Gardening plant law that can result in a ‘hefty’ fine if it spreads from your garden

Gardening plant law that can result in a ‘hefty’ fine if it spreads from your garden

The experts at Gazeboshop have teamed up with a property lawyer to outline the laws you could be breaking in your own garden.

1. Allowing Japanese knotweed to spread into the wild

Colum Smith, property lawyer at Taylor Rose MW Solicitors, said: “Many people will be familiar with Japanese knotweed due to it being such an invasive plant which is known to cause structural damage to properties.

“That said, the laws surrounding the plant are often unknown yet extremely strict. In fact, earlier this year a man was sued for £200,000 for failing to declare his garden contained the plant during the sale of his house.”

While you may not be in any rush to sell your home, it is vital to carry out a thorough inspection for the species as letting the plant grow out of your garden can leave you with a “hefty” £5,000 fine.

It is important not to treat knotweed at home if you do not have the appropriate skills or experience, and instead to use companies which specialise in it.

2. Cutting overhanging branches

Having a neighbour’s tree infringing on your garden can be extremely frustrating, especially if it is blocking light or becomes an eyesore.

While cutting it down may seem like the sensible thing to do, the expert has urged Britons to only trim the overhanging branches up to the edge of the boundary.

The expert said: “You are not allowed to trespass onto their land in order to carry out the pruning and it is worth bearing in mind that you may be responsible for any damage which results from the pruning.”

3. Blocking a neighbour’s light

The property lawyer continued: “You may think you can plant a tree anywhere you like in your garden because you own the land, this is unfortunately not true. 

“If a tree you plant in your garden grows to block natural sunlight into a neighbour’s window that has had access to it for 20 years, this can land you paying compensation or being faced with an order to cut the tree down.

“Before planting a tree, think carefully about the height it will grow to and how it may impact sunlight into your and your neighbour’s garden.”

4. Picking and keeping fruit or flowers

It can be tempting to pick your neighbour’s fruit which hangs in your own garden, but the expert has warned against this.

According to the pro, if the fruit is from a plant to see which is on someone else’s land, this is “technically stealing” and they are legally entitled to ask for it back.

5. Disregarding people’s right to privacy

With more and more people taking precautions for home security, many people are using security cameras and doorbells with live video cameras.

However, it is crucial that they are placed to only capture the confines of Britons’ own gardens and should not infringe on neighbours’ privacy.

The expert explained: “Perhaps surprisingly, other garden items that can infringe on privacy rights are trampolines. Where possible, avoid placing them anywhere where children can bounce and see into a neighbour’s house. 

“So whether you’re tidying up your garden or improving home security, remember to bear these seven laws in mind to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law. 

“A lot of these issues can be ironed out if you maintain a good relationship with your neighbours and speak to them about any niggling issues you may have.”

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