How to complain about your neighbour’s trees and hedges!


Well, this can be thorny subject in more ways than one! Before things get out of hand here’s a bit of advice.


Overhanging branches from your neighbours what to do

You are legally entitled to cut off any branches overhanging your property at the point where they cross the boundary. Technically they belong to your neighbour and you should offer them back. Or if you are feeling lazy and don’t like them very much just throw them over the fence! 🙂  Check that there isn’t any tree preservation order associated with anything before you start cutting as in that case you need permission from the appropriate authority before doing it. Our neighbours hang a washing line from a branch of a tree that we have in the garden. We are often tempted to cut the branch…

If anything overhanging causes damage or injury to you, your neighbour could be sued for compensation if you make a claim for damages.

Dangerous trees in your neighbour’s garden

Local authorities in England and Wales can intervene where a tree on private land is at risk of causing damage. It can make it safe on behalf of the owner of the land where the tree sits and reclaim the costs from the owner. It can also do this at your request where you don’t know who owns the land. You can also ask the local authority to inspect the condition of the tree. Departments responsible for this vary. They will only take action if they believe that the tree is on the point of causing damage.

In Northern Ireland, local councils only have powers to make a dangerous tree on private property safe if it is overhanging a public footpath or road. If a dangerous tree is overhanging a neighbour’s property, you will have to try to resolve the matter with the owner of the tree or consider legal action.

Roots from your neighbour’s garden

If the roots of your neighbour’s tree have spread into your property they can be removed using the least damaging method available, unless there is a tree preservation order on it – see below. If you have to enter the tree owner’s property to do this, you must give reasonable notice.

Your neighbour could also consult their insurers, if there is a possibility that their property may be damaged by the roots. If the roots have already caused damage, the tree owner is liable to pay compensation but it must be shown that the tree owner knew, or ought to have known, of the danger. Our neighbour’s tree was shown to have caused damage to their neighbour’s property and the insurance paid up. It’s easier to get an insurer to pay up than sue your neighbour.

Neighbouring Hedges

If your neighbour’s evergreen or semi-evergreen hedge is more than two metres high and is blocking out light you can complain to the local authority. You can prune but you can’t cut down. The local authority will expect you to have discussed the matter with your neighbour and may charge you a large fee to consider the matter and both you and your neighbour can appeal. You will need to take advice from a solicitor if you cannot find a resolution with your neighbour and don’t want to pay the authority.

Further help with complaining

Youtube channel – lots of clips of consumer rights

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo


If you need more help, information and tips with how to quote Acts, template letters and advice on how to complain effectively don’t forget the GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!


101 Habits of an Effective complainer book cover with logo



101 Habits of an Effective Complainer provides you with more tips



email icon



Purchase and download templates to gain redress swiftly.


Companies customer service

6 ways the CEO screws up!

When the CEO receives a complaint (and it is so easy to find a CEO’s email address now see it is often the CEO’s fault. Here’s why…

Call centres

1)  Complaints about call centres  there are so many complaints about waiting times, being passed over etc. Many issues and reasons for the complaints are discussed in this post Call Centres. Most if not all boil down to the CEO. Who is putting the time limits on calls, making decisions about targets etc?

Rude staff

2) Rude staff – who is responsible for recruiting the people who recruited the rude staff? Who is responsible for ensuring that there are robust recruitment and disciplinary systems in place and who is responsible for recruiting that person? You keep going up until you reach the CEO. His/her fault!

Lack of training for staff

3) Staff who don’t know where products are or how to carry out a service? Training is needed and again, who is responsible for that, one keeps going up until you reach the CEO!

Low staff morale

4) Staff morale is low and they in turn provide poor service. Who is responsible for pay and conditions? Ultimately the CEO!

Minimum effort

5) Staff don’t go the extra mile for a customer, they do the bare minimum. Who is responsible for putting in measures that make staff loyal to the company? That’ll be the CEO.


6) Sales go down because the CEO doesn’t care for his or her customers, just profits and this shines through all the way down through the ranks to the face to face staff because the brown mucky stuff starts from the top. Look at my posts about the previous Tesco CEO

Simple ethos

If CEOs cared about what their customers wanted and listened to them they’d do what they want and the profits would follow. Just. Simple. Common. Sense. Not rocket science, common sense. So many a CEO got all the qualifications but sadly there is no qualification in common sense. Every company makes mistakes it is how they deal with the mistake that matters. That is down to the CEO too. Empower staff to make decisions, train them to make the right ones and the complaint won’t be escalated to the CEO. Simples. So many CEOs don’t see it.

Marcus Williamson, the editor of wrote a guest post on How to contact CEOs and more information on email the CEO!

Top 20 Tips on complaining effectively

The Complaining Cow – free support for businesses

It takes 5 times as much to gain a new customer to retain one. So work on turning your customers into superfans who do much of the heavy lifting for you!

Join the Facebook Group Increase Sales through Customer Service: Compassion, Care and  Integrity  A private group where you can give and get support, advice and share good practice on how to improve customer service.

Free download Customer Service 5 ways to get rave reviews & referrals a few tweaks to your customer service can help you reduce the risk to your company’s reputation, finances and impact on customers and increase sales.

Free help for businesses

If you work in customer service or for yourself/are a small business, join the free Facebook Group. Increase Sales through Customer Service with Care, Compassion & Integrity. Share advice, tips, ask questions etc.

5 ways to get rave reviews and referrals free download to help you tweak a few process and increase sales

Customer Service how to turn customers into superfans raving about your products/services


Services for businesses

The Complaining Cow logo, complaints, consultancy, speaker, workshops and more

Are you a business that would like to improve the customer service journey, get better at handling complaints, reduce risk to finances and reputation and impact on vulnerable customers AND in turn increase sales? See Services for more about workshops, training, speaking, mystery shopping and consultancy.