‘I was reported by my neighbours for not mowing my front lawn’

Having neighbours can be tricky, especially when it comes to things like fences and overgrown trees or even parking situations. With spring in full force and trees, plants and flowers blooming, it can be hard to keep the garden under control, and one couple have been left fuming after their neighbours reported them, without even speaking to them first. 

The Reddit post read: “My neighbours seem to not just care about their own lawn but any lawn that their eyes may see.

“My husband and I are not perfect when it comes to front lawn maintenance. However, unlike my neighbours we both work full time jobs, my neighbours both work from home.

“Anyway, we got a notice that they called the city because the trees by the street were not up to code. The trees are overgrown on each side by like a foot. They could have just reached out.”

The post attracted more than 40 comments, with many sympathising with the couple and agreeing that the neighbours should have just asked.

One person wrote: “If these people are approachable maybe tell them to let you know next time if they see anything because you are busy and working a lot.”

Another commented: “I’d tell them if they have enough free time to worry about my lawn I’ll be happy to pay them to cut it.”

A third stated: “Something about lawns causes people to lose it. It looks nice, but people get so weirdly protective over grass. It’s grass.”

Before making a formal complaint or getting others involved, the Government recommends trying to discuss the problem with your neighbour.

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Usually problems are often resolved with a conversation, but try writing a letter if you’re worried about approaching them.

The Government’s website explained: “You can trim branches or roots that cross into your property from a neighbour’s property or a public road.

“You can only trim up to the property boundary. If you do more than this, your neighbour could take you to court for damaging their property.

“If you live in a conversation area, or the trees in the hedge are protected by a tree preservation code, you might need your council’s permission to trim them.”

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Others were less sympathetic towards the couple, with one comment reading: “We had a few people in the neighbourhood who allow their tree branches and lawns hang into the path of the sidewalk. People needed to duck or risked getting poked in the eye.

“We had tried posting in the neighbourhood group asking people to trim their branches, some did, but the others that didn’t I think are not ashamed.”

Another said: “Just because they work from home doesn’t mean they are not working. Many people, including me, work full time jobs from home now. It’s not relevant.”

A third penned: “Oh I would definitely call the city on neighbours for their trees or whatever they let grow over their property. This is why I refuse to live in an urban area.”

There are many garden laws Britons could be breaking without realising including asking neighbours to clean their leaves as well as taking flowers from neighbours.

It can be tempting to go and cut down lots of branches and bushes which may have overgrown throughout the winter months, but gardeners should be careful when doing this.

The legal experts at BPP University Law School said: “You may find that they are blocking those warm spring sun rays from coming through. While this can be frustrating, you cannot simply hack off the branch of a tree if it doesn’t belong to you.

“Despite this, you are, in fact, allowed to cut branches up to your property line – which is essentially where your garden ends and your neighbours’ begins.”

To avoid conflict, it is always better to ask first before cutting down branches, or ask if they can do it on their side too.

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