Areas of Law / Property

I’ve put a larch lap fence on my boundary. It needs painting every year, and for the last two years my neighbours have allowed me to do this. They have now planted thorny shrubs on their side, which are damaging the fence and which also mean I can’t get to the fence to maintain it. Am I entitled to make them trim the shrubs to prevent the damage?

In theory if your neighbours’ actions are causing damage to your property you can take them to court to make them stop, or demand compensation for the damage. However it’s unlikely a court would order your neighbours to cut back their shrubs, and in any case your neighbours would probably bar you from their garden, so it would be a self-defeating exercise. It’s best not to fall out with neighbours if possible.

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