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Problems With Neighbouring Trees: Action Guide

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 25 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Neighbours Trees Neighbour Branches

If your property shares a boundary with a neighbour's property, there are a few aspects of the law (and good neighbourliness) that you need to bear in mind when growing trees/hedges. This guide covers what you need to know and also what you can do if you are having problems with your neighbour's trees.

Cutting back trees

You have a common law right to cut back tree branches that overhang onto your property. It is however always best to discuss with your neighbour about any trees / hedges you wish to cut back before doing so.
  • The law states that any branches cut off belong to the person on whose land the tree originally grew, so you should ask your neighbour if they want them back, or if they are happy for you to dispose of them.
  • Do not just throw trimmings back over the boundary - this could constitute 'fly tipping'. Ask your neighbour whether they would like any trimmings back.
  • Equally any fruit on trees, even if they are growing on branches which overhang your property, still belongs to your neighbour. You are therefore stealing if you pick these for yourself without your neighbours' permission.

Neighbour cut my trees right back

My neighbour recently contacted me to say she was going to get the overhanging branches from the large tree in my garden removed and that some branches may end up in my garden. I said I didn't have a problem with her removing any overhanging branches.

I got up this morning to find that my trees had been basically chopped down. The overhanging branches were indeed removed but right down to the tree trunk! I now have a line of bare tree on my side. I understand that they have a right to cut back to the boundary line but these trees are not on the boundary line - do I have any rights regarding this situation?

  • If you are pruning a neighbours' tree, be careful that you do not damage the tree further back than your boundary.
  • If you damage the tree on their side, they may claim against you for the replacement cost of the tree.
  • Be careful to check if any trees are subject to a preservation order - your local authority will be able to tell you this. If you cut down a tree with a preservation order, you will be guilty of an offence under section 210 or 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Can we invoice neighbour for tree cutting?

There is a 20 metre long fence between us and our neighbour with a wall of fir trees growing on the neighbour's side of the fence. We hired a gardener to trim the fir tree branches back to the border of the fence. Can we send the Invoice received from the gardener to the neighbour?

If you choose to cut down overhanging branches, or trim trees, you will have to pay for the cost of doing so yourself. Try speaking to your neighbour however as you may be able to reach some sort of agreement in relation to any gardening work required, though they are not obliged to contribute to this cost. Note that you are not entitled to access to your neighbour's property to enable you trim the branches on your side of the boundary without their permission.

Ownership of trees

Sometimes you may be unsure who owns the trees causing you concerns or the trees may be part of a shared boundary and you are unsure who is responsible for their maintenance:

Trees that do not belong to anyone?

We have several very large trees surrounding our garden who we have been told do not belong to any one we want them cut down just a small amount who can we get to do this. We have phoned the council but they've not been much help.

Trees that form part of a boundary

The boundary line between our house and our neighbour's is clear and undisputed. It presently consists of a wire fence. However, there are some very tall cedar trees planted many years ago on our neighbour's side of the boundary, but close to it.

These trees are essentially on our neighbour's land so we do not feel we have a responsibility to maintain them. Our neighbour, however, feels they are our responsibility as they form part of the "hedge" line to the left our property when viewed from the front. Who is right?

A tree belongs to whoever owns the property upon which the tree trunk originally grows, even if the branches or roots have begun to spread onto another property. The owner has a duty to maintain this tree so that it does not cause a hazard. Therefore if branches are broken and hanging precariously, the owner should remove these.

If a tree is planted on the border line between properties, you should check your Property Title Documents to see if these give ownership to one property. If not, you both share the duty to maintain the trees, and these should not be cut down without prior consent from both owners. To check your title deeds visit the land registry website or call them on 0844 892 1111.

  • There is no such thing as 'no man's land'. All land and therefore all trees are owned by somebody.
  • If you can't decide by looking at the original Property Deeds who owns a tree, a court will be able to decide for you. However this is an expensive resolution and so it may be better to simply agree ownership between you and your neighbour.

