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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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A neighbour I dont know, who lives/owns/or rents out the house

Customer Question

A neighbour I don’t know, who lives/owns/or rents out the house that backs on to my property, knocked on my door yesterday and accused me of being responsible for the ivy which came down in his garden during last month’s storm. This morning I found a threatening letter on the doormat from him saying that the ivy belongs to me because he reckons the roots are on my property, although it was growing on the wall on his side of the fence, and that I should pay for the damage caused to his shed and for the removal of the ivy, and that if I didn’t pay him £792.00 he will take me to court and throw all the rubbish into my garden.
I have lived at this address over 35 years. The Ivy has been growing, for as long as I remember, along the back wall of the warehouse (a car repair garage) that extends the length of one side of both our gardens. At the bottom of my garden, there is a 7 foot high fence that separates our two gardens. I keep the ivy on my side under control. But because the ivy was allowed to grow out of control on his side, it became top heavy and was blown down in the storm of 28th August 2013. A lot fell in my garden too, but with help I cleared it away the debris.
I would appreciate your advice on what I should do.
Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

On what basis is the £792 owing please, just because of the alleged damage? How is it quantified?

JACUSTOMER-i5x4dld0- :

labour and plant costs £325.00

JACUSTOMER-i5x4dld0- :

8Yd skip £417.60

JACUSTOMER-i5x4dld0- :

Shed 9estimate) £50.00

JACUSTOMER-i5x4dld0- :

Total £792.60

Alex Watts :

Is the ivy yours?

JACUSTOMER-i5x4dld0- :

No, it is not something I planted. it has always been growing there, ever since I first moved into the house of 35 years ago..

Alex Watts :

Is it from your land though?

JACUSTOMER-i5x4dld0- :

As far as I know, it has been growing on both sides of the fence, so I am not sure where it started originally from. A few years ago the neighbour's garden was completely overgrown, and some men spent days clearing it out, cutting down the ivy, trees and bushes, etc. but since then it was just neglected.

Alex Watts : So how does he work out it is your land and your fault?
JACUSTOMER-i5x4dld0- :

I have no idea why he is blaming me. Easy money to clear up the mess, I suppose.I have no idea what is growing over his side of the fence

Alex Watts :

First you should reply back (if you want to) and say that you deny it and if he does take you to Court you will defend it and seek the costs of doing so against him.

Alex Watts :

Then if he does issue proceedings he is on notice.

Alex Watts :

He would have to show not only it came from your land but that you were negligent.

Alex Watts :

Given it has been there for 35 years and he (I assume) has chosen not to do anything about it I can not see how it is your fault.

Alex Watts :

Do not bow to the pressure and just make sure your side is tiday.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?