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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9348
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I live in a private road that I do not own. All the

Resolved Question:

I live in a private road that I do not own. All the residents have been given the right to use the road as long as we maintain it outside our property. One of the residents has a hedge that is encroaching on the road outside my property. Am I allowed to trim it back to his property line
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Is the hedge overhanging your property or just the road? Does it interfere with your right to use the road?

Have you asked the owner whether he will allow you to trim the hedge even though he will not do it himself?

Will the owner of the road (if you know who it is) allow you to do this?

Can you please explain what you mean by it being on an area that you’re supposed to maintain?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The hedge overhangs my property & also the road i have to maintain for the agreed access.As i did not know the legal situation I have not yet asked the owner of the road. I have previously asked the owner of the road if I could plant a small shrub in the road ( it is unmade ) & he agreed.
The road is only 14feet wide so cannot be adopted by the local council. ALL residents have been granted access if they maintain the area of the road in front of our property. I consider I have to maintain the 7feet in front of my property to the centre line of the road. The hedge in question overhangs this 7 feet of the road
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Overhanging hedges are trespass and if the owner of the hedge will not cut it back to the boundary, the owner of the adjoining property is entitled to put it back not keep the pieces because the pieces belong to the hedge owner. There is no need to get consent for any overhang to your property although it’s good practice to tell the hedge owner that you are going to do this if he will not do it. You might want to ask the hedge owner whether he wants the clippings back because although you can actually drop them onto his land, it may antagonise the situation if you just dump them there.

With regard to the hedge overhanging the other land which you are responsible to maintain, you are not the landowner and hence, you have not necessarily got a cause of action to cut the hedge back. If you were the occupier of the land then you are entitled to self-help in the same way as you are if the hedge overhangs your land which you own and you could then cut it back.

At the moment, you only are responsible to maintain that land and it’s debatable whether maintaining it extends to cutting the hedge. It’s different if you occupy that land. There is a solution however.

You say that you asked the owner of the road if you could plant a small shrub and so you obviously know who it is and are on speaking terms. So, if you get the consent from the owner of the road to actually cut the hedge back you can then say that you are acting on behalf of the owner in trimming the hedge to remove the trespass and you would be perfectly entitled to do that if the owner of the road agreed for you to do it. The same comments as before applies to the cuttings.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advise. It solves the problem at the present time
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

I’m glad to help. Please don’t forget to use the rating service. It doesn’t cost you any extra but it helps me greatly. Best wishes

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