Damage caused by overhanging trees

Council owned trees damaging my property

Adjacent to my house is some green belt land owned by local council. On this land there are some large trees, 3 of which run adjacent to my property. Last year the council agreed to prune back the lower branches of the trees but only up to 20 ft in height. As a result, the branches at the higher level have continued to grow and some of the branches now virtually touch my property.

There are a large number of leaves coming off these trees and causing blockage to guttering etc. I am also concerned about the potential damage if one of these trees fell in the high winds. What legal position do I have?

You cannot force your neighbour to remove overhanging branches or fallen leaves on your property. However if these cause excessive damage, you can sue them for the cost of repair. It is however always better to try to amicably resolve any disputes with your neighbours before resorting to the courts, which is often a long and potentially expensive process - remember you still have to live next to this person, so an amicable solution will often lead to a more comfortable living environment.

If any damage was caused by a tree from your neighbours' property but this was due to 'an Act of God', such as a thunderstorm, any damage was not foreseeable. Your neighbour will not therefore be responsible for this. If any damage caused to your property is severe, you may wish to contact your Buildings Insurance company about this.

  • Falling leaves, fruit, flowers, and pollen are annoying, but you cannot legally ask your neighbour to prevent this or remove any fallen debris.
  • Liability to remove any fallen leaves etc lies with the owner of the Property affected (or the Tenants if they have maintenance obligations which include gardening).
  • Whilst falling leaves etc are annoying, they are not legally a 'nuisance', which has a very specific meaning.

Right to Light

Neighbouring trees blocking our light

A property we are thinking of purchasing has quite a few trees in the back garden which completely block any sunlight. Some could possibly have preservation orders on them. Is there any way we can have these thinned or removed. Does our right to sunlight override that of a preservation order?

The Rights of Light Act 1959 states that if a Property has received daylight for the last 20 years (the minimum prescribed period), they may be entitled to continue to receive that light. This means that if your neighbour builds a large fence or there are large trees which restrict the daylight your Property receives (for example by blocking daylight reaching a window), you may be able to apply to the courts for your daylight to be restored, or for any injunction to prevent a proposed fence being built.

If trees have a Preservation Order, this suggests that the Property does not have a Right to Light, as it will not have had a continuous period of daylight for at least 20 years. Usually the only way you can prune a tree with a Preservation Order is if it has become dangerous.

  • There is no right to direct sunlight, only daylight.
  • Even if you have a right to light, the amount of light is restricted to approximately equivalent to one foot of candlelight - more than most people receive anyway.
  • You do not have any right to a view which is obscured by trees. Equally you have no right to not have a view if trees previously covered an undesirable feature such as a brick wall.

Dangerous Trees

If you are concerned that a tree is diseased or damaged and poses a danger due to having fallen, or being at risk of falling, you should contact the owner of the land on which the tree is growing. If the land belongs to the local council, contact them to request that the tree is cut down or pruned.

If you are unable to contact the land owner or they refuse to take action, contact your local council's Environmental Health Office. The owner is not under any legal duty to take action, but will be liable if a tree they knew to be damaged caused damage to Property or injury to a person.

As prevention is often better than waiting for damage or injury to occur however, the Environmental Health Office may be able to invoke the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 if the tree poses an immediate risk to Property or people. This allows them to serve notice on the land owner to make the tree safe. If they fail to do so, the Environmental Health Office may undertake this work themselves. The land owner would then usually be charged for any gardening required.

More of interest

Sometimes you might need to access a neighbour's property to do essential maintenance on your own...what's allowed and what's not? Read Your rights to access neighbouring land.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I live on a mobile home site my next door neighbours have a conifer 20 / 25ftbranches over hanging my garden andblocking out lightto bedroom/bathroom,is the site owner reasonable to cut the tree or me the neighbours are from hell and wont do anything , cannot even talk to them,its a fire hazard will the council do anything to help me,
Dave - 25-Jun-17 @ 9:40 PM
Lulu - Your Question:
My neighbour has a row of for trees which have grown outwards and upwards over our boundary. Can I trim them all the way upwards to our boundary and do I have to give the cut ones back?

