Irish Times Property Clinic 8th day of June 2023.
Publishing Date; Thursday the 8th day of June 2023.
Q Our street borders onto an estate managed by a property company. A 12 foot boundary wall at the rear 4 houses has overgrowth of ivy and shrubs which has in the past blocked the public pavement. Our street's residents Association has over the years written to the houses that affect our street and 1 owner has trimmed and tidies his part if the boundary wall. The other 2 have at times laughed and done nothing or trimmed the top and left the debris blocking the public pavement. We have written and spoken to the management company who say that the Board of the community will not deal with this as it is not their issue. The pavement is getting blocked again by trailing ivy and shrubs. We are really tired cleaning up the leaves and vines that passers-by pull off.
A. Your neighbours behaviour is disappointing.
It is unclear if your street is a common area of an OMC or if it is a road under the control of an Authority such as a County Council. If your street is within an OMC, the board of directors or their agent may revert to the owners of the land in a formal focused communication.
If your street is a public road, under the Roads Act 1993, Section 70 states that the authority may serve a written notice on the owner to remove the growth within the stated period if it is a hazard. Failure to do so after the prescribed time in the notice, is an offence.
Landdirect.ie will charge a fee of €5 to identify the owner of the property. If the boundary properties are freehold, each house is the responsible party. If the boundary properties are leasehold in an OMC, the OMC may be the responsible party subject to the governing lease agreement stating it must maintain that area where the vegetation is situated. Another possibility is those OMC members may be required under the governing lease agreement to maintain the vegetation. The latter may be the case as the property management company indicated to you a similar position.
The objective is to resolve the vegetative encroachment with minimal cost to you and avoid neighbourly confrontation and legal costs should matters escalate. The Ivy and Shrubs are the responsibility of the owner or occupier of the land but again being right by communicating this to them via complaints to authorities or via legal means expands matters further which ironically delay the desired outcome and increases expense and frustrations.
If you are the land owner where the vegetation is encroaching you may undertake the removal of the vegetative encroachment back to the boundary only. The costs to do this should be practical and preferable to the alternative options. Following the works you must offer the clippings to the owner as they remain the property of the owner.
Note that some vegetative maintenance may not occur during nesting season save for certain exemptions.
Paul Huberman FSCSI FRICS is a chartered property and facilities manager, and a Fellow of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Author: Paul Huberman of H&H Property Management Consultants Ltd
Publish Date: 12/06/2023