evidence of a fence of that type running through the hedge now

Customer:

sorry the hedge is referred to in an updated charges register entry 1993

Matt Jones : does the old fence run through the middle of the newer hedge? Or does it favour one side or the other
Customer:

Through the middle really

Customer:

I couldnt be sure it represents that 1975 boundary

Matt Jones : Thansk
Matt Jones : it is a
Matt Jones : Sorry pressed return by mistake - bear with me
Customer:

ok

Customer:

Evergreen? yes but we dont think its a leylandii

Matt Jones : It is a little difficult assessing the actual boundary line without seeing the boundary itself. I think the likely situation in your case is that the boundary runs down the middle of the hedge along the stumps. There are little hard and fast rules about hedges and boundaries. It is largely a history lesson on the likely movements of the boundary over the years. As I say the
Matt Jones : Likely boundary in your case runs down the middle of the hedge
Customer:

Should we take advice before cutting branches back to the stumps, it could kill the hedge? One other quick question, can you think of any circumstances under which a 4m high hedge taking light from our lounge which is one metre below the land of the hedge would be allowed?

Matt Jones : Sorry just got to put my daughter to bed. Post your comment and I'll come back to you shortly
Customer:

Ahh, My kids are going to bed too....thanks Matt. I really appreciate your help.

Matt Jones : Hi I'm back. All tucked in.:)
Matt Jones : If you cut the branches off on your side then you are perfectly entitled to do that, but yes be careful as by doing that if you kill the hedge, as it appears to be jointly owned then you could face problems from the neighbours. Take advice where you need to
Customer:

ok, can you think of any circumstances under which a 4m high hedge taking light from our lounge which is one metre below the land of the hedge would be allowed?

Customer:

so effectively its a five metre hedge on our side. By the way, from your earlier answer the hedge is definitely the property of the people on the adjoining property. I am trying to gauge what my rights are to get it cut back and lowered

Matt Jones : As to this question a property doesn't get an automatic "right to light" however if a property has enjoyed a particular benefit of light for over 20 years then the property gains the right to light by way of "prescriptive easement". You would be entitle to enforce this right.
Matt Jones : If the hedge belongs tot the neighbour you are only entitled to cut the part of the hedge that overhangs your property.
Customer:

One very last question, if we agree to cut it back on our side to the boundary, should I do it, or should I ask him to?

Matt Jones : My advice is usually that you inform him that you intend to and give him the opportunity of doing it within a certain time frame. I.e. 7days and if not you will do it yourself. You don't technically have to but it keeps neighbourly relations. I hope this has helped. If happy please leave positive feedback so I can be paid for me time. The question won't close and if you think of any follow up questions later down the line on this subject you can post them
Customer:

Matt, I have very much enjoyed your help and advice this evening and of course I will leave positive advice. I hope your daughter is happily asleep by now. Do I get a copy of this transcript by email or should I cut and paste it somewhere else?

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