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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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The neighbour at the bottom of the garden has a privet hedge

Resolved Question:

The neighbour at the bottom of the garden has a privet hedge of 11-12feet high. 12 months ago I asked her if her husband would come around and cut my side as My partner and I were unable to do it as we both are not in good health and the ground isn't very even. I was told her husband is no longer with her and that she had no intension of cutting the hedge, as she wanted it for privatcey for her children. We had always maintained our side even though we have a 5 foot fence on our side. (The person that lived there before always kept the hedge tidy, more or less just above the fence.)
My partner died in December, which means I have to try and cut their hedge myself or pay someone to do it. i am a pensioner of 70 years old and have back and shoulder problems.
Have I any rights?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

Is it the overhanging branches which you are concerned about or the height of it?

Is the problem with the height that you can’t cut it or is it some other kind of nuisance?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's untidy looking, and as stated really too high for me to cut cut without standing on steps the ground is also not even.
A although I have other hedges they are not so high and I struggle even to cut these. I do pay someone to cut the back of one hedge as it is quite high. I can't afford to pay to have the other hedge cut as well! Do they have to keep it cut on my side too? It is not a dividing hedge it belongs to the neighbour. When Looking down my garden its untidy!
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
How can I rate F E Smith if you haven't given me a reply yet
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

The rating system hasn’t appeared yet but should have done now. That’s because I needed more information before answering you.

Any overhanging branches are trespass and you are entitled to remove the trespass under the doctrine of self-help. You cannot keep the branches, you must return them to the owner. If you keep them, that is theft.

If you are not capable on are not inclined to cut the overhanging branches, you can get a contractor in to do the job for you and seek reimbursement of the cost of that from the neighbour.

If the neighbour will pay the costs, then sue the neighbour in the Small Claims Court. It’s likely that they will only let that once.

Write to the neighbour or better still, get a solicitor to write to the neighbour saying that unless these hedges are cut by a particular date, you will arrange to get them cut and expect neighbour to reimburse you for the cost of the hedge cutting and if that doesn’t happen, you will then be issuing Small Claims Court proceedings to recover the money.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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