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To ask the man next door to cut down his trees

(242 Posts)
FeynmanDiagram Wed 08-May-13 18:27:27

I'm having some problems with my neighbour and created an account to hopefully get an impartial view from you. I'd be grateful for your feedback.

Approximately five years ago a new neighbour moved next-door to me and inherited a garden that was a bit of a mess. We'd had problems with the previous neighbours garden in that the trees at the foot of the garden overhung quite badly into ours. In the end the we managed to get them to cut them back, but the problems haven't stopped.

Now the same trees are so high that they are blocking the sunlight from getting into my garden in the morning. I'd like to be able to enjoy breakfast in the summer sun from the comfort of my own garden, but can't because of the height and the fact that they are covered in ivy.

Rather than going through the courts, I approached my neighbour and explained the situation and he said he'd go away and look into it. They weekend he came back and said that he'd gotten quotes, but said that he wanted me to pay half!

I told him how in no uncertain terms how ridiculous it would be for me to have to pay for his trees to be fixed when its him that's causing the problem. Especially since I'm on a single income and they are both young professionals with no children.

What are your thoughts? AIBU?

Madamecastafiore Wed 08-May-13 18:48:18

Bite his hand off because if he decides to not play ball you will only be able to cut the overhang off and that will financially be solely down to you!

HDEE Wed 08-May-13 18:50:18

My thoughts are that you are mad to think he would foot the bill. Presumably he doesn't have a problem with his trees, and maybe quite likes them. Contrary to popular belief you don't have a right to sunlight in your garden.

And as for pointing out their double income as opposed to your single one, as a reason for them being responsible for paying...totally ridiculous.

If you were my neighbour I'd be telling you to bugger off, less politely.

TidyDancer Wed 08-May-13 18:50:26

Yep, no right to light as others have already said.

If these trees are causing no issue for your neighbour, you're lucky he's done the leg work and is willing to pay half. If I was him/them, I would've told you I was happy for you to do the work, but I was unwilling to pay.

Legally you can cut back to your boundary, as long as you give back the cuttings and check with your local council that the trees aren't protected.

NeverQuiteSure Wed 08-May-13 18:51:48

Sounds like a very generous offer. If you can afford it, take it. Baring a situation where the trees are either unsafe or causing actual damage to your property (e.g. roots damaging foundations, etc) they have no legal responsibility to cut them.

You may have a very shaky legal case if the trees are significantly reducing the amount of light into your house, but even that would be hard to prove (something to do with 20 years of unbroken light historically coming in those windows)

AmazingBouncingFerret Wed 08-May-13 18:53:20

Be fucking grateful your neighbour is willing to do something about them! My neighbour loves his taller-than-our-house-light-blocking conifers.

EleanorFarjeon Wed 08-May-13 18:54:48

I think he's being more than reasonable, as really you should have offered to pay in full imo.

coffeeinbed Wed 08-May-13 18:55:47

Your happiness with a cup of tea is not his responsibility.

Besides, it's the wrong time to be cutting trees anyway - there are nesting birds which should not be disturbed.

whois Wed 08-May-13 18:57:17

YABU OP, personally I think paying half to have YOUR problem sorted is a bloody bargain. Not bothering him, is it?

BoffinMum Wed 08-May-13 18:57:59

TBH I think he's being quite reasonable. We normally go halves with neighbours on things like that, but it has been known for us to pay the whole lot in the past.

Slight derail, but someone up thread said there's certain trees that you can't allow to grow over a certain height?
My neighbourhoods tree that has those horrible flowery things that are just starting to bloom, they make such a mess of my garden, it nearly overhangs as far as my neighbours on the other side.
Does anyone know what kind of tree it is and if there are guidelines relating to high tall you can let it get to please.

whois Wed 08-May-13 18:58:22

Also OP, you had problems with previous neighbours? I generally find people who are constantly having problems, are often the common factor and cause!

TSSDNCOP Wed 08-May-13 19:00:24


In fact I'd swap your neighbour with ours in a heart beat.

We and all all houses abutting his property been barred from even trimming overhanging branches or face a court order. The police were called to my 85 year old neighbour!

PatPig Wed 08-May-13 19:00:49

I can't believe you told him to get lost.

If you did that to me, I'd be inclined to say 'no fuck off, I'm not doing it'', if you came back.

maddening Wed 08-May-13 19:01:19

I think you should pay the whole cost - it isn't affecting him - he is happy with their height and they won't be as aesthetically pleasing once lopped - it's all at your request to benefit you.

Sidge Wed 08-May-13 19:02:42

I'd go halves.

I have a similar problem, in that one of the houses backing onto our garden (but one along IYKWIM) has such a massive tree, higher than the house and very thick and wide, which blocks the sunlight in our garden all day long. If I wanted to enjoy the sunshine I'd have to gaffer tape myself to the fence...

I'm thinking of putting a note through their door asking them kindly if they'd consider cutting back the tree and if they then ask me to contribute I'd offer what I could afford.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 08-May-13 19:04:40

YABU. He's happy with his trees the way they are. If you want them changed, then you pay for it.

He's being very reasonable by getting quotes and offering to pay half.

QuintessentialOHara Wed 08-May-13 19:05:26

If trees overhang your garden, you may cut them back at your expense, but put the branches/offcuts back into the owners garden.

I cannot believe that you rebuffed his very generous offer of going halves on cutting down trees that are bothering you....

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Wed 08-May-13 19:06:23

I told him how in no uncertain terms how ridiculous it would be for me to have to pay for his trees

I think you've blown any chance of negotiating on this now anyway. You might as well just resign yourself to the fact that morning tea in the sunshine is a distant dream.

Oldraver Wed 08-May-13 19:06:50

You dont have a right to sunlight or even light, though its nice. The fact he has looked into it and is willing to pay half I think is a bonus, he could of said no.

Yesterday I had no sun from about 2pm due to some trees, I will be having mine cut back a little (they are getting too big anyway) but dont expect my neighbour too

SauvignonBlanche Wed 08-May-13 19:07:11

Your neighbour sounds very reasonable.

ValentineWiggins Wed 08-May-13 19:08:34

I've asked the neighbours if they would consider cutting their tree and already offered to contribute - I gain much more by it being done! Probably wouldn't go 50/50 as it is a block of flats (at least 20) but will definitely offer something!

Dawndonna Wed 08-May-13 19:09:58

If they are Leylandii they are only allowed to grow to a certain height, these days. useful reading

apatchylass Wed 08-May-13 19:10:16

Hmm, I'm interested in all the responses that htink the OP should be glad to only have to pay half.

Our neighbours told us to cut down a tree we inherited that had grown too big for their liking. DH didn't want the tree to go, but we did it to stay on good terms and we footed all the very expensive bill.

We was robbed, it seems.

LIZS Wed 08-May-13 19:10:47

Realistically you will have missed the opportunity to have them cut now until the autumn due to nesting birds and the growing season.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 08-May-13 19:13:20

Sorry, but YABU. And your neighbour is being VERY reasonable in offering to pay half.

"I told him how in no uncertain terms how ridiculous it would be for me to have to pay for his trees to be fixed when its him that's causing the problem. Especially since I'm on a single income and they are both young professionals with no children."
Oh dear. You've shot yourself in the foot here. If I was your neighbout and you told me 'in no uncertain terms' my offer was ridiculous, I would simply shrug and withdraw it.

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