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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi, a large shrub is overgrowing the boundary line of my property

Customer Question

Hi, a large shrub is overgrowing the boundary line of my property and is overhanging my neighbour's garden. He has asked me to cut it back but I am wondering what the law is on this. I would be happy to do so as a neighbourly gesture but he says he has sought legal advice and that if anything growing in my garden overhangs his property it is my responsibility to prune it adn remove the cuttings. I would like to work this out with him in a friendly way but it would be useful to know what teh law actually is in this type of situation.
Many thanks
Richard
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello Richard my name is Alex and I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

There is no legal requirement that you have to trim the shrub on your neighbours land

Alex Watts :

However if your neighbour prunes then they can only cut back to the boundary line

Alex Watts :

They can not cut so much to kill the shrub and they should offer you the cuttings back, but I assume you wont want them

Alex Watts :

So in short, no obligation on you to prune, but they can cut back anything overhanging their side as long as they dont kill the shrub and offer you the cuttings

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : Hi Alex,
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : thanks for the response, my neighbour seems sure that it is my responsibility, he even claims to have sought legal advice.
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : i have had a google around various websites and opinions vary, some say I am responsible others say not. Is this written down anywhere so that I can have a point of reference?
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : regards
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : richard
Alex Watts : No is their rwsponsi
Alex Watts : No it's their responsibility
Alex Watts : It's common law
Alex Watts : But please see
Alex Watts : http://www.eden.gov.uk/planning-and-development/trees/overgrown-trees-and-hedges/
Alex Watts : Does that help?
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : Hi Alex,
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : not particularly helpful, this just says the same as other sites ie you can cut back overhanging hedges/trees and offer the cuttings.
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : Where in common law does it state who has responsibility?
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : regards Richard
Alex Watts :

Please see:

Alex Watts :

https://www.gov.uk/how-to-resolve-neighbour-disputes/high-hedges-trees-and-boundaries

Alex Watts :

However common law is just that, it is not an act of Parliament, it has been developed over time

Alex Watts :

But the Government website should confirm my view.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : Hi Alex, I followed the link to the gov site and it seems to suggest that the neighbour (me) is responsible for overhanging hedges etched. This is what it says:
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : Property damage from hedgesYour neighbour is responsible for maintaining their hedges so they don’t, for example, damage your property or grow too high. If they do damage your property, your neighbour may be liable.
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : what I am looking for is something that says that I not liable to trim hedges or shrubs that overhang into my neighbours garden. I cannot find anything that supports this, yet you say I am not liable ?
JACUSTOMER-akzd4hwr- : regards Richard
Alex Watts :

You misunderstand me. This is exactly what I said.

Alex Watts :

I agreed with the above.

Alex Watts :

Anything that overhangs his side, he is responsible to cut back and dispose of, asking you if the want the cuttings.

Alex Watts :

I have agreed with the proposition put forward and did think this was indicated in my response.

Alex Watts :

Maybe you mis-understood that.

Alex Watts :

You are not liable for anything hanging into his garden

Alex Watts :

He is liable to cut things into his garden without killing them

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify? This is common law as I have suggested.

Alex Watts :

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