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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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Dear Sir We live in a private close in Holland Park, London.

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Dear Sir

We live in a private close in Holland Park, London. Ours is a mid terraced house. There is a common private road in front of the house adjacent to which is a boundary wall, behind which there is a free hold property with a big garden. There are two big trees in the neighbour's garden which make too much mess on the road with oily saps (damages our car), dry leaves, small branches, etc. the leaves often block our gutters and the branches of one of the trees are merely 2 - 3 meters from our balcony and in summer if we leave our balcony door open, the leaves make a mess inside our living room.

Ten years ago when we had moved to this house, the then owner of the tree had kindly agreed to have the tree pruned on our side, at our cost. The new owners of the house with the tree, who bought the house nearly two years ago, hardly live here and probably live abroad. They are now refusing all our humble request to have the tree pruned despite our genuine reasons and the fact that the previous owner had not objected to this, and even though we are willing to bear the cost of pruning on our side. The owner's house belongs to a private square (Somerset Square, W14), with multiple houses and apartments. We approached the managing agents of the Square to try and persuade the owners of tree, but they have expressed their impotency with regret

What are our options now?

I look forward to hearing from you

Kind regards

Kamal Shukla
40 Abbotsbury Close
London W14 8EQ

wingrovebuyer :

Hello. Can you confirm that the tree overhangs your land, or land in which you have a share of the ownership (ie the common road)?

wingrovebuyer :

If not, who owns the road please?


It is a common road owned by Ilchester estate, but all the local residents share the maintanenc costs of the common road and land


It is a common road owned by Ilchester estate, but all the local residents share the maintenance costs of the common road and land

wingrovebuyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

you have only asked more questions rather than replying to my queries


Is this all I get from you?

No, but I need to ask questions to get relevant details.

Do you know if Ilchester would agree to taking action? I ask becuase if a tree overhangs your land, you are legally entitled to cut it back to stop the overhang. As the tree overhangs Ilchester's land, it is they who would have to arrange to cut the tree back. This can be done without permission, although the cuttings must be offered back to the owner. In addition, you'd need fo check the tree is not protected by a Preservation Order.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
thanks for the reply

I did approach Ilchester Estate some time ago and they forwarded my enquiries to the managing agents responsible for the upkeep of our common land and also Somerset square, in which the Tree owner's property sits. the tree company have also confirmed that the tree is not preservation order protected. Most importantly, the previous owner had permitted us to have it pruned nearly 10 year ago, without any objections, when we moved in this area

I will take your kind advice on board and approach the managing agent and the tree company once again


Thanks. It seems very unreasonable of the owners to refuse permission, and you can of course point out to them that the trees are causing damage, such as damage to car paintwork. This might help get the owner to grant the permissikn you require. Ilchester can also do the pruning without permission, so if they booked a tree surgeon but you and the other owners paid for it, that mjght be a way to get what you of luck.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks again


I have tried all the options as you have mentioned and have always maintained my genuine reasoning. Sadly, the tree owners do seem to be behaving and acting unreasonably


I will continue my efforts and see to it that Ilchester estate and the managing agents can bring this issue to a satisfactory conclusion without much hard feelings between the parties


Your suggestion of pruning without permission seems the only legitimate option if all else fails


kind regards

Thanks - best of luck with this. Kind regards, WB.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The tree company are refusing to touch the tree without owner's permission


I have conveyed your arguments to the managing company but have not heard from them


will write again


One further twist in the saga: The owner, at one stage had agreed for the pruning but they wanted us to pay for both the big trees and for us to bear the entire cost. I had argued that I would pay for the cost only only for the tree which is causing nuisance


The owner phoned the tree company then refusing permission


Ironically, the managing company are the official appointed agents by Ilchester Estate and Abbotsbury Association to manage not only our estate but also Somerset Square (the owner's site)


I have, previously also written to the Director of Abbotsbury association


about this but have not had any response


My questions:


Should I be now looking at contacting a legal attorney ? Naturally, I would hate to be drawn in to a long drawn out legal battle


Should I deal with the owner or the managing agents?



I think you must deal with the agents as they act for the owner. However, you could ask s solicitor to write tothem to try to press mstters further. They will also not want a long anand expensive legal argument and so when they see hiw serious you are, they might be more inclined to help.