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So I wake up to a lot of noise outside. Get up, look out the window, and see a small bulldozer just finishing razing the bushes which protected my until-today completely private yard. To eight feet from the property line. I was agape.

Actually all I could do is laugh. It is better than crying.

A month ago the landlord of that house had come to my door and asked if I would mind if their landscaper took down some of the brush between the yards. I stated the fateful words, "Sure! Do what you want!" I figured I would not even see the changes through my bushes.

What do you think? Was this a mistake in communication or did she take advantage of me?

By LionMousePudding6
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You told them to do what they'd like, so they took it as you not caring if they removed some or all of the brush. Next time, be sure to take the time to think things through, and make your position as clear as possible. As another mentioned earlier, when it comes to property issues, get a written agreement first.

Beefcake Level 4 Aug 10, 2018

I think you should have asked for more specifics before agreeing to anything.
Too late now.

KKGator Level 9 Aug 10, 2018

I think you were taken advantage of. I really do. Where I live there are bushes between my driveway and the neighbor's driveway. I try to keep these trimmed and use them as a "fence" between the 2 properties. My neighbors are always trying to totally gut them and remove them. My take is that 3 feet high doesn't hurt anything. This year they tried to remove them and got poison ivy.

DenoPenno Level 8 Aug 10, 2018

I'm not sure what the issue is. If the bushes were on your land then you have the right to legal restitution, if not then you don't have a leg to stand on. If it's public land or there are environmental zoning restrictions on what kind of work is permissible then you would have to consult the regulations pertinent to where you live. "Do what you want" seems like a pretty wide remit though.

Gareth Level 7 Aug 10, 2018

It was 8 feet of my property, times about 80 feet. She was the landlord of that property. The landscaper was devastated. He asked her three times if she was sure it was ok. He has worked with her for two years so he had reason to trust her. He apologized over and over.

I decided no person could have thought it was reasonable to remove a whole hedge without talking to me again. I remembered that she had told me she would have the landscaper knock on my door to let me know when the work was started, so reasonably despite my broad and vague permission, I could expect to have had veto opportunity.

He had stressed to me how rich she is. I realized, she knew quite well what she was doing. She played me.

I also realized my "it is what it is," which is supposed to indicate something you can't change, was wrong. This can be fixed.

I want a six foot tall privacy fence. I emailed my lawyer.

Honestly, you say it was your property and the other person was the landlord? I've read this whole thread twice and I still don't know whose bushes they were! It's no surprise to me that there was a problem with communication.

@Gareth the landlord of the property next door bulldozed the bushes down on my property, up to 8 feet from the property line on my side, my property

@LionMousePudding You gave permission only for clearance "between the yards" not on your property. So your neighbour is guilty of trespass and criminal damage. You should be in line for some money.


Hindsight being 20/20,you probably should have asked for more detail. But, yep, I would say she saw and opening and took advantage of the situation.

Ghmoore3 Level 4 Aug 10, 2018

You have a landlord, so this isn't your property. The landlord probably could have done this without asking, and the fact that he or she did was a simple courtesy. Maybe if this comes up again say something like "Hey, let's walk out and take a look at what you want to do." And raise objections if you have any at that point. But if it's not your property and the landlord wants to chop 'em down, you are pretty much stuck with that.

zeuser Level 8 Aug 10, 2018

It was the neighbor house.

As I understand it, the landlord owns the neighboring property, not the property where @LionMousePudding lives.


I am unsure if the bushes were on your property? If so, you get all new, similar-sized bushes professionally planted after Judy Judy rules in your favor! Otherwise, you are SOOL!


"What we have here is failure to communicate."

idoubtit Level 7 Aug 10, 2018

If there is one rule in life my husband drummed into is put everything in writing! Anything that ever involves work being contracted by me is put on paper first. In this case I may have just said yes to the neighbour/landlord to go ahead, but I think I would have asked more questions about his plans. It is easy being wise now after the damage is done but legally you may not have a case as you did give verbal consent .

I see one problem with this: the burden might actually be on the contractor, not the other property owner.

@bingst I don’t believe so, the contractor had no direct dealing with LionMousePudding, the verbal consent was between she and the landlord.

@Marionville So if someone hires a contractor to tear down your house, the contractor is not liable? I'm not sure it matters what if any communication there is between the property owners, because as soon as the contractor starts knowingly working on someone else's property, I would think he becomes liable.

