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Can I Get My Neighbour to Cut Back or Reduce the Height of Their Trees or Hedge?

Everything You Need to Know

Having issues with your neighbour’s tree and aren’t sure what to do next? We’re here to help! As some of the most highly trusted tree surgeons in Rayleigh, we’ve helped many property owners just like you. Here’s everything you need to know.

Understanding Your Rights

Under common law, you have the right to cut back any branches or roots from a neighbour’s tree or hedge that encroach onto your property. You may also see this referred to as the right of abatement. However, this comes with some conditions:

  • You can only cut back to the boundary line.
  • You must not cross the boundary to carry out the work unless you have your neighbour’s permission.
  • Any cut branches or roots must be offered back to the neighbour, as they remain their property. If they don’t want them, it is your responsibility to dispose of them.

Taking Things Further

So, when can you get your neighbour to cut their tree or hedge? Many property owners think that they have a legal right to a view that has been obscured by a neighbour’s trees, but this isn’t the case. However, if your neighbour’s tree or hedge poses a threat to you or your property then there is action that can usually be taken. In this case, it’s always good to seek professional advice from an experienced team like us.

If your neighbour owns an evergreen hedge close to your property you can make a formal complaint to your local authority, as this falls under the High Hedges legislation, part of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. It’s important to note that there is usually a charge for this process. If you are successful, they will set out an Action Height. This is the height the hedge must be reduced to.

Talking to Your Neighbour

The first and often most effective step to resolve a tree issue is to have a polite conversation with your neighbour. Explain how their tree or hedge is affecting you and suggest possible solutions. In most cases, a neighbour is usually totally unaware of the issues that their tree has been causing and will be more than willing to help you. Go into any discussion with a calm, level head, and do not give your neighbour any reason to disagree with you based on your attitude.

Professional Help

Hiring a professional tree surgeon is always the best option, especially if the tree or hedge is large or poses a safety risk. We are on hand to assess the situation and provide expert advice – and you can present this to your neighbour or local authority to support your case. Whether we are working on the parts of your tree that are encroaching on your property or the entire structure, we will carry out any work safely and legally.

Talk to Us

Dealing with a neighbour’s overgrown tree or hedge can be frustrating, but we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today, and we will advise you on your next steps.

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