Our Response:
You can trim back anything that overhangs the boundary. You can offer back the branches but your neighbour is not obliged to accept.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Jun-17 @ 2:47 PM
My neighbour has a row of for trees which have grown outwards and upwards over our boundary. Can I trim them all the way upwards to our boundary and do I have to give the cut ones back?
Lulu - 22-Jun-17 @ 6:07 PM
Griff - Your Question:
Hi, My neighbour planted a'Torbay Palm' tree 2' from my garden wall. It is now 12' tall and growing. I have an artificial lawn on the other side of the wall. I have asked for the new growth,about 3', to be pruned o as hopefully restrict further root growth. I was met with abuse. When I pointed out the risk of damage to both the wall and my lawn she said she didn't care. The front of her house faces my back garden. There is a tarmac area between her house front and my rear wall. Planning restrictions state that no resident can plant trees in front of their properties building line. Can I legally get her to cut the trees before any damage occurs?ThanksViv Griffiths

Our Response:
In general you cannot force a tree owner to cut down or cut back a tree. If your neighbour has breached planning conditions, you can report them to the council and they will take action as necessary. Until any damage is actually done, you can't be sure it will actually do the damage...so there will be nothing in law that can force its removal from that point of view.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Jun-17 @ 2:23 PM
Lime tree - Your Question:
Hi 2 large lime trees grow within 2 meters of the boundary fence, they are at least 50 feet high and the breaches extend beyond the boundary by 2-3m, in addition, the prevailing wind means that all leaves fall into our garden and onto the basement roof. The trees have grown significantly in the last 10 years. Aside from light issues (they cast a shadow over the garden in the afternoon), blocked gutters, problems with disposing of the highe quantity of dropped leaves etc. The trees drop a sticky black residue which coats the lead roof on the basement and kills the shrubs and flowers and lawn underneath the branches in our garden. Is there anything that we can do?

Our Response:
There's nothing that the owner is obliged to do under "common law" really if they choose not to. You are entitled to cut back any overhanging branches on your side of the boundary (check that the trees are not the subject of tree preservation orders). If you want the neighbours to remove the trees completely or radically prune them, you could try asking via the courts because of the nuisance it's causing....it's rare this is successful and you should seek professional legal advice.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Jun-17 @ 12:03 PM
Hi, My neighbour planted a'Torbay Palm' tree 2' from my garden wall. It is now 12' tall and growing. I have an artificial lawn on the other side of the wall. I have asked for the new growth,about 3', to be pruned o as hopefully restrict further root growth. I was met with abuse. When I pointed out the risk of damage to both the wall and my lawn she said she didn't care. The front of her house faces my back garden. There is a tarmac area between her house front and my rear wall. Planning restrictions state that no resident can plant trees in front of their properties building line. Can I legally get her to cut the trees before any damage occurs? Thanks Viv Griffiths
Griff - 20-Jun-17 @ 4:39 PM
Conifer ?? - Your Question:
Hi my neighbour wants me to cut the branches back of a conifer tree hanging over his fence. The tree stands in a tree belt at the bottom of the garden that was put in place when we bought our house. I did plant the conifer and me and my family have no issues with it.my neighbour certainly does had a full blown row with him today and feel a bit upset it's been mentioned in the past but I have no problem with it.should I speak with council? Please advise

