What to Do If trees are blocking your light? (2023)

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What can I do if my Neighbours trees are blocking my light?

Talk to your neighbour

It's good to talk. So the starting point to handling the issue of your neighbour's tree overhanging and blocking light into your garden is to talk to your neighbour. Keep things civil and give your neighbour time to reflect on what you propose doing.

What can I do if my Neighbours trees are too high?

If a neighbour's tree or hedge is growing over into your garden, you cannot make them cut it back. However, you do have the right to remove overgrowing branches yourself, but only back to the common boundary. Any cuttings must be offered back to the tree or hedge owner.

Can Neighbours complain about trees?

If your neighbour owns the tree or hedge

If you think your neighbour's tree is dangerous, you can report it to the council - for example if you think it might fall over. They might ask the owner to make it safe or deal with it themselves. Search for 'trees' on your council's website to find which department to contact.

Does right to light include trees?

Broadly, a claim will arise if the result of an obstruction is such that it will leave less than 50 percent of the affected room adequately lit. This can be in relation to a new development or planned development, as well as trees, hedges and anything else that blocks light to your land.

Can I complain about tree blocking light?

In most cases, no, you cannot force a neighbour to cut down a tree in order to bring light into your garden. You may, however, be able to get the tree cut back if it is blocking light from passing through a 'defined aperture' in your property, such as a window or glass door, for example.

Can I insist my Neighbour to cut his trees?

What legal position do I have? You cannot force your neighbour to remove overhanging branches or fallen leaves on your property. However if these cause excessive damage, you can sue them for the cost of repair.

Do Neighbours have a right to light?

A right to light may be acquired by 'anyone who has had uninterrupted use of something over someone else's land for 20 years without consent, openly and without threat, and without interruption for more than a year.

What is the legal height of a Neighbour's tree?

In general, there is no specific limit to the height that a tree is allowed to grow, but if the trees form a vegetative screen that is limiting a neighbours usage/enjoyment then it could be a High Hedge issue which Planning Enforcement would potentially get involved with.

What is the law on overgrown trees?

The tree belongs to the person upon whose land it has originally grown. Even if its branches or, worse still, its roots have begun to grow over or into a neighbour's territory, it belongs to the landowner where the tree was originally planted.

What is the law on right to light?

A “right to light” is an easement that gives a landowner the right to receive light through defined apertures in buildings on his or her land.

How do I ask my neighbor to cut a tree?

The best way to ask a neighbor to remove their tree is to just have an informal chat. Explain why you are concerned about the tree, the risks it poses, and whether they would be open to removing it.

When should a tree be cut down?

Vertical cracks, seams, dead branch stubs and large, older wounds suggest internal decay. Severe damage to the main trunk often warrants removal of the tree. If the damaged area is less than 25 percent of the circumference of the trunk, the wound could gradually heal over and no permanent injury should result.

Can I ask the council to cut back trees?

Your local council is in control of all trees on public land as well as on private land. All trees are viewed as 'the community's trees' rather than you having personal ownership. You can however get the council to remove a tree if it is causing issues for you and your property or you have noted it as being dangerous.

Who is liable for damage caused by trees?

If a tree causes damage, the owner may be liable. However, your chance of making a claim would usually depend on demonstrating that the owner had been negligent; if the tree was obviously unsafe through disease or damage, for example.

Can my Neighbour stop me planting trees?

Generally speaking, there isn't much you can do to stop your neighbour planting trees and shrubs within the boundary of their property. Even if it is obvious that the roots and branches will spread under and over your land as the trees/shrubs grow.

What is the high hedge law?

Defining high hedges

The Act defines high hedges as a line of two or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs higher than 2 metres above ground level that form a complete barrier to light or access. You cannot make a complaint if it consists of only one shrub or tree, no matter the height.

Can a Neighbour build and block my light?

If your neighbour is building an extension or even a garden wall, it may obstruct the light your property receives. This is a common cause of dispute between neighbours. In legal terms, these situations relate to your right to light.

Who pays for overhanging trees?

The responsibility for the tree and any damage it may cause is that of the tree-owner. If his tree damages your property then he is liable.

Who is responsible for cutting trees?

Post your job to find high quality tradespeople and get free quotes. Brendan was absolutely right, these situations are common, the land owner has responsibility for his or her trees, therefore in your circumstance, should a large limb fall and damage your car the land owner would be responsible.

Can you force someone to cut down a tree?

If they consider the tree to be a danger to the public, they can serve notice requiring your neighbour to remove it or cut it back and prosecute them if they don't comply.

What rights do I have with Neighbours trees?

If the point at which the tree meets the ground is on the boundary line between your own and your neighbour's gardens then you both own the tree jointly.
...
The right way is to:
  • Go and speak to your neighbour. It's amazing what can be thrashed out with a good neighbourly chat. ...
  • Prune regularly. ...
  • Call in a professional.
28 Jun 2021

What's the 45 degree rule?

The 45 degree line on the plan drawing should be drawn diagonally back from the end of the extension towards the nearest neighbouring window. If both lines cross the centre point of the nearest neighbouring window then it is likely that overshadowing will occur.

What is the 25 degree rule?

In normal circumstances, no development should intrude over a line drawn at an angle of 45° in the horizontal plane from the midpoint of the nearest window of a habitable room and rising at an angle of 25° in the vertical plane from the cill.

