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Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Moderator
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My neighbours leylandii trees are over 16ft high and spread

Customer Question

My neighbours leylandii trees are over 16ft high and spread at least 3ft into our garden over the 6ft high fence. They are 3metres from our conservatory and also 12ft from our house. The light is not only blocked out of our lounge but also the two bedrooms at the back. Please can you inform me of any rights I have regarding the law on these trees. Thank you
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Law
Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been
an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you
appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a
variety of subjects.

Because we are all in practice with clients and
court and other users, I might not always
respond in minutes
, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me
in that case

This is a very common question. A
person cannot make an adjoining property owner cut the trees per se but please
see my later comments about trespass and nuisance.

Consent is needed to trim
deciduous trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and a licence
may be needed to fell trees which are not protected by a TPO.

Evergreens cannot usually have a

Regarding evergreens, a complaint
can be made to the council and they will deal with them under the nuisance tree
legislation but only with regard to the height. They want £300 fee to start the process and if they
find that the trees are a nuisance, they can compel a tree owner to cut them
down to 2 m high.

With regard to branches and roots
growing boundary,(evergreen or deciduous) these are nuisance and trespass. The
overhanging pieces can be chopped off as can roots growing underground but they
do not belong to anyone other than the tree owner, so the pieces should be
given back although if they are unceremoniously dumped over their hedge without
warning, it is not good for already fraught neighbour relations.

The following are links will give
you some reading with regard to high hedges and nuisance trees. Don't worry
about where the sites are geographically because the rules apply nationwide.


Regarding the light:

Let me say first, there is no right to a view.

If this blocks the view,
then that is indeed unfortunate, There is nothing in law an owner can do
provided it isnt a nuisance and there is no breach of any consent.


I will add that there is also no right to a TV signal either so if
it blocks a TV signal, other arrangements will have to be made. There is
already case law on that.


The right to light is different. If a property has acquired the
right to light (it depends how old the property is, there may be a remedy.


There is no absolute right to light from across neighbouring land,
although this right can be ‘earned'.


Under the Prescription Act 1832 a right to light can be acquired
provided the light has been uninterrupted for at least 20years. However, this
right applies most commonly to a building, and more particularly, to the window
through which the light enters.




The light must be reduced by at least 50% before the right is
deemed obstructed. Let me tell you now that 50% is an awful lot of light and it
will not even be approaching that in most circumstances. A specialist surveyor
with experience in right to light matters would be essential from the likes of


you will find the site most useful and the calculation is here




BUT, if a title specifically excludes the right to light, there is
nothing an owner can do regarding light . This is most common if both e pieces
used to belong to the same person and one part was sold off and the seller
excluded right to light. You need to check the deeds.



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Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.

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