Our Response:
Sorry it's not clear. Is it your tree? If so then you are not under any obligation to cut the tree back. Your neighbour is entitled to cut back any branches that overhang his side of the boundary.
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Jun-17 @ 2:14 PM
Hi 2 large lime trees grow within 2 meters of the boundary fence, they are at least 50 feet high and the breaches extend beyond the boundary by 2-3m, in addition, the prevailing wind means that all leaves fall into our garden and onto the basement roof.The trees have grown significantly in the last 10 years.Aside from light issues (they cast a shadow over the garden in the afternoon), blocked gutters, problems with disposing of the highe quantity of dropped leavesetc. The trees drop a sticky black residue which coats the lead roof on the basement and kills the shrubs and flowers and lawn underneath the branches in our garden.Is there anything that we can do?
Lime tree - 20-Jun-17 @ 11:43 AM
Hi my neighbour wants me to cut the branches back of a conifer tree hanging over his fence . The tree stands in a tree belt at the bottom of the garden that was put in place when we bought our house .I did plant the conifer and me and my family have no issues with it .my neighbourcertainly does had a full blown row with himtoday and feel a bit upset it's been mentioned in the past but I have no problem with it .should I speak with council? Please advise
Conifer ?? - 18-Jun-17 @ 8:25 PM
I live in a development that shares a border with Network Rail. A tree growing from their side of the fence overhangs into our common area and two branches contain plastic sheeting debris at around 5-6 storeys high, which is visible from my apartment window. I have written to NR requesting they be removed and they have responded saying that they would not be able to complete the work. Do I have any rights here?
Rail Guy - 16-Jun-17 @ 3:16 PM
MCL - Your Question:
Hi, My neighbour has a totally unkept garden and a number of trees growing wildly over 20 foot tall along our fence line. This restricts sunlight the length of the garden but not to all of the garden. The main issue is the appearance as it is an eye saw and the gnats that seem to inhabit the trees and bite my two young children whenever they play in the garden. I have asked a number of times for the height to be reduced but to no avail, I have offered to pay for this also. Is there any legislation to support me with this such as council intervention? Thank you.

Our Response:
No not really. You can cut back any branches that overhang your side of the boundary though. If you think you have something really specific that would constitute a "nuisance" (gnat bites and lack of sunlight would probably NOT count) then you could consider taking legal action to get the height reduced. (consult a legal professional)
ProblemNeighbours - 15-Jun-17 @ 1:54 PM
In the recent winds a tree fell from the garden of a neighbour into my parent's garden, damaging a fence and landing on the lawn. The neighbour says that although the tree is on his side of the fence, the legal boundary of his property isn't delineated by the fence. Is there a time limit by which a fence becomes a de facto boundary?
Shane Tanner - 14-Jun-17 @ 5:44 PM
Hi, My neighbour has a totally unkept garden and a number of trees growing wildly over 20 foot tall along our fence line. This restricts sunlight the length of the garden but not to all of the garden. The main issue is the appearance as it is an eye saw and the gnats that seem to inhabit the trees and bite my two young children whenever they play in the garden. I have asked a number of times for the height to be reduced but to no avail, I have offered to pay for this also. Is there any legislation to support me with this such as council intervention? Thank you.
MCL - 12-Jun-17 @ 3:12 PM
My neighbour has a plum/ damson tree right near our fence,all the fruit I'd dropping on our garden ,and my dog keeps eating the fruit ,which are poison to dogs especially the stone inside .the fruit is diseased also so dropping continually with wind etc,it's not so much overhanging ,What can I do neighbour wants to keep the tree ,can you please advise .
Sandra - 9-Jun-17 @ 10:20 AM
Our neighbour who is the least co-operative and friendly neighbour I've come across cut one of our trees that overhung their garden without any consultation or word to us. Whilst I know she is legally allowed to cut those overhanging branches all the waste was pushed back over the fence and onto a flower bed back on our side of the fence. This was done without asking us and has damaged plants. As I understand it, it should be her responsibility to clear the waste and not push it back over the fence. This waste is wood branches not the odd leaf. This can be constituted as fly tipping. What course of action can I take from here?
Neighbour - 1-Jun-17 @ 8:12 AM
LibbyB - Your Question:
We moved in to our house last year and did not do a huge amount in the garden as there was so much to do in the house. Our neighbours tree hangs right over our garden blocking sun light. I spoke to him and asked if he would be able to cut it back and he said yes he would but he didn't know when as he was very busy.he did say that we could do it ourselves if we wanted. 3 months later and he still has not done it even though we have asked a few times. My husband managed to cut it back yesterday but we are now left with a huge amount of tree to dispose of, when I say huge I mean like 3 or 4 vans full at least. Is there a way that we can ask our neighbours to help or is it for us to dispose of. We have no way of doing this ourselves so will have to pay for it. I should add that he is a retired tree surgeon himself and his son is a tree surgeon.

