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SKU: 5.3
  • Advice

    Neighbour Disputes

    Disputes with neighbours are a common occurrence and various steps can be taken to avoid legal action being taken. Neighbour disputes can involve the following: -

    • Adverse possession claims;
    • Anti-social behaviour;
    • Boundaries;
    • Breach of any existing covenant;
    • Building and construction disputes;
    • Fence;
    • Weeds, trees, high hedges;
    • Noise intrusion or nuisance; and
    • Smells and odours (i.e., chemicals or drains) etc.


    Noise Disputes 

    Noise disputes involve loud music or excessive barking from a dog. Some noises are unavoidable. However, they can become unbearable and an ongoing problem e.g., slamming doors, playing musical instruments, and construction works.


    Boundary Disputes

    These can be quite complicated and as such are dealt with via their section, just see the link on our website.


    Maintenance of Shared Facilities

    You might have some shared amenities with your neighbours e.g., drains, pipes, gardens, or a communal rooftop. Disputes often arise over who is responsible for cleaning or maintaining these amenities. The lease or title deeds normally say who is responsible, however, this can sometimes be omitted, usually, the cost of any repairs can be shared by the parties making use of them. Note that if there is a shared driveway, each person has a right of access and others cannot block access to it. 


    Trees and Garden

    These disputes may involve overhanging trees or trees overgrowing into the neighbouring property. The owner should politely be asked to trim back the tree. Note that if you live in a conservation area or the tree is protected by a preservation order, permission must be sought from the local council to cut or trim the tree. You must avoid trimming the branch of a neighbour’s tree without their consent. Additionally, hedges should not be more than two metres tall or affect your enjoyment of your neighbour’s home or garden (i.e., obstruct light).


    Party Wall 

    A party wall is a shared wall adjoining another property. If you or your neighbour intend to carry out works that might affect a party wall, then a party wall notice must be served on everyone affected. The person wanting the change should both appoint surveyors or a single impartial surveyor. The surveyor will record details of the work to be done, the condition of both buildings, and timetables for access. If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, you may minimise costs by negotiating a party wall agreement between yourselves. 


    Abuse, Violence or Anti-Social Behaviour 

    Anti-social behaviour includes harassment, verbal abuse, intimidation, bullying, animal nuisance (e.g., dog fouling), vandalism, nuisance, graffiti, and being drunk or disorderly. If you experience any of these issues you should find out who is responsible and try and mediate. You must call the police if your neighbour shows violent or abusive behaviour/aggression, as well as discrimination based on any of the protected characteristics (disability, age, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment). Problems that do not constitute anti-social behaviour are those which involve normal day-to-day living e.g., the smell of your neighbour's cooking or the crying of a baby.


    How to resolve neighbour disputes

    It is important to keep records of a problem when it happens as this will be useful if you decide to take things further. Document as much detail as possible, including what happened, the time and how you were affected. If your neighbour responds, also keep records of their response as evidence. You may take the following steps to resolve your dispute.


    Approach your neighbour

    You can approach your neighbour ONLY if you feel comfortable and safe to do so. Inform them of how their actions affect you and how they can resolve them. Listen to your neighbour side and see if you can both reach a compromise. You can also write to your neighbour, describing the problem and what action you want them to take.


    Contact your neighbour’s landlord

    If your neighbour is a tenant, and they are unwilling to remedy the situation then you can contact their landlord. This could be the council, a housing association or a private landlord. If your neighbour’s landlord is a council or housing association, they could:

    • Contact them to help resolve the problem;
    • Take steps to end the tenancy; or
    • Apply to the court for an antisocial behaviour order.

    If your neighbour’s landlord is a private individual, they could:

    • Talk to the tenant about the problem;
    • Take court action against a tenant who is causing the problem; or
    • Take steps to end the tenancy.



    Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution which involves an impartial third party (mediator) conferring with both sides of a dispute and advising on a resolution. We would be delighted to assist you in this regard.


    Council Investigation

    If the tenant is in council accommodation and mediation does not resolve the dispute, you can report your neighbour to the council for causing a ‘statutory nuisance’. This includes issues that can harm people’s health or quality of life. The council will then investigate the dispute. If your dispute is not a statutory nuisance, or if the council fail to resolve it to your satisfaction, you can take legal action against your neighbour.


    Housing Ombudsman 

    If the tenant is a housing association tenant and mediation does not resolve the dispute, you can report your neighbour to them. You can complain using their complaints process which can be found on their website. The Housing Ombudsman will not accept your case until 8 weeks after your housing association or council gave you their final response.



    You must call the police your dispute involves a criminal offence e.g., violence or harassment, or excessive noise.


    Claiming via court action

    This should be the last resort after you have contacted your neighbour and your local council as it can be expensive unless you are eligible for legal aid. If you plan to take legal action against your neighbour, you should initially seek legal advice. A letter from ourselves threatening legal action is often sufficient to get your neighbour to resolve the problem without having to go to court.


    How we can help

    We can act as mediators between all parties, just open a case simply click on the link at the top of the page, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.

    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

Click hear to book your

free initial consultation:

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