My neighbour's hedge is taking over my garden – what can I do?

HEDGES can form the perfect natural border between back gardens – but what happens when they get out of hand?

Neighbours will often butt heads over fences and the boundaries between their back gardens.

One homeowner's garden fence fell down in Storm Eunice last week and a spat erupted over who would take the blame and pay for the repair.

Meanwhile, another household had their fence damaged by a neighbour's property, and they couldn't resolve who would fork out for the costs.

But unlike a fence, a hedge isn't a static boundary.

It'll grow over time, and as it expands it'll start to move onto your property before you know it.

But it doesn't mean an overgrown hedge won't lead to a nasty dispute just as quickly – especially if it starts to block out precious British sunlight or causes any damage of its own.

A hedge will typically become a problem when it becomes unkempt, when the roots start to spread, or it becomes too high.

Most read in Money


How Ukraine war could affect YOU – rising beer, food and petrol prices


We bought our first home after using the snowball method to clear £26,000 debt


How to get the £150 council tax rebate paid into your bank account first


Aldi is giving away FREE nappies to shoppers – how to get them

But there's no "right to a view" in the law that means action can be taken straight away to remove the hedge.

We explain your rights if your neighbour’s hedge starts to invade.

Can I take action?

You are allowed to trim back any branches or roots that cross into your property from a neighbour’s property or a public road.

But you can only trim up to what's yours.

If you go beyond your property boundary you might get in trouble with whoever owns the further space, and in the worst case scenario, you could be taken to court for damage caused.

Solicitors at Bonallack and Bishop explain: "There are no hard and fast rules with regards to boundary ownership, and the only way to find out who owns a boundary border is to check the deeds at the Land Registry.

"However, if one neighbour can prove that they’ve been the one to maintain the border over the years, without the consent of the legal owner, they may be able to prove ownership under the principle of adverse possession."

Before you even reach for the shears though, you'll have to check the hedge isn't protected by a tree preservation order either – and if that's the case you'll need the council's permission instead.

If something needs to be done, this will be issued in the form of a Remedial Notice.

Councils have the power to fine householders up to £1,000 if they refuse to comply with orders to cut hedges back.

How to find the boundary

You'll need to look at your property deeds to find out whether the hedge is invading what's actually yours.

If you don't have the title deeds already, you can purchase these from the Land Registry on the government's website for £3.

It may be worth buying your neighbour's deeds too, so you know what belongs to to either party.

Once you have the deeds, you may see a T marked on either side of the fence, which indicates who is liable for the boundary.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has free advice on boundary disputes which can help you establish who's responsible for the overgrown shrub too.

They can also offer a mediation service to settle the issue if it comes to it.

Mediation isn't free but can often be a lot cheaper if than a full legal battle.

How high can their hedge be?

The council can actually step in if a hedge is too tall though.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 defines how high a hedge can grow under the law.

It doesn't mean that you can't grow anything above the height, but it does mean you're within your rights to complain about something that exceeds it.

If the hedge is more than two metres tall then you can take action.

The Royal Horticultural Society explains that if the hedge affects the "reasonable" enjoyment of your house or garden, you should first negotiate with your neighbours though.

If that fails, you can ask your council for a complaint form, so long as the hedge exceeds the height.

But keep in mind that there will be a fee involved which can be up to £400.

There's no guarantee your complaint will be accepted though as Chun Wong, head of the dispute resolution team at Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors previously told The Sun: "There is no right to a ‘view’".

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team?

Email us at [email protected]

    Source: Read Full Article