Does the 45 degree rule always apply?

Is the 45 Degree Rule Enforced? The 45 degree rule is enforced when it's relevant and when fences do not make it redundant due to their height. Typically, however, the rule is more applicable to second storey structures than single. Even if planning permission is granted, that doesn't mean the story is over.

Can you restrict the height of a tree?

One way of limiting a tree's height is by shaping it like a tulip, regulating the trunk's vertical growth. Once you prune the tree into this shape if you wish to maintain your tree low, remove or prune vigorous roots over the height, pruning 50% of all new growth in the early summer or late spring of the third year.

How tall is too tall for a tree?

By analyzing the interplay between these forces, a team of biologists led by George Koch of Northern Arizona University calculated the theoretical maximum tree height, or the point at which opposing forces balance out and a tree stops growing. This point lies somewhere between 400 and 426 feet (122 and 130 m).

How close can a tree be to a house?

Large trees, up to 70 feet or more should be planted at least 20 feet from the home, medium-sized trees up to 70 feet tall, 15 feet from the home, and small trees 30 feet tall or less, 8 to 10 feet from the home.

Can I sue my neighbor for tree damage?

Can I Sue My Neighbor Over Damage Caused by a Tree? Ultimately, the answer is no, you can't sue or force your neighbor to act. However, you have the right to trim back the trees or vegetation whose branches or roots are causing a problem, at your own expense.

Can you throw a neighbor tree branches over the fence?

Once branches are cut off they should be offered back to the tree owner. If the owner doesn't want them then you will be responsible for disposing of the prunings; you can't simply throw them over the boundary into your neighbour's garden!

Can I cut the branches of a tree overhanging my property?

Can you trim the branches of your neighbour's tree that hang over into your yard? If a neighbours tree is encroaching on your property—whether it be root or branch—you are legally entitled to cut and remove anything that has passed over the boundary, up until the point where your property ends.

Does my property have rights of light?

Right to light applies to all properties that have received natural daylight for more than 20 years. It guarantees landowners their qualifying buildings will continue to receive natural light. If not they will be awarded compensation for their buildings' loss of light.

Do you automatically have a right to light?

And in essence, yes, you do have rights when it comes to your property receiving natural sunlight. According to The Rights of Light Act 1959 (ROLA 1959), a neighbour can give this right to another neighbour or it can be acquired over time.

Is it illegal to ride around with your lights on?

No, contrary to popular belief, it isn't illegal to drive with your interior lights on. That said, driving with interior lights on can make it hard to see and can lead to accidents.

Who is liable when a tree falls on a neighbor's property?

A tree belongs to the legal owner of the property upon which the tree trunk originally grows. A fallen tree will still belong to the original owner of the tree, even if those trees have now fallen onto neighbouring land as highlighted in a case called Mills v Brooker (1919).

Is damaging a tree criminal damage?

It is an offence to destroy or damage any property belonging to another without lawful excuse, either deliberately or recklessly under the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

What is the best month to cut down a tree?

February and March tend to be the cheapest months to remove trees, statistically. Since the leaves have fallen and trees are easier to clear, it means less work and less money. That said, tree companies can get very busy during late spring. It's important to book as early as you can, if you know it's coming.

Is it better to trim a tree or cut it down?

Trees can succumb to all types of illnesses – some that you can't fix through tree pruning and removing diseased branches. A sick tree is a dangerous tree, as it's not as strong as a healthy one and can spread its disease to other trees as well. The best thing you can do is chop it down.

Should I remove a tree close to house?

Trees hanging over the roof or too close to a structure might need to be removed – or at least regularly pruned. In general, large trees should be at least 20 feet away from a house or building.

What are the rules regarding Neighbours trees?

However, this does come with a number of provisions: 1) you are not allowed into your neighbour's garden without their permission, 2) you must make sure that the tree is not covered by a Tree Protection Order (TPO) and that it doesn't fall within a conservation area, because if it does you'll need to get permission ...

Do we have a right to light?

Landowners cannot disrupt their neighbours' rights to light. For example, they can't erect a building in a way that blocks the light, without their neighbours' prior consent. Right to light applies to all properties that have received natural daylight for more than 20 years.

What are your rights to light?

A “right to light” is an easement that gives a landowner the right to receive light through defined apertures in buildings on his or her land.

What is the 50/50 rule right to light?

The 50:50 rule says that if a new obstruction means that a room is left with less than 50% of its working plane having 'adequate' light then this could be regarded as an actionable injury. Subsequent Court cases have indicated that 55% is more appropriate for residential property.

How do you prove right to light?

Most rights to light are established under the Prescription Act 1832 which provides that a right to light is acquired if it has been enjoyed uninterrupted for 20 years and without written consent. Both freeholders and tenants can claim a right to light.

What is a through by light property?

THROUGH BY LIGHT * Definition: A 'through' BACK TO BACK HOUSE - an interlocking L-shaped plan gave each house two street frontages, thus providing better lighting/ventilation. Word or Phrase: PAVEMENT LIGHTS *

What is a light obstruction notice?

A light obstruction notice (LON) is a notional interference with a right of light claimed by another landowner without the necessity of physically obstructing the light.

Does the ancient lights law still exist?

The Ancient Lights Law was superseded by the 1832 Prescription Act. Rights to light generally become an issue when a new development, or proposed development affects the access to light of an adjoining property.

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