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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My fathers neighbour has cut all the branches off a tree on

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My father's neighbour has cut all the branches off a tree on my father's property. My father's gardener says it has little chance of recovering. They did not ask my father's permission and he is very upset. When my husband went round to ask why they had done it they argued that it was dead which the gardener says was blatantly untrue and they now say they are querying the boundary and that the tree was on their property.At no point have they raised this query with my father and when my father did agree to the cutting down of another tree when they asked, this was on the same border and they agreed to give my father any branches from the tree should he want them. My father is vulnerable and I feel incensed that they have taken advantage of him. Have I got any redress here? I believe it is criminal damage but should it go to court I don't have a lot of money to pay for court costs. Should the tree now die I want o plant another tree. Can I get them to pay for it through a civil court or do I not stand a chance of success?

Thank you
A Leighton

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Did it overhang into his garden?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No the tree did not overhang into the neighbour's garden.

There is a claim against them for the cost of replacement.

Arguably it is a criminal damage. Its certainly a trespass and, unless he returned the cuttings on this specific occasion, its conversion.

Depending on the value of the tree, its also a small claims court matter and so it would be cheap to issue against them. Obviously there is a risk that you could lose as with any case before the courts. If you do then you will have to pay their costs but its not onerous. The sum of the costs will depend on the sum of the claim but it probably wouldn't be a sum that would deter you.

To bring a claim though, you will have to wait until the tree dies realistically. You would still have a claim even if the tree recovered but it would be hard to quantify the loss in having to wait until the tree grew back.

You will have to prove the tree was not already dead. Its still trespass and potential conversion even it was dead but then there is no ascertainable loss.

Criminal damage is also a criminal matter so you could try reporting it to the police but the truth is that they would probably say its a civil matter I'm afraid.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
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