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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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The branches of my neighbours (their property just borders

Customer Question

The branches of my neighbours (their property just borders on the bottom of my garden( trees overhang my garden. Last week my son cut the trees back and passed the branches into his garden for his disposal. There followed an argument between the neighbour and my son. I was in the garden and went over to try and calm the situation down and my neighbour threatened to call the police. As the situation was not calming down i agreed he should do so. The Police came down to see both him and ourselves. When they came to see us we discovered that the neighbour had informed them that his children had been playing near to the trees and that he had sustained an injury to his arm but he did not want my son arrested.

The police asked for our version of events, which we gave them. My son had not seen any children playing, in fact they were standing at the other end of the garden with their parents watching. The neighbours had mentioned broken fence panels, which are the responsibility of my next door neighbour. I took the police out into the garden to show them how the properties border each other.

The police are obviously in the middle of the situation and i advised them that i would go and see the neighbours to discuss the trees.

I have just returned from the visit. I introduced myself and was invited in and asked to sit down. I started by informing them that my garden is very small and their trees block the light, sun and rain from the corner of my garden, consequently i have had many shrubs die because of the lack of this. The told me again about his children playing near to where the trees were and his injury and the fact that they should have been notified that we were going to do it. Unfortunately, i had not done this as we were trimming our own shrubs and trimmed their branches as well. (I had told the police this fact). I agreed this and advised them that i will ensure we do this in future.

I told them that as they were their trees we had to give them back. He said that he doesn't mind me cutting them but it is my job to get rid of them. He told me where the local tip is and the fact that i can get a green wheelie bin from the council for £20 and that i should check the law. I was quite taken aback by this and commented that he was telling me i should pay to get rid of his rubbish. He again said that if i cut them down i should dispose of them.

He and his wife were getting quite argumentative and loud, but i remained calm. He said he had contacted the council and his solicitor. He also said that he was going to call the police again and get my son arrested and that we should go through solicitors. I said that i did not feel there was any need for this and that we should try to resolve the issue ourselves. He has now said that if i am not going to get rid of the branches then he does no want his trees touched.

As a person who has spent 16 years in a job which involved dealing with complaints, investigating them and resolving them i find this very upsetting and would appreciate some advice.

I apologise for this lengthy email but wanted to ensure that you have all of the information.

I would appreciate your advice. Many thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

AlexWatts2013 :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. For now please let me know if you want to know what the law is on overhanging trees?

JACUSTOMER-8xyqd8ah- :

I believe the law is - i am allowed to cut down overhanging trees, providing the neighbour is advised in advance, also the branches have to be given back to the neighbour as they are their property, for them to dispose of them. Please advise if this is not the case.

AlexWatts2013 :

In order to claim benefits then you have to have savings normally below £16,000 (which you do) and little or no income. Prescribed income limits change and it may be that when you get an income a benefit is reduced by a % or it stops all together. As this can be a complicated process all I can do at this stage without knowing your full circumstances is invite you to use a benefit calculator. This is provided by the government and can give you an idea if you are entitled to any benefits at all.

AlexWatts2013 :

This can be found at:

AlexWatts2013 :

Failing which I would go and see someone from the Citizens Advice Bureau as they have benefit advisers, but sadly if you input your numbers into the online calculator this can be quite good at giving you a general idea of what, if anything you are entitled to.

AlexWatts2013 :

Forgive me - I have no idea where that came from.

AlexWatts2013 :

The law is this - you are entitled to cut down branches of tress / hedges that overhang your property. By law you must offers those cuttings back and if refused then you need to dispose of them. Your neighbour does not have to pay for the disposal - as you have a duty under the Environmental Protection Act to dispose of the cuttings.

AlexWatts2013 :

But you only need to offer them back - your neighbour can say no thank you. Then its either a trip to the tip or put them in your bin.

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.

I am just following up on this. Is there anything else I can help with? If so, please let me know.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Alex,

Thank you for putting me right on this law.

I did go round and see the gentleman (as I had told the Police I would do so). He invited me into his house and I started by explaining why I had cut the trees down. It seemed quite amicable at first and I did say I would take his cuttings away with mine. I said I would let him know next time when I was going to cut them down. He became very loud and argumentative saying one minute I could cut them, then saying the next minute no I couldn't cut them. He wouldn't let me speak. His wife also joined in just as loud. He even said he was going to cotact the Police and getting my son arrested for the injury he supposedly received. I wasn't getting anywhere so I just left. It was a very upsetting experience. I don't know what I shall do next time they need cutting as the couple are not approachable. What do you suggest.

I look forward to your response.

Annette Bearwish.
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
This is a civil matter the police won't do anything. Alex