might be a civil matter, however, there is a large criminal element here
(criminal damage) and I would go back to
the police and if necessary speak to a more senior officer and you still get no
joy, make a formal complaint. They should deal with this for you is a criminal
prosecution. From the facts that you have given me, I would not be taking this
really comes down to how obvious the boundary is as to whether these trees are
clearly on your side, or whether there could be any issue over ownership.
they are clearly on your side, then this is obviously criminal damage and that
whoever took them out should be prosecuted and made to compensate you.
having dealt with the police issue (I am not surprised that they are taking the
line of least resistance by just saying "oh, it is a civil matter." Because
they just wanted off their desk.
then come to the civil issue and you are entitled to be compensated for the
loss of the trees and in that respect, it is how much it would cost to replace
the trees getting a contract in to do it with mature trees. You need to get an
estimate for that.
that some is then under £10,000, you take the offender to the Small Claims Court
and Sue them in negligence. If it is indeed under £10,000, then even if you
lose, for any reason (I don't see how you can on these facts, but you never
know what lies the neighbour is going to come up with all whether there is a
boundary issue), then the losing party doesn't pay the winner's costs in any
event. However, by the same token, even if you win, you will not get any
solicitor's costs back and for that reason, I would think twice before
instructing solicitors to do anything other than write an initial letter.
initial letter does not have the desired effect, then you can issue small
claims court proceedings quite easily here www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
this stage, I will tell you that under the nuisance tree legislation you can be
made to cut trees down which are evergreen once they are higher than 2 m. This
is enforced by the local authority but the neighbour has to pay a fee of £300
to start the wheels in motion. Nonetheless, it does not give the right to the
neighbour to do what he has done.
is some more information on nuisance trees, just to give you background with
regard to what the neighbour Karen and the neighbour cannot do:
A person cannot make an adjoining
property owner cut the trees per se but please see my later comments about
trespass and nuisance.
Consent is needed to trim
deciduous trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and a licence
may be needed to fell trees which are not protected by a TPO.
Evergreens cannot usually have a
Regarding evergreens, a complaint
can be made to the council and they will deal with them under the nuisance tree
legislation but only with regard to the height. They want £300 fee to start the process and if they
find that the trees are a nuisance, they can compel a tree owner to cut them
down to 2 m high.
With regard to branches and roots
growing boundary,(evergreen or deciduous) these are nuisance and trespass. The
overhanging pieces can be chopped off as can roots growing underground but they
do not belong to anyone other than the tree owner, so the pieces should be
given back although if they are unceremoniously dumped over their hedge without
warning, it is not good for already fraught neighbour relations.
The following are links will give
you some reading with regard to high hedges and nuisance trees. Don't worry
about where the sites are geographically because the rules apply nationwide.
that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points for you?