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  • Letter To Neighbour

    Hi everybody.



    I have penned a letter to my nfh and would welcome anybodies advise on it.
    Wally,



    I do not like you, nor do you like me. I write this letter to try to resolve an issue that will cause a lot of problems to us both in the future.



    We have not spoken for some two years now and I know that any type of one on one would result in an uncomfortable situation for us both.



    You have planted a lot of large trees on our boundary, very close to my house. I am concerned that these trees will cause a lot of damage to my property for which you will be held liable.



    At this moment parliament is passing a new law called the high hedges law. This law resticks tree owners from planting hedges above a certain height .The trees you have planted can grow to 80 foot. Under the new laws I will be within my rights to call in the local authorities to examine your trees and force you to cut them back to a reasonable height.



    I do not wish to exercise my right, nor do I wish to end up in a civil case that will cost us both dearly.



    We live out in the country, both of us with large grounds .We have plenty of space and there is no cause to needlessly up the anti any further than it already is.



    I urge you to reconsider what you have done and take these trees down. We are both rational people, all you have to do is come to my door and we can talk this though as reasonable, civilised people.



    Live and let live. Leave me alone and I assure you we can both get on with our lives without any further problems.



    Kevin[/b]


    I really don't know about senting this off and would welcome anybodies input on this.



    Many thanks Kevin

  • #2
    Well, Kevin, if your NFH was a reasonable person I would say the letter might elicit a reasonable response. But from what you've told us about him I'm inclined to think that he will see it as another way to get at you.



    Perhaps if you didn't start by saying 'I don't like you...etc' because I think that would get his back up immediately. Otherwise I think it's a perfectly reasonable letter putting your point across and giving him the chance at a compromise. You've pointed out that he will be liable for any damage to your property so that should set him thinking. Although, as he's clearly demostrated in the past he's hardly a reasonable person.



    You tell him you do not wish to exercise your right, but perhaps you should add 'unless I am faced with no alternative.' That way you're covering yourself in case you change your mind.



    Hope that helps



    Misty
    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, I agree with Misty - I think lose the first sentence, even if it's true It's starts you off on a more negative footing and makes it even more personal etc.



      But otherwise the rest of the letter is straight to the point and OK I think

      Comment


      • #4
        Does the new law take into account loss of light? If so, you should include that fact as well if it effects you. I would also put in a time limit (say 14 days) by which you expect to hear from him. That way it won't leave you wondering for weeks what's going on and will also give you something to present to any Court if needed. Don't be surprised if he just ignores your letter. If you haven't heard within 14 days I would write another, conciliatory letter asking for the situation to be resolved amicably. If the matter should go to Court you will be able to provide written evidence that you tried to avoid legal proceedings. The Courts will then look more favourably on you when awarding costs.



        Instead of saying "a lot of new trees" specify the amount. Also specify exactly how close they are to your property. Measure the distance. By "property" do you mean the buildings themselves or the land? Best to make this clear as well. Are they the dreaded Leylandii conifers?



        I would be thinking ahead to the worst case scenario and would imagine, say, 2 years down the line when maybe the situation hadn't been resolved and the matter was going to Court. You would need to present a very accurate description of how the situation arose. I would take photos of your property and where you think any root damage could occur. If you need to claim on your insurance in the future, it will help your case.



        I hope that your neighbour does decide to be reasonable. Let us know how he reacts.



        Good luck.



        Jeannie

        Comment


        • #5
          FWIW, my ten pennorth



          I would stick to the facts only, never display emotion or use phrases such as "up the ante", it could be considered antagonistic by the courts. I would use nice, conciliatory phrases such as:



          "come to some amicable agreement", "invite you to an impartial meeting to discuss the options" (giving alternative dates so he can't refuse), etc you get the pic. By doing so you're not surrendering at all, just making it look good for yourself should it go to litigation.



          hope it works out ok kev

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Kevin,



            If it ever went to court your letter would be produced as evidence. A judge would take one look at it and - in its present version - take an instant dislike to you - ok, s/he doesn't know the previous situation but the point is to prevent intrusive trees growing on your boundary. Getting the result you want is more important than being able to say that you were justified in being curt (ok, rude!)...



