How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question
LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 814
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
76316425
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
LondonlawyerJ is online now

I live in a Derbyshire village. My property and grounds are

Customer Question

I live in a Derbyshire village. My property and grounds are above houses and a street some 80ft ish below. One of my boundaries is very long running parallel to the street below. It involves a section of slightly backward (sloping towards my ground) very old well built wall. It is built on top of a large 40ft ish high natural outcrop. This leads further along to literally the boundary being on top of a very wavy line of natural cliff. My deeds are so old that there is no mention of this situation. I have lived here since 1965 with very little problem, but undergrowth and my neighbour's ivy has taken over a large area of wall and cliff and I am wondering who is responsible for maintenance. Some thirty years ago, a solicitor friend told me that the theory was that if a plumb-line was dropped down from the top of my boundary, anything from it and backwards towards my property was mine...anything growing from that vertical line and forwards was the person below..!?
Thank you for being available and hoping that the 'picture' I have given is understandable.
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 :

The basic principle with all boundaries is that if a plant is substantially rooted on one side of a boundary but encroaching over the boundary then that plat belongs to the person in whose land it is substantially rooted. However the person whose land is being encroached into can cut off anything that overhangs or grows under his land as long as he offers to return what he has cut to the neighbour.

LondonlawyerJ :

As for fixing the exact boundaries in your situation that sounds as if it might be quite complex and would probably require an examination of the preious conveyances going back in time to find the original grant and hoping that was clear.

Customer:

Thank you, but your first paragraph is not really relevant and is included in Your Property and the Law by Ewan Mitchell. The point I need to know, if you like, is whose ground said plant would be on....what do you think about the advice which was given to me thirty years ago....the plumb-line theory?

LondonlawyerJ :

It is a little hard to answer your question as I am having trouble visualising the situation. The plumb line theory sounds fine, your boundary will extend up and down vertically but you need to know where it is first to know where to put the plumb line. I will be out of contact with this site for the next 3-4 hours but will look again either later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Customer:

Thanks for being patient! If you can imagine yourself standing up to the edge of a cliff and looking down, you will see rocky lumps and bumps sticking out. Can I send you some photos? If so please let me know to which e-mail address?

Customer:

What about plants that self seed into the jagged rock face?

LondonlawyerJ :

I think that the only sensible way for you to deal with this is to speak to your neighbour at the bottom of the cliff and reach agreement about what can be done. I suspect it might be quite difficult to work out the precise boundaries and responsibilities here.

Customer:

Thank you, ***** ***** have already spoken to both of the householders below my property and they assume that it is all my responsibility. Having the wall and cliff cleared is going to be expensive and I did not want to set a precedent by having it done.

Customer:

Thank you for your advice, it is not that it has been 'bad' or even 'poor', just doesn't take me any further forward.

LondonlawyerJ :

I am afraid your situation is very messy. Without any clear definition of you boundaries and with unhelpful neighbours it will be very difficult and very expensive and probably slow to work out who is responsible, if anyone is. I don't think you will get a practical solution in law and you will either need to leave the growth as it is or bite the bullet and take responsibility for doing the work.

LondonlawyerJ and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have rated you and I have organised someone to come and do the job. I only ever intended that one question, so please leave me alone. I must have received 20 requests to rate you...which I did ages ago. I do not want anything more to do with this service. I paid the £36.00 (in good faith at the beginning , which has gone from my account) You were not able to tell me anything other than I already knew, I have rated you and I do not want to be rude, but frankly you and your service are becoming an out and out nuisance.


Thanks, but no thanks.