Some of Our Trees Are Missing!
I’d reached a point in my professional career where I didn’t think anything could surprise me anymore.
To be fair, having been in the industry for over 30 years it does take a lot to raise even one eyebrow, let alone two, but today was one of those exceptions.
Today I was asked for my views on a client who has lost some trees.
These are not bonsi trees that have gone missing from his desk.
These are full sized trees that were last seen growing in the middle of his forest.
Strangely, the first question I asked was, how did you know there were any trees missing – you’d have thought in the middle of a forest, it wouldn’t be that obvious, but apparently if you are a woodland expert, you notice these things.
It turns out that someone he doesn’t know had applied to the council to fell some trees on his land, which meant that his first question to us was how can someone get permission to do something on land they don’t know. That bit was easy to answer. It may come as a surprise to many, but you don’t need to own the land to apply for permission to do something on it. There are many reasons for this, but the most common is that if you are considering buying land, you might want to check in advance what you can do with the land before you exchange contracts.
My initial advice was to call the police, as this is technically theft. This led to mental images of the police with Efit of trees, going around local timber merchants and woodwork shops, trying to identify the missing items by reference to the knots, not to mention numerous squirrels and other wildlife complaining about unlawful eviction.
Whoever said law was dull!
The bottom line is that not only is it theft, but it’s trespass as well, and will lead to proceedings for injunctions and damages. So whilst the circumstances may be unusual, the legal remedies are quite straight forward.
Strangely enough, whilst this definitely made for an interesting meeting (and hopefully an unusual blog) it is still not the strangest thing I’ve been involved in. That prize has to go to the house that wasn’t there – but that’s another story.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. Life is never boring with us around.