Reader question: My neighbour’s garden is spreading into our land with weeds and brambles. She has not been here for three years. We have sent a letter asking for it to be cleaned up but she has not replied. Who do I contact next?
Property owners are legally required to maintain their land properly and can be obliged to do so.
You have already carried out the first step, which is to send a letter to your neighbour.
Your best option now is to contact the mairie.
Article L2213-25 of the Code général des collectivités territoriales states that the mayor can require a landowner to restore the land to its previous state, at his or her cost, after a formal notice.
Work at owner’s expense
It says: “If, on the day indicated by the formal notice, the work has not been undertaken, the mayor can carry it out at the owner’s expense.”
In this case, members of the service communal d’hygiène et de santé (municipal health and hygiene service) will undertake the necessary work.
You can also try contacting a conciliateur de justice (mediator), and if that fails, it is possible to take your neighbour to court.
Article 673 of the Code Civil states you have the right to cut back roots, brambles and twigs that intrude on your property, up to the dividing line.