Nothing is worse than being unable to comfortably enjoy your garden because of neighbour’s trees or overgrown hedges. Issues between neighbours may start to escalate and become extremely serious.
Even if you don’t own a tree in your garden, you might have a legitimate concern regarding trees with the potential to fall and result in injuries. Before this happens, the following are some of the things you may need to do when a neighbour’s tree becomes very big:
- Speak to the Neighbour
The best starting point to dealing with the overhanging tree’s dispute and blocking light into your property is to speak. While at it, try to keep things civil and give your neighbour enough time to contemplate what you are proposing.
Before that, you may also want to ensure to check if the tree is protected by a preservation order or has restrictions, especially when you live in a conversation place.
- Write a Notice to Cut the Overhanging Branches
If the tree is causing you issues and you are unable to come to an agreement, you may write a notice to get rid of overhanging branches.
This usually applies where branches overhang more than 50 centimetres and less than 2.4 meters above the ground.
- Contact the County Council
Trees might be very risky around October and November because leaves have not fallen. Plus, rain and strong winds might easily become unstable.
If your neighbour resists all attempts to get rid of the tree, you may file a claim to the county council. The council will send a professional to come and determine the stability as well as the safety of the tree. If the tree is risky, the council will advise the property owner to work on the situation before a particular date. When the owner fails, the council will send a tree removal company and bill the landowner.
- Define Boundary Disputes
In some situations, there might be a tree, which is right on the edge of a property. It can be difficult to evaluate if it is on your property or on that of your neighbour. If you cannot determine the boundary with the existing survey, consider doing another one and request the surveyor to mark the boundaries of your home.
If the tree is in the middle of both properties, you and your neighbour have equal rights to cut down the tree.
- Hire a Solicitor
If the issue persists, you may need to hire a solicitor who is familiar with neighbour disputes. A good solicitor will help you uphold and establish a right to light. Mostly, the source of neighbour disputes involves tree branches, which block off natural light. The solicitor will help you establish the right to light by demonstrating that you have had 20 years of constant enjoyment.
Though it is vital to keep in mind that there could be a degree of uncertainties because cases may hinge on the sets of circumstances and peculiar facts. For instance, a certain angle of light coming to the windows has always been an important factor in most situations.
Trees are a source of beauty and frequent basis of disputes among neighbours. A neighbour’s tree might grow in a way that roots and branches will encroach on your garden, resulting in potential or actual damages.
If you are in such a situation, be sure to speak to your neighbour before writing a removal notice, contacting your county council, or hiring a solicitor to fight for your rights.