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Overgrown and Messy Gardens

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 6 Aug 2022 | comments*Discuss
Gardens Neighbours Garden Weeds Problems

Most people will take some pride in their gardens to one degree or another. Of course, some will be keener than others to show off their green fingers, and will want to create a spectacle of colour through the addition of flowers and a well-manicured lawn.

There will, however, be others that do not share the same enthusiasm when it comes to gardening, and will simply give their gardens a ‘once over’ with the lawn mower every few weeks. Then there will be the Problem Neighbours who see their gardens as an excuse to use it as a makeshift area in which to store excess rubbish.

Your Rights

Your Rights when it comes to neighbours’ gardens are governed by a number of laws. Unfortunately, the simple fact that your next door neighbour’s garden is unkempt and a bit overgrown is insufficient to enable you to take action unless it’s contravening the law.

Weeds, Rubbish and Pests

If weeds or brambles and the like in a neighbour’s garden are causing problems on your side of the property boundary, it can amount to a nuisance which you can report to the Environmental Health Department of your local council who can pursue legal action. More information can be found in the Weeds Act 1959.

Rubbish which has been left piled up in a garden is also cause for concern and could attract things like rats, mice and other pests. Obviously, this then creates a health hazard, with the Risk Of Rat Infestation, as well as attracting a whole host of other unwanted pests. Once again, the Environmental Health Department can forcibly order your neighbours to get rid of any rubbish or weeds if they are breaking the law, and legal action can ensue if they fail to do so.

Taking Action Yourself

There are also strict laws on what you can and cannot do when it comes to taking action yourself. For example, you cannot trespass onto the gardens of neighbours to remove any rubbish or foliage yourself. If a neighbour’s hedge, brambles or tree are causing problems on your side of the boundary, you are entitled to prune or remove anything that encroaches onto your side of the boundary, although by law you should offer any clippings back to your neighbours.

However, when it comes to trees, some have a tree preservation order placed upon them and you can be fined if you remove anything other than dead wood. Another possible way to avoid the problem of encroaching weeds is to sink a barrier about 6in (15cm) deep along the boundary of your property.

General Guidelines

Most disputes with neighbours about the state of a garden can usually be resolved by having a polite conversation with them. In fact, most people whose gardens are a bit overgrown and unkempt are often oblivious to the fact that their garden is causing a blight on the neighbourhood, and a quiet word is often enough to get them to do something about it.

Even if there are problems which do contravene the law, it’s usually better to try to resolve the issues first by speaking to your neighbours. If, however, they fail to rectify the problem, then you should seek advice from your local authority’s Environmental Health Department who will determine if your neighbours are breaking the law and whether or not any legal action can be taken, although they'll usually try to resolve the dispute amicably by visiting your neighbours first.

Read our article on Problems with Neighbouring Trees for more information about what you can legally do.