Our Response:
No, the neighbour is not responsible for cutting back branches that overhang a neighbour's property. You should offer the branches back to your neighbour but he doesn't have to accept them.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-May-17 @ 2:43 PM
Gina - Your Question:
My neighbour has a tree (or a few) which has been breaking our fence and growing towards our garden. We have asked our neighbour to cut the tree but she says she has no money we even offered to pay half as it is costing us a lot to clear drain, have foxes coming into our garden and lots of bugs in the house also due to her not keeping the garden clean. We need to extend our property and have planning permission for it but she is still saying give me a year to save up to cut the tree and the tree is in the way for us to extend and dont want problems with it growing into our property once extension is built. We've asked a couple of times and all she says is she cant afford it. What can we do as we only have 2 years to extend the property and if she continues like she has for the last 2 years we wont be able to extend. Even if we werent extending this is destroying our property as the fence is totally broken.

Our Response:
The problem is, if the neighbour cannot afford to pay there is not much you can do. Even if a court were to order it, they may give her the opportunity to pay in instalments so there would still be a wait. How much is the trunk growing into your garden? If it's just the branches, she is under no obligation to remove them anyway.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-May-17 @ 11:46 AM
We moved in to our house last year and did not do a huge amount in the garden as there was so much to do in the house. Our neighbours tree hangs right over our garden blocking sun light. I spoke to him and asked if he would be able to cut it back and he said yes he would but he didn't know when as he was very busy..he did say that we could do it ourselves if we wanted.3 months later and he still has not done it even though we have asked a few times. My husband managed to cut it back yesterday but we are now left with a huge amount of tree to dispose of, when I say huge I mean like 3 or 4 vans full at least. Is there a way that we can ask our neighboursto help or is it for us to dispose of. We have no way of doing this ourselves so will have to pay for it. I should add that he is a retired tree surgeon himself and his son is a tree surgeon.
LibbyB - 28-May-17 @ 3:28 PM
My neighbour has a tree (or a few) which has been breaking our fence and growing towards our garden. We have asked our neighbour to cut the tree but she says she has no money we even offered to pay half as it is costing us a lot to clear drain, have foxes coming into our garden and lots of bugs in the house also due to her not keeping the garden clean. We need to extend our property and have planning permission for it but she is still saying give me a year to save up to cut the tree and the tree is in the way for us to extend and dont want problems with it growing into our property once extension is built. We've asked a couple of times and all she says is she cant afford it. What can we do as we only have 2 years to extend the property and if she continues like she has for the last 2 years we wont be able to extend. Even if we werent extending this is destroying our property as the fence is totally broken.
Gina - 27-May-17 @ 12:51 PM
A tree in my neighbour's garden has branches hanging over my wall as low as approximately 1 .5 metres. The branches are spikeyand could be dangerous with my grandchildren running around. My husband is disabled so I have nobody to cut them down. When I asked him to arrange to have them cut down he said I am entitled to cut them myself as I explained I have no one or the tools do it. He wouldn't accept that. The branches are huge I would have to pay someone to do this and take away the branches. Pleas can you advise.
Ally - 26-May-17 @ 3:55 PM
Bekah18 - Your Question:
Last year my neighbour asked if she could cut down a few overhanging branches from my tree, and we agreed which ones she would remove and dispose of.This year however, she has removed even more, without permission and also destroyed the lead branch of the tree, together with a clematis beneath the tree(already deceased). The tree is in the process of slowly dying, with the majority of the leaves gone.Where do I stand legally with replacing my tree or claiming compensation for the removal and replacing of said tree?It was only young between 11 and 13 years old.Kind regards

Our Response:
Assuming that you can establish it is neighbour's "pruning" that is the cause of the damage and it's occurred (this year) without your permission - a polite note or request for replacemenent might suffice. The alternative would be to claim via the small claims court.
ProblemNeighbours - 26-May-17 @ 11:54 AM
Last year my neighbour asked if she could cut down a few overhanging branches from my tree, and we agreed which ones she would remove and dispose of. This year however, she has removed even more, without permission and also destroyed the lead branch of the tree, together with a clematis beneath the tree(already deceased).The tree is in the process of slowly dying, with the majority of the leaves gone. Where do I stand legally with replacing my tree or claiming compensation for the removal and replacing of said tree? It was only young between 11 and 13 years old. Kind regards
Bekah18 - 24-May-17 @ 11:26 AM
Sycamore Tree, Council owned Property. estimated height 80 feet +. overlooking several privately owned and council owned properties. Me owner occupier. Living in adjacent property for 38 years. Keen gardener until age and disability took over in 2015. This tree self seeds and as my garden is organic they have no problem surviving. I was able to manage until three years ago now I am unable to bend therefore I cannot remove the seedling trees, and they grow all over my garden, patio and drive alsoin many inaccessible, to me, places, in shrubs, hedges and perennial plants out of site until of a substantial size. Until this year I have employed gardeners to help me with this problem at great costs. Amateur gardeners are not prepared to spend most of the time on their knees pulling up sycamore trees and I can no longer afford professional rates as I am retired and I live alone. the seedlings have damaged my patio meaning it is no longer safe for me to use. I have spoken and written several times to the local authority and been told categorically that this is my problem. In a few years time if this continues I will be living in a forest.Earlier this year I removed 103 seedlings from a Belfast sink in which I grow strawberries, in a raised bed, which gives a small idea of the severity of this problem. Each year there are thousands of seedlings. I am aware that natural selection will probably take care of some over time but even so the rest will still blanket what was once a garden to be proud and will certainly confine me to the house. The seedlings grow in the gutters, the downspouts and the drains taking the water from the roof. Is there any legislation covering this problem and is there any legal redress history or a previous case going to law. The tenant of the property would like the tree removed, several neighbours have previously complained but never proceeded past the first hurdle.
Fed-up - 13-May-17 @ 3:45 PM
Mrs T - Your Question:
Our neighbors had large connifors on there front side boarding our Drive way l have asked her if she would take the height off the top of the trees as they where taller than the telephone line and was in danger of bringing it down but she refused saying she liked her privacy In Storm Doris it bought down the trees that we requested to be reduced in height and it also bought up part of our Drive witch now needs repairing there insurance are refusing to pay out liability and she as admitted that we have asked her to cut the height down and she refused but she told her insurance that the trees in her garden get maintained three times a year so they are refusing to pay out l pointed out to them the height of the trees saying they couldn't possibly been maintained have l any rights what should l do now my husband is disabled and lm afraid he will fall on the damaged uneven Drive l have told the insurance this as well

Our Response:
Your own home insurer should have paid out or followed this up for you? Did you make a claim at the time?
ProblemNeighbours - 12-May-17 @ 10:10 AM
liz - Your Question:
Hello, we are in the process of purchasing a new build home. However, there are two very large conifer type trees in the neighbours garden, very close to the boundary fence between both gardens, the sun is blocked. The builders will trim off the overhanging branches, but will not trim the height. The trees look like they will only get higher and wider in time, so we don't know whether to cancel the purchase. If we go through the council to see if they can do anything i.e.: request the owner to cut the tree down to the height of the fence. This takes weeks and there is no guarantee. Please help!

