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Anyone experienced hedge disputes with neighbours?

(14 Posts)
AesopsMables Thu 06-Aug-15 22:58:30

We have lived in our present house for 8 years with no issues at all with neighbours, they are quite pedantic though and a little selfish in that they have planted tall plants all down the side of their property which face east to them (west to us) and makes our garden quite dark. Their west side is completely clear for the sun to access sad

I know we cannot expect them to cut down trees, however, they have a Leyland hedge right next to our kitchen window which over the last8 years has only been cut once professionally (at our expense!) It is now over 5 metres from ground level.

Looking on the council website it is going to cost us £490 to lodge a complaint. Which although is expensive we are prepared to invest if we know that this will result in them bringing it down to the recommended 2 metre height and also maintaining this level ongoing.

Has anyone had to go down this route? If so, did you get the result you wanted?

Millymollymama Thu 06-Aug-15 23:09:39

We talked to the neighbours and came to an agreement. Leylandii are a total nightmare and so are the people that plant and own them. We keep the Leylandii trimmed to 9 ft. That's our agreement re the height but they rarely trim them although they own them. The expense is down to us every year. The trunks were so thick, 2m was impossible to achieve and really ugly because you will see the trunks and they will look very odd. At 9ft we cannot see the tops of the trunks where they have been cut down to size. Other people may have had success with the council but our problem hedge was some distance from the house. If they are close I would speak to the council. You can cut back anything that encroaches over your boundary. It is not a pleasant process - dealing with tall hedge Owners. They don't have them because they are nice friendly people. They tend to be selfish.

Millymollymama Thu 06-Aug-15 23:12:10

Just to add: the Leylandii cast huge shadows across our lawn in winter and our grass turned into a soggy moss because there was no sun. I would be very miserable if my house was dark too.

Qwebec Thu 06-Aug-15 23:18:57

If I were you I would tell them in a casual way that there hedge is over le council limit, and can they please take care of it, if they seem like they won't do it, I would not make a complaint to the council (you will be for ever complaining when it grows back) . I would buy a hedge trimmer (or chainsaw?) and chop the tops myself.

AesopsMables Fri 07-Aug-15 12:12:26

Thanks for responses

We have tried to discuss with them but they clam up, our bathroom window (which has obscure glass and rarely used) overlooks their conservatory so they want to keep it as high as possible. Bloody selfish attitude.

Qwebec not sure what the repercussion would be if we just lowered ourselves?

wowfudge Fri 07-Aug-15 16:06:31

You can only cut back what overhangs your property. You can offer them the cuttings though smile. If you take it upon yourselves to cut down their trees which are on their property that may be construed as criminal damage.

Could you offer to put opaque film on your bathroom window as a compromise to encourage them to cut them back? Talk to them about the recommended height and maybe insinuate problems with the root system of something so extensive.

AesopsMables Fri 07-Aug-15 16:15:01

That is what I thought fudge.

Bathroom already has opaque glass to it.

Roussette Fri 07-Aug-15 17:06:35

Anyone who has leylandi that backs on to someone else is bloody selfish in my book.

We had neighbours like this, huge trees that cut most of the sunlight out of the garden. They trimmed off a few inches each year, but nothing stopped their growth. We offered to pay and had a tree bloke in, apparently he took too much off (how can you take too much of a leylandi?!) and the husband came round effing and blinding whilst tree surgeon was doing his bit and they ended up having a punch up in the road. I had a newborn (first DC) and DH was away with work, it was awful, I was so upset.

They would never talk to us again, the trees carried on growing and growing and that was that. We moved. (not because of the trees but it didn't help). Also I found that they sucked all the moisture out the ground and it didn't matter how many times I watered the beds next to the wall where these trees were, everything died. Nightmare. Sorry I can't help OP.

TheUnwillingNarcheska Fri 07-Aug-15 20:01:38

Have they ever experienced it from your side? ie bring them into the bathroom so they can see for themselves what you can and cannot see?

Also the same with the garden and how much shadow the trees cast?

Personally I would do that first, and if it gets you nowhere I would tell them you are going down the high hedge route with the council.

AesopsMables Fri 07-Aug-15 21:15:57

Yes unwilling

Trust me when I say we have bent over backwards, since we moved in we really have.

We invited them in showed them how dark it was and they agreed to let us pay for a slight trim down (cheeky bugger even stood there whilst they did it giving them instructions)

I am really interested to know if anyone has gone down the council route and if so what result?

TheUnwillingNarcheska Wed 12-Aug-15 11:54:54

Just bloody awful isn't it.

I always recommend GardenLaw website which has a forum for such matters as trees, hedges, boundaries, fences etc.

I do know that some people go out for the day and come back and their hedge has been removed wink or reduced to the correct size.

Depends how brazen and pissed off you feel. It is a grey area as to whether it is criminal damage or a civil matter and depends on your local police force. Imagine them complaining, yes officer, they cut it down to the 2m legal hedge height.

There is no alternative for you but to go down the council route , the fee is to stop frivolous complaints. Good luck. But do have a wander over to GardenLaw for people who have been through the same thing as you.

TeddyBee Wed 12-Aug-15 12:15:59

Petrol/weedkiller on the roots....? I sympathise, our neighbours were really nice and let us pay to have the horrid evergreen but actually brown hedge cut down that blocked out all light to our front room. And that didn't even affect our garden, was just minging.

Millymollymama Wed 12-Aug-15 13:07:16

To answer your question about the Council, I really think it depends on the Council. Someare way more proactive than others. All want to see you have tried to compromise. If you cannot talk to your neighbours and they are unreasonable, I would not hesitate to go down the Council route because you have explored all avenues for compromise. Our neighbours knew that we would do this and we are not short of money to take this much further if we had to. Therefore compromise was best. You seem to be beyond that because they will not speak to you. You could try sending a letter saying how miserable the hedge is making you feel. Also, frankly, I would move. Why would you want to continue living next to such ill mannered oafs?

AesopsMables Wed 12-Aug-15 16:08:32

Thanks all, we have sent them a letter. Basically quoting the Antisocial Behaviour Act Section 2003 Section 65. Got this gem from lovely MN on main chat thread.

Heard nothing as yet....angry

Moving is not an option as we love everything else about the house/area and why the hell should we?

Thanks for the Garden Law website The Unwilling, much appreciated and will make excellent night time reading !

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