Resolving neighbour disputes: What can you do?

Disputes with your neighbours can happen for a variety of reasons and one of the most difficult aspects can be knowing how to resolve them.

Fortunately, there are plenty of different routes you can take when it comes to resolving neighbour disputes. Property law experts, Abacus Law, are here to address the neighbour dispute problems you may face, with some general advice on ways you can act which won’t further aggravate the situation.

Dealing with Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes mainly happen when two parties believe the same piece of land is theirs. Common examples include when one erects a wall or fence on land the other person thought was theirs or when someone cuts down trees or bushes which the other party believes are theirs.

To stop boundary disputes from escalating in the first place, try to establish the boundaries of the land before you decide to act. Even something you believe would have no bearing could lead to issues further down the line, if you are not careful.

Of course, the best way to deal with a situation like this is to reach a friendly and amicable agreement with your neighbours on where the boundary is. Make sure you keep a record of any discussion and ideally get all parties to sign something to confirm. Getting help from solicitors, such as Abacus Law, is an option for further down the line, if you are worried about what the outcome might be.

Dealing with Noisy neighbours

Another common issue regarding neighbour disputes are noise levels. These complaints usually stem from noise levels being excessively loud at antisocial hours in the day. Whether this is endless barking from loud dogs or loud music blasting throughout the night, noisy neighbours can be a real pain.

An initial step to dealing with noisy neighbours who are making the loud noise is to discuss it with them informally first. It could be that they are simply unaware that they have been disturbing the street. If you are worried about how they will react, try leaving an anonymous letter.

If they continue with the excessive noise after you’ve made contact, you should begin keeping a record of each time it happens. Make note of what noises are disturbing you, how long they last and when they occur, along with any other relevant information.

What steps can you take to deal with neighbour disputes?

Approaching your neighbour with a problem such as excessive noise or overstepped boundaries can be daunting, but with the right approach they can be dealt with. Here are the steps you can take:

  1. Try and talk about the problem with your neighbour first. Use a friendly approach and try and reach an agreement to the problem at hand.
  2. If the dispute is causing others on the street distress, you may be able to approach them as a group. It might be easier for them to understand, if there are more people who don’t agree with their behaviour. Alternatively, send a letter with the names of the people who have been affected by their actions.
  3. Should an informal approach fail, you can take further action. If your neighbour is a private tenant you can always contact the landlord. If you are in council housing, try talking to the council about the situation.
  4. Another option following these steps is mediation. This is a service which involves a third, unbiased party who will listen to both sides of the dispute. They will then offer advice on what can be done to rectify it. Here is a list of mediation services in your area.
  5. If you are thinking about taking your neighbour to court, you should seek further legal advice for guidance on if it’s worthwhile and how you need to prepare. Sometimes, all it takes is a letter threatening legal action from a solicitor. We would be happy to help you with this.
  6. Contact the police if your neighbour is breaking the law, or becomes abusive and threatening towards you.