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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10976
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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A hedge of 15 or so Leylandii was planted about 30 years ago,

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A hedge of 15 or so Leylandii was planted about 30 years ago, some 12 inches in from the boundary, inside my sister's neighbours garden. It has flourished, grown tall (though, according to planning authority, not so tall as to adversely affect her property) and has thickened out so that, at the base, several feet now grow into her garden and are in danger of pushing over the garden fence. Under common law the hedge was trimmed from my side until about 6 years ago when her husband died. Since then, she has asked the neighbour many times to do something about it (at 86 she cannot do it herself and does not really have funds to pay a gardener to do it). Neighbour refuses to do it or accept any responsibilities, and relations have completely broken down. It's causing her great distress and anguish. Does she, at law, have any remedy ?
1. Dear Alan, the law in this situation gives a "self help" remedy in that it allows the person into whose property the Leylandii is overgrowing the right to cut back the Leylandii to the midpoint line of the boundary. Any roots which are transgressing over the midpoint line of the boundary may also be cut by digging a trench on the boundary and cutting back the roots. However, the law does not give an injunction compelling your neighbour to cut back their Leylandii. It will give money damages if the Leylandii harms the wall. However, then, the damage will be done and money damages won't be much use. So, even though you state your sister doesn't have the funds to pay a gardener to cut back this Leylandii, this is the remedy available to her at law and whether someone else does it or a gardener, this is how she must help herself. Otherwise the law does not compel the neighbour to cut it and if you litigate it, you will be left to cut it and deal with it as you can.
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