Trees and hedges create privacy and enhance where we live. But they can also cause friction. What if a neighbour’s hedge has grown too high or their shrubs are putting your garden in constant shade? Maybe the branches of their tree overhang your garden but there’s a preservation order on it? Perhaps the light into your home has been blocked or reduced by something on a neighbour’s land and you’re unsure what to do. Or you could be in dispute about maintaining a boundary because you can’t agree whose fence is whose.
You have a right to the 'reasonable enjoyment' of your property. Whether a tree or high hedge has interfered with this right depends on the circumstances. As for boundaries, any legal documents you got when you bought your home might tell you where they lie and who’s responsible for them. But if a fence or wall belongs to a neighbour, they don’t have to change it just because you want them to. And you can’t change your side without their permission. If a neighbour is building an extension, they must think about whether it affects your right to light.
Ideally, you’ll be able to settle the problem amicably with your neighbour. But if you can’t, we’re on hand to advise on your dispute. We can explain the legal obligations around trees and hedges and what you can and can’t do. We can help you figure out who is responsible for what boundary, or whether a neighbour is encroaching on your land. Plus we can help establish whether you have a right to light and, if you do, what steps you can take to make sure it isn’t restricted. We’ll: