Disturbing hedges at the property boundary


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In almost every state, a Neighbor Law regulates the admissible border distance of hedges, trees and shrubs. It is also usually regulated that behind fences or walls, a threshold distance must not be met. Only when the woodland grows significantly above the screen, it must be removed or cut back. Exactly what this means in a decision, the district court of Munich, Az. 173 C 19258/09 specified: The neighbor already has a legal right to pruning up to the height of the screen, if the underlying hedge projects beyond the screen by just 20 centimeters.

Maintain the correct margins

In the neighboring laws of the federal states, the distances are fixed. What applies in individual cases, you will learn from your community. As a rule of thumb, keep trees and shrubs at a minimum height of 50 centimeters up to a height of about two meters, and a distance of at least two meters for higher plants. There are exceptions to this rule in some states. For large species are up to eight meters distance.

Shadow through sight protection hedge

The following case was negotiated: The owner of a ground floor apartment in a condominium plant had planted a hedge on the garden area assigned to him. Later he sold his apartment and the new owner left the existing hedge after the purchase. After several years, suddenly a neighbor demanded that the hedge be removed at the expense of the new owner. However, it had already passed so much time that claims under the Neighbor Law were excluded. Therefore, the neighbor relied on § 1004 of the Civil Code (BGB): His home ownership is so significantly affected by the hedge that the disturber must act. The new owner objected that he had not actively brought about the problem. Everywhere he is so-called state bother, and as such he does not have to eliminate the hedge itself, but only tolerate that the disturbed neighbor can remove the hedge.

High hedge

High hedges are very popular as a screen, but can also cast a lot of shadow on the neighboring property

The Higher Regional Court Munich assesses this case in the meaning of the plaintiff, the Court of Appeals in Berlin, however, classifies new owners always only as a condition bugs. Therefore, the Federal Court has the last word. However, the following finding by the Higher Regional Court Munich is already interesting: A neighbor can still rely on § 1004 BGB after many years, if the elimination claims arising from the neighboring law of the respective federal states are already excluded because of the considerable time lapse.

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