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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70200
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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The party wall between my next-door neighbour's and my front

Resolved Question:

The party wall between my next-door neighbour's and my front garden has been lifted by a horse-chestnut tree root which she has allowed to grow on her property from a seedling. The party wall has cracked down five courses of bricks and has swung to within 5/8ths of an inch of my tool shed. One more movement and my shed will be demolished! I have a reliable man who is prepared to take down some of the bricks and put a piece of fencing on my side to save my shed, but he can only do that from my neighbour's land. He says the wall is no longer stable enough to support a repair. The buttresses are on my side so I think the wall is infact mine, but she thinks it is in shared ownership. However I am not bothered either way.
Please can you tell me what the legal position is if my man goes on to her land?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is she likely to refuse?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She is very unpredictable. In the past on two occasions she has come into my garden and physically attacked a man who was cutting her laurel hedge back in line with my side of the wall near the house, and once she removed his shears. She returned them to me later. Each time she reduced large men to jelly. My late husband thought she had a phobia concerning her possessions and particularly her trees and land. The council took her to court for me when her laurel blocked my sitting room light so much that I could only read when the light was on during day time in the summer. This is a small street with narrow gardens, my own being 50 ft long from the house to the pavement-less road, and hers is crammed with woodland trees.

She may surprise us all by agreeing. She is intelligent and can be charming. I simply need to know where I stand in law. My man knows what he is up against and is prepared to take it on, but he says he can't without some authority as he will have to stand on her land.

I propose to write to her putting the situation to her, when I have exhausted my research.

Thank you so much for your help.

Georgina Blight.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Any branches which overhang your tree and you are entitled to remove them.
If you are not physically capable of removing them you are entitled to get someone in to remove them and charge the neighbour for the cost although before doing that you would we well advised to advise the neighbour you intend to do that to give them the opportunity of doing the work themselves.
If the tree branches or routes damage the wall or the house or your shed, and the damage is reasonably foreseeable the neighbour is responsible for that damage.
When I say that the damage must be reasonably foreseeable it would not be reasonably foreseeable if it was a perfectly healthy tree that was rooted in a major storm and blew over without warning.
If it is a jointly owned wall and hit her tree that caused the damage then she is responsible for all the cost of the repair
.
Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act the neighbour must grant access to you for any work required to "preserve" your property. That includes maintenance and would include this. If she will not allow you or your servants or agents or workmen onto the land to do that work, you can take her to court to get an injunction to make her and you can ask the court to award legal costs in respect of solicitors and court costs against her.
It is always a good idea, if you have out insurance to see whether there is any legal expenses cover because this kind of neighbour issue may be covered and your insurance company will then deal with this for you.
If the letter from you doesn't work try a letter from a solicitor because that may have more effect. In this particular case, the law is on your side and she is not on good footing at all
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