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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 803
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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I was stopped cutting/heavy pruning a privet hedge by neighbours

Resolved Question:

I was stopped cutting/heavy pruning a privet hedge by neighbours & we now have a dispute over ownership of the hedge. We own our property (8) & the bordering property(10) is occupied by tenants. I know the people who originally owned & lived in the neighbouring property(10) from it's construction, they say the hedge was planted on our side(8) by the then owners after consulting owners of 10 shortly after the houses were built. The party wall was then taken down by (10) The roots are are clearly on (8) our property. The problem is the landlord after first saying the hedge was nothing to do with him has now asked via the tenants for us to hold off cutting it until he sends for property boundary plans but seems reluctant to meet us or speak with us now, what should we do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

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

LondonlawyerJ :

Do you know where the boundary lies your self. Do you have the conveyancing documents from when you purchased? In particlar the title plan and report on property from your solicitor

Customer:

hi

Customer:

I have the deeds etc from when my mortgage was paid. The detail in those doc don't really give accurate boundary details. Both houses have ext tho' to the side for garage etc and the hedge roots are close to our ext and not their's

Customer:

Is that it?

Customer:

You asked me questions & went without replying to my answer. Sorry but that is poor service

LondonlawyerJ :

Like most lawyers on this site I have to fit in answering questions on this site around my other legal work. I have appointments all afternoon and will get back to you this evening.

LondonlawyerJ :

The answer will depend on how confident you are that the bush is on your side of the boundary. If you are sure it is on your side you can do what you want to it. You say that the roots are clearly on your property, if you are confident of this then you can do what you want to the bushes. If the bush is actually straddling the boundary then you can prune as much as you like on your side. Although you should offer what you cut off to the neighbours.

Customer:

Ok, thanks. Just for clarity, if the root is planted on my property but the bush has grown and straddles the boundary am i still entitled to cut the bush including the part of the bush which is over the boundary ie the top or even take the bush out altogether?

Customer:

Also, how do i get the landlord to respond to my calls etc if he won't take them or communicate with me? Am i ok to inform him in writing of my intention & give him a few weeks to respond before going ahead with the work? Cheers.

LondonlawyerJ :

Yes even if eh bush straddles the boundary if the trunk enters the ground on your side it is your bush to do with as you wish. You can remove parts overhanging his land and can remove the whole bush if you wish. In a very technical sense you might need permission if you need to work from his side but if you just do it there is nothing he can do as long as no damage is caused to his land.

LondonlawyerJ :

Why do you want him to respond? If this is your hedge you can do what you want with it. He hasn't responded t you in any reliable way. He might interpret this as you agreeing he has some say on what you do with your own property and may put him on a higher state of alert.

Customer:

Simply because i'd rather the landlord agree to its cutting & inform the tenants. After several attempted phone calls the landlord eventually agreed it was our hedge & said get on with what ever you want to do. However the following day his tenant said the landlord was sending for copy plans (which we have & invited him to see) & we were told to hold off cutting the hedge. Bearing in mind when i had originally started cutting it i was stopped by the tenant who was abusive & threatening. For that reason i wanted to know that the landlord had told them it was my hedge before starting to cut it again. As i said earlier, i've cut this hedge for 27 years but all of a sudden there seems to be a problem, which i'm guessing is because the tenants were growing weed which we were smelling & asked them to stop, which after several requests they did. If the truth be known i didn't really care who owned it, i just wanted to reduce it down to a more manageable size as i'm not in the best of health but it's now become an ownership issue it seems. At the end of the day if you can't agree on who owns an hedge, what do you do?

LondonlawyerJ :

Ok I did not know that they had become abusive. Do you believe that they have told you the truth about what the landlord said. I would suggest that you simply get on with cutting your side and the top as you have done for 27 years and don't act as if you are conceding any rights to the neighbours/their landlord. If they are abusive call the police. I don't see any reason apart from fear of abuse to not get the strimmer out. If they are growing cannabis they would be very foolish to act in a way that might lead to the police being called.

Customer:

We answered the tenants text with a text that cc the landlord in case he'd not said that & we've heard nothing from him so i guess he did say it although i'm not 100% sure of that. The tenants have lied before, he does seem elusive & to be saying one thing to us & another to them. We don't smell cannabis now so i expect they have stopped. We are thinking of informing the community PO of this ongoing problem in case the tenant gets violent, which he has a record of.

LondonlawyerJ :

OK I think we are moving out of legal answers now but the bot***** *****ne is that if boundary is where you think it is then the hedge is yours to do with as you wish in law.

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