Six trees I think.
No idea of how much to replace with mature trees - Can't imagine they'd be less than £50 each though - plus planting.
Thismight be a civil matter, however, there is a large criminal element here(criminal damage) and I would go back tothe police and if necessary speak to a more senior officer and you still get nojoy, make a formal complaint. They should deal with this for you is a criminalprosecution. From the facts that you have given me, I would not be taking thislying down.
Itreally comes down to how obvious the boundary is as to whether these trees areclearly on your side, or whether there could be any issue over ownership.
Ifthey are clearly on your side, then this is obviously criminal damage and thatwhoever took them out should be prosecuted and made to compensate you.
So,having dealt with the police issue (I am not surprised that they are taking theline of least resistance by just saying "oh, it is a civil matter." Becausethey just wanted off their desk.
We nowthen come to the civil issue and you are entitled to be compensated for theloss of the trees and in that respect, it is how much it would cost to replacethe trees getting a contract in to do it with mature trees. You need to get anestimate for that.
Assumingthat some is then under £10,000, you take the offender to the Small Claims Courtand Sue them in negligence. If it is indeed under £10,000, then even if youlose, for any reason (I don't see how you can on these facts, but you neverknow what lies the neighbour is going to come up with all whether there is aboundary issue), then the losing party doesn't pay the winner's costs in anyevent. However, by the same token, even if you win, you will not get anysolicitor's costs back and for that reason, I would think twice beforeinstructing solicitors to do anything other than write an initial letter.
Of theinitial letter does not have the desired effect, then you can issue smallclaims court proceedings quite easily here www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
Atthis stage, I will tell you that under the nuisance tree legislation you can bemade to cut trees down which are evergreen once they are higher than 2 m. Thisis enforced by the local authority but the neighbour has to pay a fee of £300to start the wheels in motion. Nonetheless, it does not give the right to theneighbour to do what he has done.
Hereis some more information on nuisance trees, just to give you background withregard to what the neighbour Karen and the neighbour cannot do:
A person cannot make an adjoiningproperty owner cut the trees per se but please see my later comments abouttrespass and nuisance.
Consent is needed to trimdeciduous trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and a licencemay be needed to fell trees which are not protected by a TPO.
Evergreens cannot usually have aTPO.
Regarding evergreens, a complaintcan be made to the council and they will deal with them under the nuisance treelegislation but only with regard to the height. They want £300 fee to start the process and if theyfind that the trees are a nuisance, they can compel a tree owner to cut themdown to 2 m high.
With regard to branches and rootsgrowing boundary,(evergreen or deciduous) these are nuisance and trespass. Theoverhanging pieces can be chopped off as can roots growing underground but theydo not belong to anyone other than the tree owner, so the pieces should begiven back although if they are unceremoniously dumped over their hedge withoutwarning, it is not good for already fraught neighbour relations.
The following are links will giveyou some reading with regard to high hedges and nuisance trees. Don't worryabout where the sites are geographically because the rules apply nationwide.
Doesthat answer the question? Can I answer any specific points for you?
Thank you - those are clear points. I think the police don't want to get involved, for the reasons you say.
Just wanted to be clear though: Can the landlord argue that she THOUGHT the trees were hers - so was entitled to remove them? (So not responsible?) She cited some chicken-wire, which was about 10" high on my side of the trees, which I put into a gap to stop small dog running through. She said she thought that was fence - although there's a fixed trellis structure and up-ended paving slabs, which clearly show this is not the case. Certainly she never asked, or checked - as she hasn't visited the property for 2 years.
No, thank you very much... that's very helpful.
Oops Just realised I was supposed to press the 'Rate' button. Please send a cursory reply and I shall do so now.
I only do meaningful replies!
I am glad to help you. If you need any further advice on this, this thread does remain open, does not close.
If you need any advice of any further issues, please put my name at the top of the question thread as well as asking for me and the other experts will tell me that you are waiting. I do hope that you get this sorted.
Just check the price of having mature trees planted because you may get a shock with the cost.
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