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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 803
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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our neighbour has just sent us a registered letter to complain

Resolved Question:

our neighbour has just sent us a registered letter to complain about our bamboos in the back garden. He has sent photographic evidence to show the roots have grown under the fence and under his recently landscaped path affecting from what I can make out three stones. He wants us to pay for the cost involved in relaying them using specialist resin plus taking action to prevent the roots from growing through, he submits digging a trench and laying sheet metal his side and wants to know what we also propose our side. He wants us to cut them down to a reasonable height as he says they are blocking sunlight. The bamboos are about 15ft high and they are spaced out not as a block they are tied and striped regularly so sunlight does get through. It is strange as the neighbour has just had a tiled roof put on their conservatory ! One would have thought blocking out the very sunlight they are now complaining about not to mention they have a very very high blue conifer tree in their garden much higher than our bamboos which blocks out our light yet we have never complained. Bamboos to my knowledge are actually " grasses ". We are happy to block the root growth from our side and for the neighbour to cut off the invasive roots. Can you please help us though are we liable for the cost of the relaying of the stones the neighbour has taken up ? There is no actual evidence of root damage even on the photographs. Do we have to cut the bamboos down ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

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

LondonlawyerJ :

Do yo agree that you bamboo roots have damaged his path?

Customer:

I really don't know as he has taken up the two stones he claims the roots or root was growing up through.

LondonlawyerJ :

Ok. if the bamboo on your property has grown into his property and caused damage then you can be liable to compensate him for that damage as long as it was reasonably foreseeable. Damage caused by roots can be, and often is claimed successfully.

LondonlawyerJ :

As far as the light is concerned I don't think that is a problem. Your neighbour has no right to light and he can take no action against yo over that. (I assume from you description that the bamboo could in now way be described as a hedge).

LondonlawyerJ :

As far as the root damage is concerned he will need to prove on the balance of probabilities that the damage is caused by the bamboo and that the damage is as extensive as he says it is.

LondonlawyerJ :

Why didn't he just knock on your door and talk to you in a nice neighbourly way?

Customer:

He spoke to Simon my partner on 14th September about the roots saying he had had to take up a stone flag and re-lay it due to the bamboo roots. Simon said we had had the same problem and been told the cut the roots off as soon as possible ( by the garden centre in fact ). We have been looking into the best way of containing them since and had already decided to dig a ditch our side and put a Rhizome membrane down but the gardener can't fit us in yet. We had no idea they had taken up more stone flags or had problems with any more. It was a huge shock today and a very unpleasant one.

LondonlawyerJ :

I bet. You should definitely take the steps you are proposing and as soon as you reasonably can. As far as compensating him for relaying the slabs if he can prove the damage was caused by the bamboo then in law he will be able to seek and probably get compensation from you and your partner. He would need to issue proceedings in the small claims court to do this. You will know better than I whether he is actually likely to go to that effort over what I guess is no more than £200 or so. Whether you want to call his bluff or pay for/contribute to the cost of relaying is a matter for you.

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