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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?

LunaticFringe Wed 08-May-13 19:14:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlepeas Wed 08-May-13 19:15:06

YABU! I think you're jolly lucky he has agreed to cut them down AND offered to pay half. There is no way I would cut down the trees in my garden for anyone (there are birds nesting in them for a start, but they are also my lovely trees and I want them in my garden), let alone pay towards it!

ExcuseTypos Wed 08-May-13 19:15:59

We have a similar thing with the landowner next door.

He lets us chop down trees- we've done about 8 altogether. We actually pay a tree surgeon to come and do it.

We pay as the tree owner is doing us a favour. We get a much better view, so why shouldn't we pay for it?

HerRoyalNotness Wed 08-May-13 19:16:41

Cut down trees! Don't we need more trees? We should be paying people to plant them, let alone cutting them down for sun in garden situations.

littlepeas Wed 08-May-13 19:17:57

Oh, and presumably, if the trees are so large they are blocking your light, you bought the house with the trees in situ? So I would be inclined to say tough shit - you knew they were there!

DontmindifIdo Wed 08-May-13 19:20:02

can I just ask, is this a reverse AIBU?

NeverQuiteSure Wed 08-May-13 19:20:37

ICanTuckMyBoobsInMyPockets - the law applies to hedges not trees. I think a hedge is defined as at least 3 evergreens in a row.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 19:22:33

The High Hedge Legislation may apply. If it doesn't then your neighbour is being reasonable by asking you to pay half if the only reason he is trimming the trees is for your benefit

In most circumstances you have no right to light. However there may be covenents in place that may affect this.

Your neighbour should check there are no Tree Preservation Orders on any of the trees.

BTW. I have NO LEGAL TRAINING...... And am happy to be corrected

You can look or post on The Garden Law website for more info.

Bunbaker Wed 08-May-13 19:22:50

What kind of trees are they - Leylandii? I fthey are, you might find this useful.

digerd Wed 08-May-13 19:23:30

Agree. Advice for all house buyers is to not buy a house if a neighbour has big trees near your side as they will never stop growing and you cannot get a court order to have them removed unless near to your foundations and there is a subsidence risk.

gobbin Wed 08-May-13 19:23:49

Our neighbour has just removed a conifer hedge 8ft high and we are overjoyed. It was a pain to keep our side trimmed owing to awkward access and hadn't been done for two years as I've been unwell/busy with work. He was going to remove it years ago but never did. Have recovered over 2ft extra garden on that side and can now put new plants in (nothing grew under the hedge)

andadietcoke Wed 08-May-13 19:24:43

My neighbour had a similar problem with our trees, and basically came to ask if we'd mind if she had them cut back. She paid the full amount to get them cut down as they weren't affecting us adversely. So based on that, I'd say he was being quite generous in offering to pay half (and/or is a better neighbour than I am)

bruffin Wed 08-May-13 19:28:10

He may not be allowed to cut them. Every tree on our estate has a conservation order. We have to get permission from the council to trim them back and then only by the petcentage they dictate.

TheChaoGoesMu Wed 08-May-13 19:32:48

I think you made a mistake there. I'd go back, apologise and agree to pay half. If I was him I wouldn't bother at all. If they are not dangerous he doesn't have to.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 19:46:51

Leylandii are the ugliest trees ever. Even the slow growing versions are awful. They act like black holes and absorb light and make the world a darker and more depressing place. ok, so I am exaggerating ...a bit

They are the least suitable trees for boundries imaginable, they usually grow at a ridiculous rate both upwards and outwards, they can't be pollarded or heavily pruned successfully and they 'steal' water and nutrients from all around them.

......and did I mention that they are ugly as hell.

greenformica Wed 08-May-13 19:54:15

I would pay half if I could. Or even 1/3. Tree cutting is very expensive and the couple could happily leave the trees full height.

likeitorlumpit Wed 08-May-13 19:56:36

you are the one bothered by them , hes agreed if you go half, i think hes being very reasonable about it , if they were my trees and not bothering me i would leave them or tell you to pay the whole lot , you should rip his hand off for this deal .

FeynmanDiagram Wed 08-May-13 20:11:47

Hmmm... this wasn't quite the response I was expecting but I thank you for your honesty.

I'm not sure if it helps you better understand my situation, but I took this photo from their garden last week so I can prove how high the trees were.

As you can see they are very high when compared to the neighbouring trees. They look unsightly and are covered in ivy which blocks out the winter sun as well as the summer sun. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that he at least maintains it to an acceptable aesthetic standard, never mind the morning sunlight issue. I have spoken to my other neighbour about it who is also affected by the problem, and she and I agree that it would be much nicer if the trees were cut down.

I now accept that asking them to pay for it all was perhaps unreasonable, but I'm not convinced that I should have to pay all of it; although we may have to agree to disagree on this point. The simple, sad fact is that I really can't afford it on a single salary.

Is it worth going to the CAB to talk about what legal rights are open to me, just so I'm prepared for next time we end up discussing it? I'd rather avoid the courts if I can (RE high hedge laws mentioned above), since it's better to be a good neighbour about it and come to an amicale agreement - but it's prudent to have the facts in my back pocket, just in case.

Again, thank you for your time.

DontmindifIdo Wed 08-May-13 20:17:53

Can you get other quotes? A lower quote you might be able to afford to go halves...

But otherwise, you're stuck with them unfortunately.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 20:18:41

Soooooo OP, is this a reverse AIBU wink Just asking like.

How's THIS for overgrown nieghbour trees. grin

CloudsAndTrees Wed 08-May-13 20:20:26

How did you get into their garden?

digerd Wed 08-May-13 20:20:43

Are they yellow narrow conifers under the ivy? Can't see how high the 3 tallest are? I assumed they were trees as in deciduous large wide spreading .

digerd Wed 08-May-13 20:26:19

If they are conifers, the council may have an interest if they can be defined as a hedge. They would come down to look , but if deciduous trees - they lose their leaves in winter- they have no interest.

eatmydust Wed 08-May-13 20:26:53

If you go to court it will cost significantly more than cutting the trees back or removing them. I would guess from the photo it would cost around £200 to cut the trees back and £300 plus to remove.

Your neighbour has been very reasonable to offer to pay half the costs - he didn't plant the trees, but inherited them when he moved in

.....and how/why did you get into his garden to take the photo?

TheChaoGoesMu Wed 08-May-13 20:27:48

Hmm, those trees look familar. How did you get into my garden op?

Only joking. My trees are much higher than that grin

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