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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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In your article about "Rules on Hedges & Roots Growing into

Customer Question

In your article about "Rules on Hedges & Roots Growing into your Property" you state that "if a hedge borders your property but is solely owned by your neighbour, it is their duty to maintain it even on your side." Can you confirm which law describes that, and whether it has any stipulations about to what the extent the hedge needs overgrows a boundary before they are obliged to cut it / whether there is any minimum frequency - e.g. any criteria to apply such that any request is considered fair and reasonable. Does the law give a neighbour entitlement to access your property to manage a hedge? Are you entitled to require they perform such maintainence wholly from within their boundary? If they have to access your property to maintain a hedge and you insist they do, can you insist they don't walk on flowerbeds that abut the boundary? As background - the propeties are bounded by a dry stone wall which is my responsibility, as a low wall the neighbour wanted incresased privacy so asked to plant a hedge within his boundary but abutting the wall stating it would only be "a little higher than the wall". Now they are growing it anything upto 1.5 tmes the wall height, and I have flower beads aganst the wall, so can't access the hedge to trim it properly without either walking on the wall or tampling my flowerbeds; I no more want the neighbour cutting it that way than me, and whilst he might have a cutter with a longer reach, clippings still need to be collected.
Tnank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
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Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Happy to wait. Thank you.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?
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Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
Please understand it is rare for us not to be able to find the right Professional to assist our customers. We can close this question and return your good faith deposit to the original funding source on request.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
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Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Do you still need help please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am still awaiting an answer for my original question - instead I get repeated messages saying that "we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you" - would like that answered or if no answer can be provided, tell me and refund the fee.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
What is it you would like to achieve please and I should be able to help you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to establish my rights to require my neighbour to maintain a hedge planted within his garden as it affects me - so as he planted it so close to the boundary it barely has to start growing before lateral growth extends across the boundary - but in most places my garden is bounded by a dry-stone wall, and inside of that, flower beds, so from my side - to cut the hedge I have to lean across the wall (18 inches or so), if not a flowerbed as well (upto 4 feet), and try and cut it in a vertical plane and remove all the clippings. That is obviously impossible without specialist gear so in reality I have to trample in my flower beds. So based on the statement on your website, I would like to build an argument I can put to him that he can't refute, and also understand what is deemed reasonable in stipulating how much overgrowth I should tolerate before I insist he cuts it, and whether I can refuse him access to my garden to do this or at least refuse him access to trample on flowerbeds. I presume general guidance in planting near a boundary is to ensure you provision sufficient space that you can maintain the outside face without having to gain access to someone else's land. So if you can refer me to legislative guidance, specific case law etc. that will support a request that he takes responsibility, and some guidance as to what stipulations I can make that would be deemed reasonable, it will help. I fear he will then state without access to my garden and flowerbeds, he can't maintain the hedge and threaten to replace it with a panel fence - not sure whether that would be deemed unreasonable and in contravention of some guidance.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Is it damaging your property?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No evidence of that
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Do you want to avoid trimming the hedge?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes as it is very awkward trying to cut on the other side of the wall and I don't want to have to trample in my flower beds - they and the wall, all pre-date the hedge.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If the neighbour has been negligent and done something to cause you work then he is liable. You can get a Solicitor to write and ask him to rectify it. If he does not then you can issue proceedings. You can use form N1:
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf
And N16a
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf
The court will list the matter for hearing and decide whether to make the order. If the Court does and he refuses then this could be contempt of Court. They could be warned, fined or sent to prison.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the reply, but it does not really help in so far as I am asking on what basis the statement published on the website "if a hedge borders your property but is solely owned by your neighbour, it is their duty to maintain it even on your side" is made and does that support my asserting that he has been negligent - either in not managing the hedge, or potentially planting it in a position that prevents him maintaining the hedge. So reverting to the thread of my question, is he responsible for maintaining all faces of a hedge if planted within his boundary when lateral growth causes it to overhang the boundary, what degree of overhang is reasonable, and what access can he reasonably request to my property to allow him to allow him to cut and remove clippings (e.g. is walking through flowerbeds reasonable)?In the context of your response - would you consider there are grounds to say he has or is being negligent, what are they, and what legal precedent supports asserting there being negligence?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes he is responsible for all faces of a hedge plated within his boundary and if he knows if will cross over your side.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Getting there - when you say "and if he knows if will cross over your side" is that the cue for him to cut it, or it only applies if at the point he planted it he knew it would potentially overhang (I presume the former). So he is negligent if he doesn't cut it ...? and to go back to the points around accessing the hedge to cut it ... was he negligent to have planted where he did if he says he can't access it to cut it from within his own boundary, or can he reasonably expect to be granted access to his neighbours land to cut it and potentially trample their flowerbeds to do it? Is the point that he would be negligent to cut it based on case law or what - where do I reference to substantiate that statement?My original question is, and still remains, what references substantiate the statement that he is responsible, and in then asking he fulfills his responsibility, what are (generally speaking) acceptable stipulations to place on him in respect of what amount of growth transgresses the point of negligence and what stipulations can I make if he requests access to my land to undertake the maintenance?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
He can be negligent if he does not cut it knowing that it is overgrowing.
He can be expected access if you want him to cut it. You cant say you want him to cut it and then not let him in!
Its negligence so common law.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So planting in a position that precludes him cutting the hedge from within his boundary and preventing the overgrowth is not negligence? Is it not reasonable to expect him to curtail the overall size of the hedge so that he can cut it from his side - i.e. leaning over the hedge from his side to cut the outer face? Seems common law doesn't require due diligence in the positioning and shaping of a hedge to avoid this problem in the first place.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You could argue its negligence yes.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Seems very wishy-washy if trying to present an argument to him to request he steps up to the plate and takes full responsibility for the hedge, esp. if he could then argue I would be making it impossible for him to fulfill that obligation if I won't give him full access to my land, flowerbeds and everything. Seems he has the whip hand through out.Your answers all imply it is not necessarily negligent (scattering of 'can' and 'could'), implying this is a difficult path to pursue, what typically strengthens the case?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
It would be for a Court to decide of course, litigation is never 100%. You need to show there was a foreseeable problem.
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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