My neighbour's plants are over my fence and destroying my garden – what are my rights? | The Sun

AN overhanging tree or intrusive piece of greenery can be frustrating for homeowners conscious of their property lines.

So if a neighbour's plants are growing over your fence and destroying your garden – what rights do you have to do something about it?

But what can you do without getting yourself into trouble or causing a rift with next door.

Chun Wong, Head of the Dispute Resolution team at Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors, said as annoying as the situation may be, it's worth taking a calm approach in the first instance.

Ms Wong said: "Always try and resolves issues amicably with your neighbour in the first instance as you have to continue to live at the property and see them each day."

There are a number of different roads that can be taken to arriving at an outcome, and some may be dependent on the type of relationship you share with the neighbour.


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She told The Sun Online there are a few things worth considering before taking any action.

  • Who owns the plants/trees
  • Are they on a boundary line
  • Are the trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order
  • Are they in a Conservation Area

Ms Wong says landlords and homeowners need to be mindful the trees or plants may have some type of special protection.

She said you do have a legal right to cut back anything which over hangs into your garden as long as you can do this without trespassing into their property. 

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Ms Wong, a Hodge Jones and Allen partner, said: "Anything you do cut down should be returned to your neighbour or disposed of with their agreement. 

"If the roots are causing substantial damage to your property you may wish to  inform your own building insurers."

A more structured and formal approach via dispute resolution such as mediation could be the most appropriate way of dealing with the issue.

Ms Wong explained: "The Property Litigation Association and RICS have launched a new mediation service to help neighbours resolve disputes over their property boundaries without resorting to court action.

"In the event that you really cannot resolve the matter, then proper legal advice should be sought at an early stage before you embark on any self-help which could make matters worse or prejudice your position."

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Some people may have the benefit of Legal Expense Insurance as part of home, contents or motor insurance packages.

This assistance may provide some indemnity for legal costs in these types of cases. 

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