Our Response:
The council cant' do anything to make a neighbour cut down trees. In fact there may not be much you can do at all as these trees would have been there before the house was built. As they are evergreens the the High Hedges legislation might help?
ProblemNeighbours - 11-May-17 @ 2:45 PM
Our neighbors had large connifors on there front side boarding our Drive way l have asked her if she would take the height off the top of the trees as they where taller than the telephone line and was in danger of bringing it down but she refused saying she liked her privacy In Storm Doris it bought down the trees that we requested to be reduced in height and it also bought up part of our Drive witch now needs repairing there insurance are refusing to pay out liability and she as admitted that we have asked her to cut the height down and she refused but she told her insurance that the trees in her garden get maintained three times a year so they are refusing to pay out l pointed out to them the height of the trees saying they couldn't possibly been maintained have l any rights what should l do now my husband is disabled and lm afraid he will fall on the damaged uneven Drive l have told the insurance this as well
Mrs T - 10-May-17 @ 4:37 PM
Hello, we are in the process of purchasing a new build home.However, there are two very large conifer type trees in the neighbours garden, very close to the boundary fence between both gardens, the sun is blocked.The builders will trim off the overhanging branches, but will not trim the height.The trees look like they will only get higher and wider in time, so we don't know whether to cancel the purchase.If we go through the council to see if they can do anything i.e.: request the owner to cut the tree down to the height of the fence.This takes weeks and there is no guarantee.Please help!
liz - 10-May-17 @ 2:56 PM
luca - Your Question:
We have a current dispute with an uncooperative neighbor. They have a self-seeded sycamore tree (30-40 feet) relatively young that is growing at about 4m from the both houses and right on the fence line. We are replacing the fence and there are issues about putting the posts as the tree and its roots are swelling in our side. More importantly, the trees branches are hitting our windows, roof and masking all the sunlight to a bedroom. The uncooperative neighbor said it's the council that needs to take action but we have checked and the garden are not under TPO. We are a bit concerned about the roots damagin foundations (as it's very close to it) and would want to pursue action in trying to cut the tree down and remove the roots. Where do we stand legally? It appears as the law prevent us from doing anything but consider the neighbor liable to damage if occurring. Is it possible we have to wait for actual damage before we can sort this out? Many thanks.

Our Response:
Unfortunately there isn't a great deal you can do at this stage unless you can prove that there is damage from the roots (you'd need a surveyor's report). You are entitled to trim back any over hanging branches as far as the boundary, which should resolve the problem with them hitting your windows and roof. Your neighbour does not have to bear the cost of this work. You can also remove tree roots from your side of the boundary in the same way.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-May-17 @ 12:49 PM
We have a current dispute with an uncooperative neighbor. They have a self-seeded sycamore tree (30-40 feet) relatively young that is growing at about 4m from the both houses and right on the fence line. We are replacing the fence and there are issues about putting the posts as the tree and its roots are swelling in our side. More importantly, the trees branches are hitting our windows, roof and masking all the sunlight to a bedroom. The uncooperative neighbor said it's the council that needs to take action but we have checked and the garden are not under TPO. We are a bit concerned about the roots damagin foundations (as it's very close to it) and would want to pursue action in trying to cut the tree down and remove the roots. Where do we stand legally? It appears as the law prevent us from doing anything but consider the neighbor liable to damage if occurring. Is it possible we have to wait for actual damage before we can sort this out? Many thanks.
luca - 6-May-17 @ 5:33 PM
Taylor Wimpy are finishing off a large development in the field behind my garden fence. I have two large trees at rear of garden which overhang into one of the new house's garden. I am sure that the new owners will seek Taylor Wimpy to lop the trees. What is the protocol ? Is it encumbent on Taylor Wimpy to do the work, or do they just let my 'new neighbour' do the lopping ? The trees have been there for over 40 years. I didn't want the field to be developed. Why should I suffer ? Should Taylor Wimpy have covered this in their planning application ? Should they have put the new properties so close to my garden knowing there would be overhanging trees ?
Tone - 24-Apr-17 @ 12:51 PM
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