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Legal advice over tree issue?

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A man next door just got some gardeners to cut braches off my trees that hung over his garden. He never told me he was doing this and they have gone off with the wood. I use the wood for making craft items so I feel they have robbed me.

 

I have little cash for legal stuff so what can I do? I am just not sure what the law says about them taking my wood - and if I can get free legal help.

 

 

It is really annoying that I was not even told about this cutting action.

 

It was worse than I thought as they have leaned into my property and cut back the tops of my butterfly bush which seems like trespass.

Can anyone tell me what I can do?

 

If I let this guy get away with this he will be in my garden next. I fell out with him years ago about similar doings.

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Hi,

 

Sorry, I can't help, but believe when it overhangs onto his property he can cut it, not sure about him taking it away, dose'nt sound like a very nice neighbour :rolleyes:

 

Regards.

 

Scott.


 
 

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Your neighbour has in fact committed an offence of theft. Although by law he is entitled to prune branches and shrubbery that encroaches onto his property he is required by law to offer you the cuttings. Also if the tree has a preservation order or he damages it he would be liable.

 

Now to the common sense part of it; is it wise to get into a neighbour dispute?

 

The ramifications of which can be long lasting and end up in a tit for tat dispute that could include the extended families and lead to a far worse conflict.


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I learn something new every day :D


 
 

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

If you can, please donate to this site.

Help keep it up and active, helping people like you.

If you no longer require help, please do what you can to help others

RIP: Rooster-UK - MARTIN3030 - cerberusalert

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Theft eh? Do I tell the police?

 

It was my tree wood that he lifted and he also cut the shrubs into my garden by about a yard .

 

The last time this man came onto my property over a similar tree issue I threatened him with the police and he has stayed away for years. I think he is terrified of the police being a grumpy old school sort.

 

If I leave this he may do worse next time. Can a solicitor take this on ?

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The police could get involved as it could be construed as theft & criminal damage, whether they would is a different matter. They would probably advise you to seek legal advice via the civil route.

 

Yes a solicitor would/could act for you so it would be wise if you contacted your local Citizens Advice or local Law Centre About Law Centres: Find your local Law Centre who are best placed to advise.


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Sounds like I am screwed then as the police will I probably wash their hands of such theft and I cannot afford a solicitor.

 

Swords/pistols at dawn.? :???:

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That's why I suggested the CAB and the Law Centre, they're free. ;)


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That's why I suggested the CAB and the Law Centre, they're free. ;)

 

 

Oh right, Law Centre - may have a look at them. Cheers :)

 

Police have now logged this theft and are due to visit.

 

Some people have suggested to me small claims over it.

Edited by questioner

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Police just rang saying it was theft but all they can do is go see the man and warn him,

 

I may have a word with small claims court over it as to buy the wood he took would cost me a fair bit. Are small claims any good?

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Neighbours :D

 

If we were allowed to own guns as in the USA, I feel sure the population would reduce drastically in this country and most of them would be neighbours.

 

I have to agree with cerberusalert and feel you should chalk this one up to experience.

 

You could however set some ground rules for the future. You coud write a letter to your neighbour, pointing out that they had made no approaches to you. You would have removed the offending branches had they done so.

 

You could point out that by removing the branches / not offering them back to you. They have broken the law. and have deprived you of income. You could also enclose a copy of the relevant law for their information.

 

I often see media reports where trees have been cut down by neighbours and the litigation appears to go on for long periods of time and ends up being costly. Apart from which already strained relationships can turn into all out war:-(

 

Have you contacted your local council to see if the tree was part of a preservation order ?


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Personally I'd put this one down to experience,why not write to you neighbour expressing your concerns and if,in the future,he has a problem with any of your trees/shrubs overhanging on to his property then to speak to you first so that you can remedy any problem yourself.

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The chap in question knows full well what he has done and we have been this way before.

 

I may go small claims on this .

 

He is a terminal tree hater and thinks they are vermin no matter what sort they are.

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He is a terminal tree hater and thinks they are vermin no matter what sort they are.

 

Hi questioner:)

 

Sorry to hear about your problem with your neighbour. I can sympathise totally as ours is just the same - but at least ours did ask permission before hiring a firm to cut our beautiful 40 foot tree in half vertically because he didn't like the leaves falling in his garden:mad:

 

The tree now looks absolutely ridiculous from his side of the street (it's in our front garden) - just the bare trunk, literally half a tree like those Christmas trees you get that go up against a wall - and unfortunately for him the leaves still fall in his garden, although there are far less now obviously!

 

I wouldn't put it past him to have the rest removed whilst we are out and say it blew down in the wind.

 

I just don't get these tree-haters and don't blame you at all for wanting to take him to court!

 

Good luck if you do,

 

Landy x


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Thanks Landy - I may take it further as I am sure he will start again when teh mood strikes him.

 

I have the police log number for the offence etc so.

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Have you thought about confronting him directly and asking for compensation, rather than 'rushing' to the courts?

 

You could write a letter, stating that you feel you have an obligation to try to remedy this before using the court system.

 

You might be suprised as just the 'threat' of court could result in him 'making you an offer'.

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My mum had a similar problem with a neighbour. While she was away he climbed over the fence & cut down a perfectly healthy tree. When she confronted him, he said , he thought she wouldn't mind as the tree "Wasn't doing anything" :confused:

We got advice from our local police, who were very helpfull. Entering her property was trespass(Civil offence). Cutting down the tree, criminal damage.Removing the tree, Theft. He advised us to put these issues in writing, & resolve matters . But was adamant that if the neighbour failed to recognise what he had done was wrong, & made amends. To go back & make an official complaint to the police, was this process begins, there is no turning back.

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I would be most surprised if he bothered to even address an offer to be honest.

 

I have left the situation in limbo for the moment.

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he is required by law to offer you the cuttings

 

Apologies for bringing up an old thread - but can you quote what law you are referring to that says this?

 

It is a question often asked and I'd like to find the legal text stating this.

 

Thank you.

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Under common law, a person may cut back any branch (or root) from a neighbour’s tree that

overhangs or encroaches onto their property. In cutting back any overhanging branches (or

encroaching roots) the following points must be observed.

• Do not trespass onto the land on which the trees are growing.

• Do not cut back branches or roots beyond the boundary in anticipation of them

overhanging.

• Any branches, fruit or roots that are removed must be carefully returned to the tree

owner unless they agree otherwise.

• All work must be carried out carefully. For example, you should avoid damaging property

or carrying out work that would leave the tree unsafe or dangerous to avoid any

comeback against yourself.

• While not required under common law, it would be courteous to notify the tree owner of

your intentions to help allay any misunderstanding.

http://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/04DE9323-7E8E-41EE-AD22-5C05E8E36729/0/Leaflet3Pruninganeighbourstree.pdf

 

The case of Lemmon v Webb established the right to cut back overhanging branches. "...if he can get rid of the interference or encroachment without committing a trespass, or entering upon the land of his neighbour, he may do so whenever he pleases, and that no notice or previous communication is required by law." http://www.aie.org.uk/law/lemmon.htm

 

Lemmon v. Webb.

 

House of Lords, Nov 1894.

Lord Herschell, L.C., Lord Macnaghten and Lord Davey.

 

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldjudgmt/jd011025/dela-1.htm

Edited by cerberusalert

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It was specifically the bit about offering back the cuttings I was referring to.

 

The Basingstoke document is one that is misleading in how it says it.

 

And under what written law states the offer must be made?

Thank you.

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Basically you have to offer/return any cuttings because otherwise it would be 'theft'.


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