@bingst Of course they would be jointly responsible, but in the first case the person who commissioned the work would be primarily liable....believe me, unless the law is different in your part of the world.


A similar thing happened to me many years ago.
I own my house.
The next door neighbour asked if I would mind if he trimmed some of the trees on (my side of) the property line, so that he could get better reception (dish).
I thought "trim" meant thin out, so I said yes.
A few days later I came home to some random dude cutting down my trees about 5 feet up from the ground. It looked ridiculous.
I told him to get the hell off my property. I was dumbfounded that "trim" became "hack job".
I had to take all of the trees down just a few years ago, so it doesn't matter much now.

scurry Level 7 Aug 10, 2018

I try not to jump to conclusions.

  1. You said “do what you want”. I’m thinking they might not have asked if they thought you wouldn’t be to see the change.
  2. It could have been a miscommunication with the workers. Like the landowners didn’t ask them to take the bushes but they thought they should

I’m so sorry this happened. Price privacy fences?

BeccaVa Level 7 Aug 10, 2018

This same thing happened to me last year when the hurricane took out one side of my privacy fence. Our landlord decided he wanted to open the whole yard up. We had lived in our home for almost 5 years and loved the the privacy. We had an acre and a half and we’re pretty centrally located in town. We basically won the lottery of properties when it came to size and home. Once the fence came down, the riff raff came through. They would cut through our yard from the street that dead ended at our back property line, we had items stolen from our porch and boat. Finally, we threw in the towel and purchased a home in the middle of nowhere on a canal leading to a lake and haven’t had one problem.

I think this landlord took advantage of what you said and took it to an extreme. You couldn’t have known that she/he was going to go as far as they did. Looking back on it, it may have been wiser to discuss it in detail. Fortunately, brush grows back. Unfortunately, it takes a long time. My advice would be to plant more privacy hedging, or put up a fence. Either way, it’s a garbage situation that was placed on you. Sorry you have to deal with it.


She took advantage, and without documentation, had no right to do that. I would sue her back to the stone age.

dellik Level 6 Aug 10, 2018

Now..this is good example of a failure to communicate..but it's not your fault..its the landlord and the landscaper...

But what's done is done...

Hitchens Level 8 Aug 10, 2018

I went to talk to the landscaper, and he was very upset. He said he asked her three times if she was sure it was ok with the homeowner.


Ok sounds like the balance of blame is clearly falling in the lap of Missy fibber, pants on fire..landlord. ??

@LionMousePudding The only thing is that the law might find the liability on the contractor, not the other property owner. I mean, if you hire a contractor and tell him to tear down the next door neighbor's house, isn't it on the contractor to make sure you actually own that other property before he proceeds? In other words, it might not do any good to sue that property owner.


So the contractor took down both sets of bushes separating the two he was supposed to by constual agreement the other was an error..but who failed to communicate this or carry out the instruction correctly..maybe both the landlord and the contractor? This is a doosey!

@Hitchens He did the work on her property, knowing it wasn't the property of the one who hired him.

But he was labouring under the false understanding that he had permission to proceed...however I'm guessing it was verbal not written....hmmn


Some doesn’t mean all.


Sometimes I have to put on those big girl panties, too


My thought were not specific enough! But, we can’t always envision what another person has in their mind! So we do not know what questions to ask or what request to make! We have only the vision in our own mind, and it is kinda stuck there. This has happened to me many times! It is just one of those occurrences that we must get over! And, what I have found is, the older I get, the harder it is to get over these happenings! I will have reminders of something that got out of my grip, many months down the road! And, it wasn’t something that was life threatening either! My condolences!


Always, always get clarification on property decisions. People will do what they want to do otherwise. It's always a problem.

CK-One Level 6 Aug 10, 2018

Were the bushes on your property, or theirs?

Veldoran Level 6 Aug 10, 2018

The bushes could be replaced at the landlords cost. Or they could build a fence for you, personally I would rather have the bushes.


Lesson learned...I’ll know to ask for specifics if anyone comes around asking such questions.


I would have told her the bushes are advantages for all neighbors because if privacy.
Who knows...if you spoke up she may have listened?

TimF Level 3 Aug 10, 2018

are the bushes on your property? Should make sure what they plan on doing

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