Creeping Ivy - whats the legal position?


S

Steve Harper

One wall of my (newish) house [30 year old] forms the boundary with
my neighbour - his house was built at the same time (approx) - the
side of our house forms the bottom boundary of his garden.

Our house is the boundary, we cannot gain access to that wall from
our property. I know that there may be rules that govern how close
to a boundary one may build but if the house bulder contravened
them when he built the estate then so be it, this is the situation now

Our neighbour planted an ivy and a russian vine several years ago
[before we bought the house] to 'hide' the wall I guess. These have
climbed up the wall of our house and have now reached the apex
and extended onto our roof. I am concerned that these strong and
invasive plants may dislodge roof tiles and cause all sorts of damage.
I guess they may have alkready caused damage to our wall....

What is the legal position here?

a) Can I demand access to his garden and remove the plants?

b) Can I ask him to remove them (at his cost) ?

c) Is he liable for damage to my house?

I guess I should seek professional legal advice, but some
commonsense/previous experience based response would be
gratefully received.

TIA

Steve HArper
 
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B

BillR

Steve said:
One wall of my (newish) house [30 year old] forms the boundary with
my neighbour - his house was built at the same time (approx) - the
side of our house forms the bottom boundary of his garden.

Our house is the boundary, we cannot gain access to that wall from
our property. I know that there may be rules that govern how close
to a boundary one may build but if the house bulder contravened
them when he built the estate then so be it, this is the situation now

Our neighbour planted an ivy and a russian vine several years ago
[before we bought the house] to 'hide' the wall I guess. These have
climbed up the wall of our house and have now reached the apex
and extended onto our roof. I am concerned that these strong and
invasive plants may dislodge roof tiles and cause all sorts of damage.
I guess they may have alkready caused damage to our wall....

What is the legal position here?

a) Can I demand access to his garden and remove the plants?
Yes.
Also there are usually clause(s) in modern deeds about rights of access over
and above common law etc. and something like "not permit anything to grow or
become a nuisance, ... to other residents"
b) Can I ask him to remove them (at his cost) ? yes
c) Is he liable for damage to my house? yes
I guess I should seek professional legal advice, but some
commonsense/previous experience based response would be
gratefully received.

TIA

Steve HArper
The russian vine is especially difficult to get rid of, a neighbour of mine
has had 3 goes at his and its still coming back.
The ivys will have certainly already marked your wall with their aerial
roots maybe even caused actual damage to the mortar.
Its always advisable to have a discussion first with the neighbour if they
amenable.
As soon as anything formal is put in writing you would have to declare this
should you want to move house.
 
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P

Peter Taylor

Steve Harper wrote
One wall of my (newish) house [30 year old] forms the boundary with
my neighbour - his house was built at the same time (approx) - the
side of our house forms the bottom boundary of his garden.

Our house is the boundary, we cannot gain access to that wall from
our property. I know that there may be rules that govern how close
to a boundary one may build but if the house bulder contravened
them when he built the estate then so be it, this is the situation now

Our neighbour planted an ivy and a russian vine several years ago
[before we bought the house] to 'hide' the wall I guess. These have
climbed up the wall of our house and have now reached the apex
and extended onto our roof. I am concerned that these strong and
invasive plants may dislodge roof tiles and cause all sorts of damage.
I guess they may have alkready caused damage to our wall....

What is the legal position here?

a) Can I demand access to his garden and remove the plants?
Yes, under Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 you have a legal right to access
over neighbouring land for the puprose of essential maintenance of your "land"
(ie building). If you cannot get the neighbour to agree peacefully, go to a
solicitor and instruct them to write a letter formally asking for access and
pointing out the law. If he still refuses you will have to go to court to get
an Access Order. As usual, there are some ifs and buts

http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1992/Ukpga_19920023_en_1.htm
b) Can I ask him to remove them (at his cost) ?
You can ask.
c) Is he liable for damage to my house?
My feeling is yes, but a solicitor's opinion would be more reliable. Anything
your side of the boundary is technically trespass which you can deal with. Be
careful you know exactly where the boundary is.

Ivy and Virginia Creeper and other plants that have their own support suckers
can do an enormous amount of damage to brickwork, and also to fascias, gutter
and roofs if you let it get that bad. If you HAVE to cover walls with leaves,
it's much better to use something that needs eyes and wires like Clematis or
Wysteria, and keep it tidy.

Hope that helps a bit.
Peter
 

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