How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LegalNinja Your Own Question
LegalNinja
LegalNinja, Property Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 829
Experience:  Solicitor
103518254
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
LegalNinja is online now

My Neighbor's bamboo caused damage to my garden and shed.

This answer was rated:

Hello,
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: My Neighbor's bamboo caused damage to my garden and shed. Basically the rhizomes run the width of my garden and are growing inside my shed.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No I have not as yet.
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: London Wandsworth.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The plant is so big that it's obscuring the evening sun as well.

Hello,

I will be assisting you. Have you spoken with your neighbour about this?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
We have not approached them as yet.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
For the time being chat is fine with me.

Oh, don’t worry about the pop-up mentioning a phone call – this is an automatic offer made by the system, giving you the opportunity to pay extra to discuss things over the phone. However, it is entirely optional and if you just ignore it and close it down you will not be charged extra and we will just continue in writing at no extra cost.

The bamboo on your neighbour's land which is causing damage to yours is considered Private nuisance matter. This is usually caused by a person doing something on their own land but becomes a nuisance when the consequences of their act or inaction extends to their neighbour. The remedy you will be seeking is an injunctive relief to require your neighbour to abate a continuing nuisance.

There are a number of remedies that you may pursue which include Damages. A claim for Damages may be sought by you to provide financial compensation which may include general inconvenience and distress, loss of enjoyment and/or cost of making other arrangements.

As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need for Court intervention which can be expensive. It is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Informal letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow your neighbour to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

Please see below template that you may use but will require amending:

www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/letter/letter-before-small-claims-court-claim

Is there anything else I can clarify? :)

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
May I please ask what is the difference between informal and format letter. The heading or the person who send it please? I e informal send by us to the neighbor and formal by our lawyer?

Your formal letter will have the heading Letter Before Action. You can consider this the last letter before taking Court Action.

There is nothing stopping you from sending the Letter Before Action yourself. If you feel more comfortable having a lawyer draft this for you, that is fine too.

The informal letters are your attempt to try and resolve the matter without the need for Court intervention. Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Perfect. Is there any time limit required before we send out the final letter please? ie What is the minimum time we are required to give them before sending final warning letter?

I would suggest that you allow for a response within 14 days failing which send a final letter.

Also mention in your letter that you expect a response within 14 days.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok. Is there anything in the mean time we must or must NOT do please? Should I attached pictures of the damages as well?

Yes, include as much information as possible including pictures. You may want to obtain some quotations to repair the damage in the meantime and forward this at a later date for your neighbour to pay.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
If anything I will be demanding compensation for the work done so far. I have been removing the rhizomes from the garden over 3 months and I am still not done. Pictures where taken at every step to show the extend of the damage. We bought new shed and re-located it to a different part of the garden. Can I please send them the bill?

Of course you can. It would be for them to dispute.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The work on the new shed ( to put it up) was done by us as well. Would it be reasonable to charge for this as well...at the going rate?

This would be for the Court to decide. You could as I have mentioned you may claim for Damages to provide financial compensation which may include general inconvenience and distress, loss of enjoyment and/or cost of making other arrangements.

The shed falls within this description.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok Thank you for your help today.

It's a pleasure.

I would be grateful for a 5 star rating at the top of your screen for my time. It is important to leave a rating as is how Experts are are credited for their time. All the best. -LN
LegalNinja and 3 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Of course.