I have been asked to look at this for you. I am afraid that the convention
mentioned by my colleague of being responsible to the left or the right is not
actually enforceable in law. It is a bit of a legal myth.
You can of course argue till the cows come home about who owns the fence
but the cost of arguing it under the risks involved are going to be more than
putting up 10 fences.
Assuming that the fence is indeed the responsibility of the neighbour than
leaving the pushing of the trees and shrubs down a side, the neighbour may like
it looking a mess and therefore the best that you can hope for is that it is
your fence and not the neighbours! If there is nothing in the deeds regarding
the fence and it is indeed the neighbours, you cannot compel them to repair it.
In the neighbour is denying all responsibility for it, as indeed you are,
then it would be for a court to decide and that could be an expensive battle
involving boundary surveyor who will probably want a £800 for a report in the
first instance. Even then, the report may be inconclusive or not favourable.
In it is your fence, you can take action against the neighbour if his trees
are pushing your fence over.
You can only take action against the neighbour if it is his fence with
regard to damage caused to your trees and shrubs.
It really comes down to how much you want to spend/risk going to court.
You are entitled to cut down any branches from the trees and the bushes
which come over on to your land. Although you cannot keep the pieces because
they do not belong to you, they belong to the neighbour.
I am going to be brutally frank with you and you will not like the answer but
there is no point in me misleading you.
The cheapest, quickest and most risk-free is for you to take control of the
fence and remove any of his branches which comes over the boundary and is
pushing it over.
Alternatively, by all means take him to court but on the fact that you have
given, I don't think that you are going to win and I think the court case at
best order you to pay 50% each and each bear your own court costs. The court
costs alone could be £5000
I appreciate that this is not the answer you wanted but I'm sure you would
rather have an accurate answer than simply be told what you want to hear.
Please remember that I am being paid for dealing with this not for going to
If I was a solicitor, not being paid for not going to court, I would no
doubt be persuading you to do so. I have no vested interest on whether you have
a good claim, a bad claim or want to go to court or not I am merely under a
duty to give you factually correct information.
Can I help further?
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