Overgrown or untidy gardens

We often receive complaints about overgrown, unkempt and untidy gardens. The garden or land can become unsightly or attract other environmental crimes, such as fly-tipping.

Your rights

Your rights when it comes to neighbours' gardens are governed by a number of laws. An unkempt or slightly overgrown garden isn't enough to enable you to take action unless it's contravening the law.

Taking action yourself

There are strict laws on what you can and cannot do. You cannot trespass onto the gardens of neighbours to remove any rubbish or foliage.

If a neighbour's hedge, brambles or tree are causing problems on your side of the boundary, you are entitled to prune or remove anything that comes over onto your side of the boundary - although, by law, you should offer any clippings back to your neighbour.

However, some trees have a tree preservation order placed upon them and you can be fined if you remove anything other than dead wood.

It is the responsibility of individual owners to ensure that they do not allow their land to deteriorate to the point where the only option is enforcement action.

What we can do

We have a range of powers to deal with untidy gardens or land if there is material that is likely to rot (such as discarded food, faeces, nappies, dead animals) and it is causing a nuisance to neighbours or attracting vermin such as rats or mice.

Please have a digital photo and location details ready before reporting an untidy garden.

Report an untidy garden