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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Branches and limbs from a tree on my property have grown over

Customer Question

Branches and limbs from a tree on my property have grown over a neighbours boundary. They do not seem to have caused any damage, but they do block his pathway and light. If I was living there, I would probably have offered to trim them before now, but as the house is let out, I have not kept an eye on it lately.
He has told me that he has called a contractor to cut them down, and he thinks I should pay. In fact he delivered a note to my tenants, saying that he will seek to reclaim the cost either from me or from them.
He also says that he intends to tell his contractor to leave the cut branches on my garden, although I have asked him not to.
I am concerned that my tenants may be upset, and do not want to lose them, but do not think my neighbour has gone about this the right way. I was not aware of any problem before now. If he had wanted to, he could easily have stopped the trees from growing to their present size by keeping them trimmed back when they were smaller.
Please can you advise whether
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Your neighbour may cut back any overhanging branches back to your boundary and as these branches belong to your tree, your neighbour is correct in placing the cut branches on your property.
However, you are not responsible for your neighbours costs for cutting the branches.
If possible, you may call a tree surgeon and get the trees trimmed especially the branches going to your neighbours property so that you maintain good relations with your neighbour, unless you are not willing to do this. I would not think the neighbour will object to your tree surgeon going into the neighbours property to trim the branches.
May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

DearCustomer thanks for your prompt answer.

I accept that, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, he is obliged to return the cut branches to me. However, surely that is just in case I actually wanted them, for timber etc.

Here, I have told him that I do not want them. In that case, surely I do not have to accept them? He did not have to let them grow so big, on his side of the boundary. By doing so, surely they are his liability?

I have read elsewhere that if I have told him not to put them on my garden, then he is no longer entitled to, and he may be guilty of fly tipping.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Please see follow up question already sent
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Please see follow up question already sent
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
I do not see your neighbour being prosecuted for flytipping in such a case even if you argue to the council that they are flytipping.
The cut branches belong to you and I do not quite think it is illegal for your neighbour to leave them on your property so as to constitute flytipping. I have not heard about any neighbour being prosecuted for this.
Hope this helps