Couple take neighbours to court over hedge that 'blocked their sunlight'
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One couple have taken their turf war with their neighbours to the next level and taken them to court over a hedge that 'blocked their sunlight'.
Paul and Patricia Bogan, who hail from New South Wales in Australia, took their turf war to the next level after claiming their neighbours' landscaping choices damaged the common boundary metal panel fence separating the two properties.
The neighbours in question, Jose and Melissa Serrao, planted a hedge of bamboo trees along their boundary, leaving the Bogans beyond vexed after the foliage sent debris flying all over their property.
The Bogans claimed the leaves from the hedge caused a massive faff as well as totally blacking out any sunlight to a window of a shed on their property.
They were so frustrated by the ordeal that they asked the Serraos to sort the hedge out - namely either trimming it down to a lower height or doing away with it altogether.
The Serraos, however, refused the request leading the Bogans to turn to the Land and Environment Court to make an appeal to get the hedge removed as well as replacing the rusty metal panel fence.
The Bogans applied to have the Serraos fork out for their legal fees.
Acting Commissioner of the Court John Douglas then went on to dismiss the whole sunlight claim given that the shed structure was not approved by council for habitation as an official dwelling.
As for the fence, however, Douglas stated: "I was satisfied that the rust was not impacted by the bamboo, but the rusting was hastened by constant exposure to abrasive salt laden winds inherent in the coastal location."
And while the commissioner declared the bamboo had not actually damaged the fence - he did say it could do so in the near future after particularly windy periods.
So, the bamboo closest to the fence was ordered to be removed as well as a structure be erected behind the bamboo to stop it affecting the fence.
Douglas also explained that the bamboo had to be properly maintained on an annual basis, but 'not to an extent that may compromise the privacy it affords the (Serraos)'.
He explained: "The (Serraos) emphasised the bamboos' contribution to their privacy, which in site context, is a reasonable concern.
"I was not persuaded by the (Bogans') claim that the bamboo had exacerbated rusting of the fence but was instead satisfied that age-related wear, tear, and rusting were the causes of the fence’s deterioration."
The commissioner also dismissed the claim about the hedge debris being a maintenance burden for the shed roof, adding: "The shed was over 32 years old, and the gutter guard, claimed to be rusted by bamboo leaves, was 13 years old.
"As with the fence, the Court expects normal wear and tear to impact all structures, and considering the ever-present abrasive salt laden air, there was no evidence of damage to the shed roof or gutters, or the soil surface, that may be attributed to the bamboo."
He concluded: "Even if the bamboo leaves had caused roof damage, such damage could be avoided with regular maintenance
"I was not satisfied that debris from the bamboo, nor the hedge itself, presented an unacceptable fire risk."
And you thought your neighbour's haphazard wheelie bins were annoying.