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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, solicitor Advocate
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 32826
Experience:  award winning lawyer with over 15 years experience
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My question is part of this one: I've had an email from

Customer Question

Hi, My question is part of this one: http://my.justanswer.com/question/index/44d7cbdf10ab47ccbb30725d33fa18ab I've had an email from the neighbours solicitors today which says the following: ========================================== Dear Sirs, Re: Our
clients: Mr and Mrs J Rostron We refer to your email correspondence with Mr and Mrs Rostron for whom we act. In the course of the construction of your property the builders have already cut back our clients hedge and it was in fact done without consent. Prior
to the building of your property our client and the landowner have kept the hedge trimmed as required. It would appear from your email that you are not willing to keep your side of the hedge trimmed. If it is your intention to erect a fence you should ensure
it is on your land leaving sufficient space for our client to have access to maintain the hedge. You must not cut back our clients hedge any further. If you do not leave sufficient room for maintenance it is patently obvious that you cannot hold our clients
responsible for any damage caused to a fence panel by future growth of the hedge. Regards ***** ***** ============================= This is the email that i sent them based on the advice i got from my previous question: ============================= Hi
Denise and Joe, My name is ***** ***** owner of the new build property next to yours on Old Pepper Lane. On the 25th September i spoke with Denise regarding the hedge that’s along the side of your boundary and asked if we could remove the hedge and place a fence
there instead as we have a puppy and the last thing we wanted was for the pup to get through the hedge and manage to run onto roads etc... At the time Denise said to me she would speak to her husband regarding this but that she didn’t want it removed as its
been there for a long time. I've not heard anything back regarding your decision so im guessing you're wanting it left there. As we will be needing a fence put up we've had to seek some legal advice on a few things and I'm only telling you this as i thought
you should know and also understand what your responsibilities/liabilities are. As the hedge is currently overgrown and is currently within our boundary we will be cutting the hedge back so its within your boundary only. This is to maximise the space we have
in our garden and to place a fence where your hedge is currently within our boundary. I'm guessing from the look of it the hedge hasn’t been maintained for quite a number of years and therefore i need to make you aware of the following: 1) You need to constantly
maintain the hedge to ensure no damage is caused to the fence we will be putting up (i.e it growing back again and causing damage). 2) Any damage caused by the hedge will result in yourselves being responsible for any damages. 3) Failure to pay any damages
i.e the cost of a new fence panel which was damaged by the hedge, will result in a claim being process via the small claims court and you will also be liable for all the fees of this service. 4) It is down to us to pick the replacement fence that’s damaged
(if the same fence panel that is damaged is no longer available to buy then one of the same value will be picked), you will be liable to the full cost of the replacement fence and also any labour fees in order to replace it. I'm only telling you this as i
don’t want you both to hate us from day one of us moving in and I'd rather provide you with all the information instead of hitting you both will a bill for damages out of the blue. Please can you confirm if you still want to keep the shrub/hedge, we are willing
to pay for the cost of removing the hedge and placing a fence up (so it'd be no charge to yourselves). If you wish to keep the hedge then that is not a problem at all, but i just thought i should let you know about your responsibilities/liabilities if you
was to do so. If you have any questions at all please ask :) ======================================== Now i need to send an email back to their solicitor and would like an appropriate email to reply back with please, i also have some comments/questions below.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Red Row (the developer) have cut back their hedge already because their hedge was within our boundry, so we/they dont need consent from the neighbour in order to cut it back.Obviously the neighbours never did keep the hedge trimmed as required as if they did then it would never of been within our boundry (by quite a lot!).In the solicitors email it says this "It would appear from your email that you are not willing to keep your side of the hedge trimmed." As this is a brand new build which we still havnt moved into yet due to the house still being built/finished it has never been our hedge, it was a field before which means the hedge belongs to the neighbour as they are the only ones who could of put a hedge there (or it was their when they purchased the property) meaning they are now responsible for it. So surly their solicitor can say what he has said when its not our hedge?Their solicitor has also said "If it is your intention to erect a fence you should ensure it is on your land leaving sufficient space for our client to have access to maintain the hedge." This is true, we want to put a fence up (within our boundry) as we have a small dog which could get through the hedge and go onto the roads etc.. How much space do i need to leave between the fence and the hedge in order for them maintain it, i was thinking leaving maybe a 30cm gap, that way anyone can walk in sideways and keep the shrub maintained/cut.Their solicitor has also said the following "You must not cut back our clients hedge any further. If you do not leave sufficient room for maintenance it is patently obvious that you cannot hold our clients responsible for any damage caused to a fence panel by future growth of the hedge.". We will be cutting it back a bit more when we move in where the neighbours garage is as its still without our boundry there.If you have any questions or can think of anything extra to go in the reply back to their solicitor then please add it in there.Thanks
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

I would be very happy to help - but unclear of the specific question

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need somthing to reply back to with. My questions and comments are in the second post to this question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would you prefer a phone call?
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

Dealing first with your questions (and if I have missed any please advise)

The hedge is their hedge and thus he is wrong to suggest that you need to keep your side tidy. You do not. It is their responsibility. If it trespasses onto your land at any point you can trim or cut it back in any fashion to avoid the trespass.

The fence should be on your land. You do not need to allow them sufficient space to maintain their hedge. You may wish to so as to avoid damage etc. 30 cm would be sufficient.

If the hedge is on your land you can cut it back to the boundary.

I really think that the email from the solicitor is more on instructions than the law. As indicated happy to deal with anything if missed - please rate positive.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hey,By law do we HAVE to leave room in order for them to keep it trimmed/maintained as if so then i think its a bit unfair that we'd have to lose a bit of our land (even if its just 30cm) because of their hedge?In the solicitors email it always says this:
" If you do not leave sufficient room for maintenance it is patently obvious that you cannot hold our clients responsible for any damage caused to a fence panel by future growth of the hedge."Is that true?I've attached some pictures for you that iv taken today of there hedge, i dont even think you can call it a hedge as its got some thick tree trunks/stubs.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.

By law you do not need to leave them area to trim or maintain the land. The law states that your boundary is your boundary - you do not have to give up 30 cms or anything by law. Equally you can hold them liable for any damage. Happy to discuss further but please rate positive

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,Can you provide me with a word document with a response i can email the neighbours solicitor with please. Also can you state in the reply somthing along the lines of "Mr Walmsley will be leaving no room in order for your client to keep the hedge trimmed once a fence has been placed. The fence will be erected on the boundry line right up against your clients hedge. Your client must cut their hedge further back into their boundry in order to keep the hedge maintained."Once i have a document which i can copy and past and send it to their solicitor then i will be happy to rate for you :-)

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