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I've a problem with my neighbours garden, the back garden is full of weeds, as high as the 6ft fence, ivy is growing through and splitting the fence panels, the front garden is about 4ft high of weeds/grass. Landlord won't do a thing as he just rents it out. It's down to the tenant, but the tenant is hardly ever there, will not answer the door & social have been round as kids hadn't been to school. I've spoke to letting agent even offered to do it myself.. but told noth9ng can do
AndyB34 - 6-Aug-22 @ 1:21 PM
Please folks, update your assumptions about gardening. A neat, trim garden is out-dated, suburban and an environmental atrocity. Aim for wild. . Aim to create biodiversity. Aim for habitat for the thousands of species facing extinction. A neat lawn is a desert. Every weed is sequetrating carbon and doing it’s bit to protect the atmosphere. Digging destroys the delicate soil microbiome which supports life, so does paving, concrete,and that horrendous plastic gravel surface. Plastic grass is a crime against nature. If your neighbour has a wild, unruly hedge which, heaven forfend, speeds over into your bit, celebrate the creatures that are able to make it their home. Neat gardens are completely and utterly last century.
Wilding - 5-Aug-22 @ 7:08 AM
iv a neighbour who has piles of black smelly bags left for threeyears i finally got fed up and called council house office theenvironment and pest control and pest control says rats into your kitchen is cause by the piles of rubbish next doorhe taken photos and will be billing next door and filling a report out today. he could not believe his eyes i got told to F off and keep my nose out so i took action with all three environmental health pest control and local housing who will take legal steps possible prosecution and court case its so unbearable? having keep windows closed because of the smell and plus in the Heatwave
Martin - 4-Aug-22 @ 12:46 PM
My neighbour came in to property, subsequently causing weeds to grow out of control an saying my fault. No idea how they caused these weeds to grow, only evident after they unlawfully gained access. They Cleard small area as i took down large weed which roots from their side.
AM - 24-Jul-22 @ 4:51 PM
Living next door to my naboughers is like living next to the rain forest. I have compiled to the lady who lives there also I have been trying to get in touch with the landlord I finally did after a year and half. He said that the gardens are nothing to do with him he only rent's the house out.
Lozi - 24-Jul-22 @ 10:23 AM
Our next door neighbours garden front and back is horrendous the front is full of weeds and the hedges hang over to our property I am regularly cutting these back also rubbish just thrown in front garden .Round the week is absolutely covered in trailing weeds which are feeding through our fence and once again I am having to clear my Property regular away .Can anything be done about this as in the past we have seen rats as under the house is full of rubbish and not secure ? Any help appreciated at my wits end now .
Neighbour - 18-Jul-22 @ 3:55 PM
Hello sir/madam We are complained next door garden pile rubbish since last end of October. Rats and mice around there also we are fed up keeping look their garden. I have child so my daughter playing to the garden and so many mystique and ants so pls clean to the next door garden. I request you She live one old woman house. I would like send you a video.
Jigu - 18-Jul-22 @ 3:46 PM
Have you spoke to your neighbour? I don't think anyone wants an overgrown garden. Must be a reason, an way to communicate. Alot of people have personal reasons why. A bit of understanding and advice can go along way.
Garen - 18-Jul-22 @ 2:36 PM
My 2nd door neighborhood always used to leave her all 3 bins in front of my house, on my walk way. I told her many times to remove it and to put it on her property side, which she have enough space in front of and back door side. She don't want to take them just ignoring me. When.I put my self to her place she returned it straight away. I write a little to remind her she cut it and put it in my bin. Is it the rule of bin? Hot can I stop her to do that ? My door number is 8 Her door number is 12 Cv3 3hy Many thanks
Asklu - 18-Jul-22 @ 9:07 AM
I love my garden, always looked after it. Now I am caring for three people. My Mum, husband and daughter. I do the best I can with my garden. Haven't got the money for a gardener. Some people in the neighbourhood are now gossiping about the weeds in my garden, including my friend who has told me to get them pulled up. I am ?? exhausted Truth is they don't know my situation. I pruned my tree a it took two trips to the recyclinv centre in my car, on my own, with no help. I am gutted. My back garden is huge and immaculate, but they complain about my front. My front gardens grass is trim and I mow it regularly, my flower pots are all watered It is only the path where the weeds have taken hold. Yes I am using this site to moan. I have been pulling the buggers up in the hot sun while my poor husband still needs me to do his shopping and get his tea. At Mums tomorrow to help her wash and do her washing. It's easy to judge people when you dont know their circumstances.
