Neighbour tree and hedge disputes are often sensitive matters that can be difficult to resolve, especially if both parties do not know their legal position. These disputes can range from something as serious as a neighbour’s tree roots affecting the foundations of your property to a tree blocking natural light/sunlight or encroaching into your land, garden or open space.
At Kingsley Smith Solicitors, our approachable litigation team are experts at solving these types of issue. We offer practical steps to help resolve your neighbour dispute as quickly as possible.
Contact our litigation team today to receive guidance on your tree or hedge dispute for a fixed fee, on either on 01634 811118 or by filling out an online enquiry form.
How to handle a neighbour tree or hedge dispute
If you’re experiencing issues with a neighbour’s tree or hedge, it’s best to contact your neighbour informally at first to try and resolve it. They may well be more accommodating than you think. However, if the issue appears more complex or discussions break down then it’s important to get legal advice, so that you are aware of your rights and to assist you in considering the best way to resolve the issue.
Overhanging Trees Law:
You may be in a situation where your neighbour’s tree is overhanging your boundary fence or blocking sunlight or natural light to your property. Alternatively, you may be concerned that a tree encroaching into your garden is 'overbearing' or poses a danger to you and your family.
It’s important to remember that unless a tree is under a preservation order, you can trim it back to the boundary line of your property. However, the trees remain the property of the person in whose garden they are planted.
This means that by law you need to offer to return the cut branches to your neighbour, or offer to dispose of them in an agreed manner. It’s worth noting that your neighbour is under no obligation to sweep fallen fruit or leaves from the tree that land in your garden.
Disputes Around Tree Roots
Sometimes roots from a neighbour’s tree can grow through into your garden. They can then affect your patio, shed, fence or even the foundations of your home.
If you think tree roots are damaging your property, you are allowed to cut back the roots to the boundary. Be careful not to damage or harm the tree. However, this is a more complex area and legal advice is recommended.
Be careful when it comes to dealing with a hedge dispute. You are allowed to trim roots or branches, but you cannot interfere in any way with the height of the hedge without legal advice. In addition, the Trees and High Hedges Act 2005 protects particular types of hedgerows. Therefore if the hedge is over two metres tall above ground level and of an evergreen variety, you can contact your local authority if you have unsuccessfully attempted a resolution with your neighbour.
If informal steps have failed then the next step may be for a 'formal legal' letter to be sent or even legal mediation to avoid bringing any action to court which could save further stress as well as considerable costs.
Get in touch with our civil litigation team today to receive guidance on your tree or hedge disputes either on 01634 811118 or by filling out an online enquiry form.
Tree and Hedge Dispute Solicitors
At Kingsley Smith Solicitors, we understand that problems with neighbours’ trees and hedges can be complex and have a detrimental impact on your every day life.
We have extensive knowledge surrounding the more serious tree and hedge disputes too. Our civil litigation team use their experience to decide on the most efficient course of action.
We can give advice regarding dangerous trees on private property – those that are posing a threat to your property and your quality of life.
If you believe trees are damaging a fence, shed or foundation wall, then we can also help you make a claim for damages against the neighbour. This sort of claim is complex and it’s advisable to get legal help with this.
The materials appearing on this website do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such materials. We shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the information provided on this website, nor shall we be responsible for the content of any web images or information linked to this website. Viewing this website, or contacting us does not constitute a solicitor client relationship between you and this firm.