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Gimlet

Dangerous tree on neighbour's property

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Dunno if any overhanging branches on ur side of boundary and wether taking them back to boundary would make any difference??

I take it u can still do that without consulting owner, althou I'd imagine u need LA permission.

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2 hours ago, Gimlet said:

What's my legal position though?

 

Previous owner deceased, house unoccupied and in receivership, tree in conservation area..

 

If a qualified tree surgeon condemns the tree on safety grounds, can I legally have it felled?

The house will be owned by someone. To find out who, go to the Land Registry and get a copy of the deeds. You can write to the owner asking them to remove the tree. If you can evidence your request all the better. But they don't have to no matter how dangerous the tree.

 

You have no legal right to enter onto the land and do the work yourself, or commission someone else to do it, no matter how dangerous the tree.

 

You can use the LGMPA to request the Council take action, but they don't have to no matter how dangerous the tree.

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There are no overhanging branches I can take off that would help rebalance it - it's pretty columnar in shape. I could rope it to a much smaller cherry tree about ten feet away but it would only decelerate or deflect any fall. I don't think it could stop it.

I suspect LGPMA will be extremely long winded but I am going approach the tree officer tomorrow. 

 

The clincher for a quick decision might be if it sickened and died. Perhaps it will..

Edited by Gimlet

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Has it always leaned? If so I wouldn’t personally worry too much.

An 18 inch diameter 40 foot prunus might knock gutters off and smash a few roof tiles but is unlikely to do any structural damage to a brick-built house, even if you felled it onto the house on purpose. 

Don’t lose any sleep over it - contact the owners as suggested above and don’t stand under it if it gets windy. 

 

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It's not your tree, ignore all the reckless advice about going ahead and felling it.

 

If it is dangerous, it would be for the owner to show that it can be felled under exemption in a Conservation Area. If you fell it not only can you be sued by the owner but you could be fined for felling in a Conservation Area.

 

The loan co. that repossessed the house will no doubt want its money back asap and may well put it on the market soon. At that point you can contact them through the estate agent, give notice of your risk concerns and request that they fell it or give permission for you to fell or reduce it. If it improves marketability then they might agree and if it doesn't they won't. I'd take it from there.

 

How long has the tree stood up? 50 years? Unless something has changed recently there's probably no urgency. Also, few tree slam down suddenly, the ones I have pulled off buildings have inched down and stopped on the building or have done less damage than their size suggests. It's incredibly rare for occupants to be harmed inside buildings. Make sure your mother has building insurance.

 

You could start a LGMPA process but it will probably get you nowhere.

 

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Thanks for the advice. There is no question of me felling myself. I might risk a fine by felling a dangerous tree in my own garden but felling someone else's without their permission is another matter altogether. 

The foliage currently appears perfectly healthy but it was standing perfectly straight last winter when so it's moved since then.

I'm getting a local surgeon to look at it. If he says it's dangerous I'll rope it to prevent it tilting any further and at the same time try and contact the property's owners. 

 

I really don't want even minor damage to my mother's house. She's 95 and in very poor health. At the moment she's in hospital. If anything happens to her house it would literally worry her to death. 

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16 hours ago, Paul in the woods said:

A quick google comes up with the "LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1976" and this is taken from Dorset Council, https://moderngov.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s6023/TreePolicies.pdf

 

 

 

The majority of LAs wont touch that with a barge pole as the powers are discretionary.  The trees have to be imminently dangerous to action and if the owner ignores the notice the LA is obliged to do the works or take on liability. 

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The important point is 'imminent danger'............... see below, if the property has been repossessed someone owns it and they are therefore liable for the trees.  I would suggest as the third party (you are not the tree owner)  to contact your insurers and take their advice and follow this, to protect yours (and theirs) asset the miscellaneous provisions act is rarely used, and it looks very likely that the current owner is easily traceable even if it is a bank  and your insurer would have a  set procedure for such a case  etc....

 

 

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1976This Act allows the Council to deal with dangerous trees located on private land. Trees are the responsibility of the person who owns the land on which they are growing. However, if a tree on private land becomes dangerous in a way that could harm someone else or their property and the owner does not appear to be doing anything about it, the Council may act to make the tree safe. This can be by serving a notice on the owner to make the tree safe or, in exceptional circumstances, the Council can deal with the tree themselves and recover costs from the owner. These powers are used as a last resort and are only intended for situations when there is an imminent danger.

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