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  • Legal FAQs

    Boundary/border issue ##1

    Hello Fellow Tribers,

    I would like to ask for some advice about three different boundary issues, one per property, so I shall post one at a time.

    The first one concerns a neighbour's trees which have adverse and dilatory light blockage issues for a letting property I own and two more houses on one side. The trees are at the back of a certain individual's property and overhang the pathway (which we own) in front of our houses. There is also the danger that if left untended, the trees could eventually do some damage to our properties,but I am currently more concerned about the light blockage.

    Keeping this short, we have a Residents Association, and the Director  has selected a tree surgeon and the first step has just been taken to try and make contact and seek co-operation from the owner of the trees, so they can be reduced on his property, (which we will no doubt end up paying for in full).

    Otherwise, the only other option is to cut back and reduce from our side but apparently only as far as the boundary line. We have, been warned, however, that whilst this will make things tidier, it will not solve the light issue.

    Left to my own devices, I would reduce the trees from our side to a sufficient extent that the light issue is no more, which could mean reaching over a bit, but I am not sure about the legalities. I understand that once a tree has been reduced by more than 30%, certainly 40%, this will lead to the tree's demise.

    Any advice, thoughts and comments would be appreciated.

    With thanks in advance,

    Happy Landlord

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     I understand that once a tree has been reduced by more than 30%, certainly 40%, this will lead to the tree's demise.

    ISNT THAT WHAT YOU WANT?!

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    Thanks for responding;

    Yes, of course it is. .

    The latest is I have corresponded with our Res Assoc Director, who is still trying to arrange access to the neighbouring property and I also spoke to the designated tree surgeon, who was able to reassure me, that even if he has to cut back from our side, so much tree is growing over that the light will be improved. It was also made clear to me that it is illegal to cut back beyond the boundary.

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    Have you spoken with the Planning Dept of your Local Authority, ?   They have jurisdiction over the encroachment - obscuration of light from buildings and their contents ( I.e. Trees )

    If this isn’t successful, your next port of call would be a Solicitors letter threatening to sue for nuisance.

    I’m sure David Smith could better advise on the details of that.

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    About 15 years ago I was a member of Hedgeline. It was a pressure group set up to fight the curse of Leylandi trees.    https://www.hedgeline.org   There is a lot of information on the site.

     My neighbours' trees were around 10 metres high along the side of my bungalow.

    They wrecked my utility room and started subsidence problems in my bungalow.  Various private members   bills in Parliament  sponsored by our local MP to deal with this, were stopped by the arsehole known as Sir Christopher Chope.  He of the upskirting bill failure and FGM bill failure of recent weeks.  The man is a complete shit.

    To cut a long story short, the one good thing that Tony Blair did, was make the growing of high hedges part of the Anti Social  Behaviour act 2003.  (ASBO)

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...he-council

    It obligated councils to intervene in such issues, and if the owner of the hedge did not obey an order to trim or remove the hedge, the council could do it and charge the owner.

    In my case I also got Direct Line involved and they, after a lot of coaxing,  threatened to sue my neighbours due to the cost of repairing my bungalow.

    Direct Line eventually paid to have the monster hedge removed,  the neighbours were very unhappy,  but the difference it made to the light in my garden and house was wonderful.   An added bonus was that I no longer had to speak to my moronic neighbours.

    Anyway the link to the relevant site is above.  You should be able to get them pollarded down to about two metres.   Be careful of losing your temper and cutting them down yourself. You can cut back to the boundary, you can not reduce the height without permission, and technically the branches you cut off belong to your wonderful neighbour, so you should return his property to him.

    Good luck

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    Hi Chris Daniel and Bob The Dog,

    I thought I would reply to you both at the same by continuing the thread.

    Thanks for your help.

    About a year ago I rang the Council and spoke to the person at the first port of call (not the Planning Dept), who said the Council would be unable to intervene ... i.e. fobbed me off. I now realise that under certain circumstances they may well have to. The link proved very interesting.

    The latest in our ongoing saga is that the Director of our Residents Association has succeeded in gaining permission to access one of the properties (yes, unbeknownst to me there are two) and is awaiting permission from the proprietor of the other.

    I shall forward him the link just in case negotiations go awry.

    All the best,

    Happy Landlord

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