            Fall over yourself to be polite in everything that you say (that doesn't mean crawling!).



            For example, your opening could read:



            Dear Mr 'Wally',



            I'm sorry to have to be writing to you, but I'd rather avoid face-to-face situations which could become unpleasant and argumentative. After all, we both know that we don't much like each other and have hardly spoken for 2 years.



            I am concerned about the trees you've planted....




            You could also say that you are nevertheless neighbours, and you'd like to resolve the matter amicably. (As being much more effective and satisfactory all-round than using lawyers, councill departements and courts etc. But I'd leave these threats unsaid, because they do look threatening.)



            The facts you've used, and the logical development of the letter, are fine. You've said what you want (dig them up!!) - what kind of compromise might you suggest? Lower trees? A fence? You don't need to say what compromise you'd accept, but - like Gordy said, you need to make it clear that your letter is not an ultimatum, and that you are prepared to try to resolve the matter in a reasonable way ('reasonable' is the usual legal term in such cases). Why has he put them in? Is there anything else he can do which would meet his needs and be less intrusive to you?



            Probably at this stage, I'd say don't clutter the letter up with too many details. It could make you look like a NFH with too mucn nitpicking time on your hands. Detailed facts (take photos now, yes - put in something to show scale, even a person, as photos can come out misleading) can come later if you need to.



            You do need to double check all your spellings and grammar/style before sending. Judges like people who are literate and articulate!



            Your NFH sounds just like mine, whome we call Radar (after O'Reilly in M*A*S*H*). But Radar's clips his conifers to restrict the height. But they spread, and our front garden has no marked boundary so we can't cut them back without probably EITHER cutting back past the boundary OR not cutting far enough and implicitly giving him control over a few more inches of our garden. We lost a rose bush on the boundary - which he'd already agreed was ours - to his grubbing-up a few years ago.



            Wow, you've had quite a few suggestions already. Why not post your revised versin for comments? Or you could PM me if you wanted a spelling/grammar/style check (I teach English sometimes as well as my main subject: drama.)



            Or maybe writing the letter and not sending it will help you get the lid back in things. That worked for me with Radar's barbecues (he had another last night & got rained on ).



            Good luck,
            "Poor Tom shall lead thee" (King Lear)

            Comment


            • #7
              Just a last thought



              was told during a negotiation course that you should have a clear idea of your outcomes (what you want) and state these.



              If the other party refuses, have a bank of 2-3 other alternatives, and push these forward one at a time. If you do this, the courts will recognise that you have given the matter thought and attention, and are prepared to be flexible enough to work around the problem.



              Good luck kev

              Comment


              • #8
                This thread reminds me again actually - we talked a while ago about having 'template letters' to send to your neighbours over this kind of thing didn't we?



                I did put one up as an MS Word Doc on the main site here:



                http://www.nfh.org.uk/resources/



                I think we could do with adding some more again and on different subject areas, what do people think?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great idea to get some more template letters.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi all,



                    Thanks for all the advise, it worked.I would like to post the letter I finally sent.I decided to keep it short and non threating.



                    Wally,



                    I write this letter to try to resolve an issue that will cause a lot of problems to us both in the future.



                    We have not spoken for some time now and I know that any type of one on one would result in an uncomfortable situation for us both.



                    You have planted a lot of large trees on my boundary, very close to my house. I am concerned that these trees will cause a lot of damage to my property for which you will be held liable.



                    At this moment parliament is passing a new law called the high hedges law. This law restricts tree owners from planting hedges above a two meter height .The trees you have planted can grow up to 60 foot.** Under the new laws I will be within my rights to call in the local authorities to examine your trees and force you to cut them back to a reasonable height



                    I do not wish to put in a position where I am forced to exercise my right, nor do I wish to end up having to take civil action .I would prefer an amicable solution to this and all our problems



                    Within this letter I would like to extend an invitation to you to come to my house and discuss this matter and any other issues you may have with me. I give you my assurance you will be welcome and treated civilly.



                    Kevin[/b]


                    Once again thank for the advise Kevin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Kevin



                      Smashing letter... a model letter of reasonableness for anyone who has to write to a nfh!



                      Sapp

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