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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2437
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I live at a residential property.Myself and two other

Customer Question

Hi
I live at a residential property.Myself and two other neighbours have equal responsibility for maintenance and upkeep to a small plot of land at the front of the properties. The original developer, planted trees and shrubs which allowed for seclusion, one of the reasons I brought the property. Recently the two neighbours cut down the trees and shrubs in front of their respective properties without any discussion with myself. All three properties are freehold, the title deeds covenant states" Not to remove or destroy any trees or shrubs planted as part of the landscaping schemes". It then goes on to mention ( forthwith to replace any tree or shrub on the property which dies or is removed or destroyed. I have approached the neighbours who have to date not given me a comprehensive answer to my questions on replanting of the trees and shrubs. Can you advise what I should do to deal with this matter legally as I what the trees and shrubs replaced. Best regards
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Barrister Khan replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your query. Please help me get a better understanding of the facts. Were these trees and the shurbs they cut encroaching into their boundary wall of their respective properties? Is your mutual understanding to consult each other for the upkeep of plot in front of properties reflected in any written understanding or agreement? Who legally owns that small plot of land on which these trees and shrubs were planted?

Please clarify. Thank you

Regards

Khan

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Good morning
The plot of land is part of the development which is in front of three houses, one of which is mine. The interest is communal, by way of a covenant which is attached to the title created by the original developer for all purchasers. The trees and shrubs secluded the properties from the main pedestrian and traffic thoroughfare. Each party maintained the trees and shrubs directly in front of their houses/boundaries as a matter of course, there is no markings to define the boundaries as such. The item 9 of the covenant title fourth schedule states " Not to remove or destroy any tree or shrub planted on the property as part of any landscaping scheme ( and forthwith to replace any tree or shrub on the property which dies or is removed or destroyed".
Item 13 of the covenant, to keep in good condition and repair any parts of any common parts.
Item 10, states" Not to remove decorate embellish, or otherwise change the appearance of or interfere with any planting boxes, or beds or other landscaping or features installed on the property or the development.
In answer to your final question it is my understanding that discussion should take place before the upkeep of the plot is undertaken.
For your information 6 years ago one of the neighbours without any consultation with us cut down all the trees, we contacted the police who arrested him for criminal damage and trespass. He agreed to replant them, which he did, but has now removed them again all be it in front of two of the houses, leaving a small tree and shrub in front of my house.
Hopefully I have clarified the position.

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