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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12182
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My neighbour is repeatedly cutting down shrubs, trees and

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My neighbour is repeatedly cutting down shrubs, trees and hedging on our land. Last year we asked them to stop and we even called the police on one occasion and they were warned they should not be touching our property. The police said they couldn't take any further action because this was a civil matter. Is that correct?
A couple of days ago our eldest son was at home in the garden and was witness to them cutting another tree down. They stopped when they heard him, so clearly they know full well they are doing wrong. Our privacy is being eroded and we don't know what action to take to stop them? They are also trespassing on our land. We could put up a fence, but our garden is very large and it will cost many thousands of pounds to erect a fence.
The neighbour is taking pleasure in our impotence to stop them and we've been called names and talked about loudly with other neighbours. It's very distressing, particularly for my partner who suffers severe anxiety.
They've damaged our shrubs and trees, some of which were very mature.
How do we seek compensation? How can we stop them doing this to our property?

This is both a civil and a criminal matter. They are destroying your property and therefore could be charged by the police. Unfortunately the police don't like getting involved in anything like this and are unlikely to take any action unless you complain to a higher officer. As far as the civil law is concerned you can obtain a court order for interdict which is an order to stop them doing what they are doing. If they disobey the order they will be in contempt of court and can be fined or in extreme cases imprisoned. You can also sue for damages being the cost of replacing the trees or loss of amenity. To run a civil case you will need to instruct a solicitor but you should claim the expenses of any court action from them as well as the other orders mentioned above. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

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