None. - 10-Jul-22 @ 12:24 PM
I got a neighbour who has let there thorn bushes grow wild all over side of fence in back garden, now would not be huge problem but it's coming over and through fence even by routes that I constantly having to try and deal with it's driving me crazy, yet they never do anything about it worse they got one fence panel broken that they won't replace properly so even worse coming through there. What can do about this is email can send to someone preferably anonymously.
Cody - 5-Jul-22 @ 7:06 PM
Number 11 southeast crescent sholing has not been occupied since being purchased in 2018 . The garden is now very overgrown both front and back and the weeds are incroching on to my property. Please help
Monty - 4-Jul-22 @ 12:18 PM
How would I or couldn't even complain about an adjoining school whenever decided to leave a large border around the school to go wild. There are foxes nesting, rats and mice, 6 foot high nettles and other weeds which are causing a really bad midge problem. I've asked poitely and they have recut even further away from our boundary.
Mark - 22-Jun-22 @ 8:49 PM
Gardeners!!! A garden is a blessing, but it’s your own garden you should manage, and stop watching thy neighbour. Cut what comes over, speak to them or move! How dare you mention someone’s race as a point. I know many asians with beautiful gardens. I know someone of every race with a terrible garden. The fact you judge someone on race … if they neighbour were white and had a terrible garden, what would you have said? Come to look for advice from fellow gardeners, and i can see it’s a bunch of entitled people.
mzmac - 13-Jun-22 @ 9:11 AM
I have lived in my house for48 years 3 years agoan Asian man moved in next door. He’s never touched his garden so weeds and trees are coming over my property so I have had gardener here twice a year to cut them back. I have wrote to him asking him to do something also had envermental health up twice they won’t do anything as it’sprivate house I’m 84. And it costs me£40 twice a year to have it cutI’ve also seen fox going over wallcan’t open mywindows for flies. Also my back door has to stay shut.now I’m thinking of putting a fence up costing me £1000 why should I pay ???For my peace of mind
Pensioner - 1-Jun-22 @ 9:48 PM
I have an Asian man living next door to mehis garden is like a jungle. I can’t open my windows as the flies come into my house from the garden I’m 84 and disabledhis weeds come over my side and onto my flat roof. They are about 18 feet highI have also seen a foxgoing in there.I’ve lived here for 48 years never had this problem before until he moved in 3 years ago . I’ve had the environmental health up Twice. But they said they can do nothing as it’s private property. But now I see they can do somethingreading this. So will be on to Swansea council on Monday.I have put 3 notes through his door but he has ignored all of them
Val - 28-May-22 @ 12:44 PM
We are complained next door garden pile rubbish since last end of October. Rats and mice around there also we are fed up keeping look their garden. Nobody live the house? I would like send you a video.
Barry - 28-Apr-22 @ 6:56 PM
Hi we’re do I report and get help. My nabour can’t keep up to her garden and her bushes have grown out of control over my fence I have got them all cut down last year and they have really grown. It’s really pushing my fence and it cost me a lot of money and I also can’t get out of my car with out the bushes been in my way. I don’t have time to keep up to it and I shouldn’t have to as hers is a council house . Please help because of my fence gets more damaged I won’t be happy
Zo - 28-Mar-22 @ 10:14 PM
Hi we’re do o try get help about my nabours over grown bushesdamaging my fence which cost me a lot of money
Zoe - 28-Mar-22 @ 10:09 PM
I have a shared drive my neighbours have been there 2 years befour them it was all lovely now there side is totally overgrown trees growing brAmbles etc it’s an eyesore , I’m out all the time pulling any weeds on my side , it’s making me Really depressed looking at it knowing how lovely it was , it’s also seeding all my garden , they told me they couldn’t care less about the drive I’m so angry ??
Shelby - 28-Mar-22 @ 8:19 PM
