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Neighbours Climbers Causing Destruction


I’m in the process of putting up a garden building near the site of an old pond.

The chap we bought the house off had apparently just piled all the soil from the pond up against the garden walls with no accounting for drainage. As a result the mortar has completely blown.

I won’t be able to see these walls but I’d like to do a proper job of repairing them so they don’t come down and cause damage. Both our rear and side neighbours have put fences up on their side however there’s some kind of vine growing over the back and down the sides including through the rear fence and through weak points in the mortar. From what I can tell it looks absolutely fine on their side but it’s packing itself in between their fence and our wall and essentially pushing it down. A lot of it seems to be old growth or dead but some parts are green when I cut it. I don’t remember it being in leaf when I viewed the house in mid summer last year. 

What am I within my rights to do here? I’m cutting it back but where it’s between the wall and fence it’s still technically on the neighbours side even though it is only really causing immediate problems for us. It seems to be trained up a trellis so I would assume it’s ornamental and not something nasty. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s holding their fence together though if it’s completely covering their side. 

I don’t know the rear neighbours but I understand they’ve recently sold their house so I can’t imagine they’ll care either way. 

I’ll attach photos but unsure if that will help for identification. 


  • It looks like Virginia creeper in the last photo which is a very fast growing plant. It will take a lot of hacking back but the complication comes from if the growth you need to remove is intertwined with the fence, you might be killing the top growth which might not be appreciated. The only thing you can do is talk to the neighbour and see where they stand. If you find out who's fence it is in the deeds that will help (ours are shared with the back neighbours but ownership varies). 
    If it is Virginia creeper then you can expect it to regrow back quickly so finding a solution now will be good. 
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,608

    My guess is that the neighbour has no idea that his plant has grown under his fence and is growing rampantly between his unseen side of the fence and your brick wall. 

    That he is moving seems to me to be very fortuitous as I doubt he’ll much care what happens to the plant so long as you don’t kill it or damage the wooden fence. I’d ask his permission to get in there and cut back all that is growing in between the fence and the wall. Why would that bother him? You could add that should the plant push down the wall there could be a claim for damages which might just rebound on him or his purchaser’s surveyor.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,460
    I agree with Ben Cotto, go and talk to your neighbour, explain the problem and keep it friendly.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,052
  • I agree with Ben Cotto, go and talk to your neighbour, explain the problem and keep it friendly.
    But I wouldn't bend over backwards - he's moving, who cares if you fall out with him - its likely once he's moved you'll never see him again anyway.
    Plus, if he cared that much he wouldn't have let it get in that shape in the first place.
    Tell him its damaging your wall and you want to fix it .. the fact that he doesn't have to will probably make him quite amenable to the idea.
    Being Mr Nice Guy is all well and good but sometimes it backfires - if you don't want  a damaged wall you may have to be prepared to be quite firm.
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