Neighbour and other types of disputes
Residents can get into dispute with neighbours for a whole variety of reasons. This list is not exhaustive but the most common neighbour disputes tend to be about:
- Dangerous trees, overhanging branches and roots that have spread into a neighbour's property
- The height of hedges between neighbour's properties
- Boundaries, fences, walls and hedges
- Parking issues and nuisance vehicles
- Shared amenities and accessing a neighbours land to carry out repairs
- Neighbourhood noise such as noisy pubs, rowdy parties and barking dogs
- Perceived lack of property maintenance
- Rights of way and communal areas
What can you do?
If you have a dispute with your neighbour, try and solve the problem by talking to them. If you don't feel you can do this, or have tried but you don't feel the situation has improved, write a letter to your neighbour explaining what the problem is. Make the letter clear and stick to the facts.
If the problem affects other neighbours, involve them as well. It can be easier to settle a dispute if the complaint comes from more than one person. If you are a member of a resident's association they may be able to help as well.
If you can't resolve the dispute by speaking to your neighbour, think about getting help from a mediation service. The process enables both parties to explain and then discuss their issues in the presence of an independent third party, a mediator, so both can reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Both parties would need to agree to take part even if one or both parties are unwilling to meet in person.
There can be a fee for mediation, but this will still be cheaper than hiring a solicitor and taking legal action. Mediation can work well if both parties engage in the process with the right ethos and are committed to wanting to resolve the issue.
If your neighbour is breaking the law by being violent, threatening or abusive, breaching the peace by being disorderly in the street or harassing you, call the police non-emergency number 101. If it is an emergency remember to always call 999.
For more information on mediation services, visit the Civil Mediation Council website.
If your neighbour is a tenant you could contact their landlord or housing association with your issue.
If the dispute involves a statutory nuisance such as barking dogs, noisy pubs or loud music you can complain to our Public Protection team.
To get practical advice and find out more about resolving neighbour disputes including antisocial behaviour visit the Citizens Advice website.
As a last resort you can take legal action through the courts but bear in mind that taking someone to court can be expensive. There may be court fees and you may need the services of a solicitor.
You can find a lawyer who deals with neighbour disputes through the Law Society website.