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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have a joint boundary with our neighbour. At the front of

Customer Question

We have a joint boundary with our neighbour. At the front of the house the boundary consists of an illandi hedge. We have lived here for 20 years and it has always been thought this hedge was joint ownership. Now a new neighbour who, is a complete bully, is saying that this hedge is definitely his! But he has no proof of this other than he is looking at the stumps in relation to the wall that is parallel with it covering the back garden saying the stumps are in his side. But in fact when you look closely these stumps are not straight some are a bit more our side. The hedge from the previous neighbours has been there at least 27 years and the wall that runs parallel with it was erected after the hedge was there. So whose to say the wall was put in exactly the right place because we are talking of maybe 3 or 4 inches at most.

On Saturday my husband and myself went out to cut the hedge as we normally do. We cut our side and some of the top as this hedge is about 4ft wide. Then on sunday the neighbour came on to our property having a go at my husband for pruning the hedge saying he had no right to cut the top of the hedge only the side because the hedge was clearly his! and in future if we did it again he would be sending a solicitors letter. The hedge is about 8 ft high our side but his side has grown up further by about 2ft
because he hasn't cut it in four years. We are trying to keep it manageable and tidy and he is just being cussed as everywhere else around the property he has been pruning down and in fact trespassing on another neighbours property to cut branches from a tree, mounting their fence and cutting off branches further in than the boundary and he has the neck to threaten us. It appears to be one rule for him and one rule for us. I think he is deliberately wanting to let it get out of control his side because he wants to put a fence up. But surely he has to have some proof of ownership of the hedge first. I am very concerned that one day when we are out he will cut the hedge down because he is a very nasty bully with no thought for anyone else but himself. I am going to try to trace the previous owners of our house to see if they know who planted the hedge and if I do find out that it was jointly done and in the meantime he cuts this hedge down surely he can be had for criminal damage?

As far as cutting the top of the hedge goes we did go slightly over half way on the top but surely he still has the height his side and we must be in our rights to cut the top half that is on our property?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : 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 You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Yes of course he needs evidence of ownership, he can't just say it is his.
Alex Watts : He needs to point to the wording in the deeds, the boundary line in the deeds or something else.
Alex Watts : He can't just say, well it looks like it is on my land. He needs proof.
Alex Watts : Without proof he can't do anything.
Alex Watts : You are right he needs proof.
Alex Watts : but he has to show the proof it is his, you don't need to show proof it is joint.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-mzbnoad5- :

Thank you for the info. The concern is the boundary line and the stumps. Some seem to be his side and some appear to be more our side but by a small margin in both cases. With reference the cutting of the top of the hedge, are we allowed to cut the top of the hedge that is on our side of the boundary?

Alex Watts : Yes you are. Even if it was your neighbours you can cut overhang as long as you offer the cuttings back