my neighboursgarden is a mess overgrown andthey have block paving all roundwhich is full of weeds. they have hada bit done to tidy it in the past but only twicesince they bought the house. i asked once andthey cutgrass but its a nightmare.i am 58 disabled and do my best to keep my home and garden tidy.they are in their thirties and nothinggets done. a holy mess. why buy a house with a garden and not keep it tidy. she had a baby not long ago.it will want to play in garden sooner or later.{ good luck there then } . its an absolute tip.knot weed strangling my plants,brambles weeds at my wits end. lazy people i have no tme for.
dave - 23-Sep-21 @ 10:27 AM
We live in a terrace.Our neighbour doesn't care about her garden.At present we are constantly pulling brambles up that are growing through our back garden fence. The front garden... how do they get to the front door?? Trees have taken root, that are now heading for the bottom of the upstairs window.We have weeds blowing across our living room window.I am worried aboutthe roots of these trees given how close they are to the house.
help me - 5-Sep-21 @ 6:03 PM
A house on Poplar Dr, Blurton st3 their back garden is baked on to mine and just a fence separating it. Their weeds and brambles keep coming straight over the fence and twining in our lovely bushes. I have my garden looked after by our gardener and our bushes and fences look a complete mess and its ruining our bushes. Something needs to be done ????
Sort it - 22-Jul-21 @ 12:49 PM
I am a pensioner and 3 years ago I purchased my home. It is a small semi-detatched house situated between 2 council properties. I am enclosed by two very overgrown and frankly unhealthy gardens. I have tried to keep a low profile as I don't wish to make my life difficult. However over the past 12 weeks thinghs have got very bad for me.I now haverat infestation problem. I spoke to one of the neighbours, asking if she had seen any rats. Oh no she said but living so close to the park this is to be expeced; I have seen the rats coming from HER garden and through my garden to the other overgrown garden. I regularly spend time away from my home with my friends as I simply cannot cope. So far I have tried the council but I have not received any success. To have a home but not able to live in it is a shame. TTo be so unhappy and stressed that one can't even stay in their own home is a shame. AAny suggestions I would be most appreciative.
Pippy - 19-Jul-21 @ 2:01 PM
I don't cut my lawn all year to encourage wildlife and insects. We in the midst of a biodiversity crisis and this persistent mission to cut back and use chemicals on vegetation is part of the problem. Many would see my garden as a mess. I see a diversity of native plants which encourage bees, butterflies and other insects. There needs to be a major cultural shift in the way we view our gardens
Sas23x - 17-Jul-21 @ 9:33 PM
My neighbours garden is so over grown with 10ft high weeds and massive trees. The weeds are growing into the neighbouring gardens and coming through the brick wall. What's more, for the last few days they've been burning rubbish including plastic. They're really polluting and air and giving off such bad toxic fumes. I have health problems and they're making me really ill. What can I do?
Chet - 16-Jul-21 @ 7:33 PM
My neighbour moved in 7 month ago but has now overgrown weeds in which will soon be over our 6ft fence and i keep my garden neat and tidy, his is quite small compared to my garden, any advice on how to approach the situation
Mavis - 8-Jul-21 @ 9:54 PM
Neighbours garden over grown and un kept I explained to her rats in our area but shehate to say this is a different culture to us has two aggressive cats which has blinded my cat and very is very threatening when we approach her or her son not good
Jane - 21-Jun-21 @ 9:23 PM
Iv had this problem now for 18 years with the local council that own the wasteland behind me, they cut it back a bit, then they dont bother for years! Im constantly being fobbed off, now they just dont answer emails & phone calls, they havent been out since 2019, and at my witts end with it, we have replaced fencing at a cost to us, cut back what we can, but its a loosing battle for us!.. im sure if it was us not maintaining our land we would be billed by the council.
Jueboo19 - 21-Jun-21 @ 12:45 PM
I am a Council Tenant and my husband and I take a pride in having a clean cut lawn. The neighbour admits he hates gardening,but he used to always keep the front Lawn cut. Now for some reason his front garden looks as bad as the back garden.3ft high weeds and grass. The neighbour also Mexer door to him has also left the front Lawn to grow with 3ft high weeds and grass. I feel like I live next door to a field.I worry it will encourage rats and mice.I always thought we lived in the better part of the street,seems I spoke to soon
Pollyanna - 20-Jun-21 @ 11:43 AM
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