5 Reasons You And Your Neighbour Might Enter Into A Dispute

In this article, I am going to be looking at 5 reasons you and your neighbour might enter into a dispute.

Welsh people are known for their warmth and hospitality. However, for dispute solicitors in Wales life is often kept busy dealing with unneighbourly rows between its 3.136 million residents.

Neighbour disputes can arise for many reasons, they often make life uncomfortable for those involved and squashing the issues can often be difficult to do in some cases. In this article, we’re going to be knocking on doors to reveal five reasons that you and a neighbour might enter into a dispute - and what to do about it.

What Is A Neighbour Dispute?

picket fence

This term is usually used when a disagreement between neighbours escalates from a simple row into something more serious, creating an issue that may require legal intervention. While most disputes between neighbours tend to blow over, others unfortunately can have tragic consequences including, shockingly, murder.

Five Reasons For Neighbour Disputes

1. Parking

While some UK residents are lucky enough to have a dedicated private driveway or garage for their personal vehicles, others aren’t so fortunate. In fact, 26% of UK residents do not have a dedicated space for their car, meaning that they have to park on the street and this can lead to heated disputes between neighbours.

Often both parties will believe that they have the right to use a certain space - for example, one which is directly outside of their home. Tempers can easily flare when after a long day at work, one party returns home to find that the space has been taken by their neighbour. In built-up areas, this often forces them to circle the block looking for alternative parking.

2. Excessive Noise

Unless you live in the country, miles from your nearest neighbour you will expect to experience a certain amount of noise from those around you. However, when noise becomes excessive or unreasonable - for example, loud music being played late at night or a dog barking incessantly, tempers can become frayed, leading to battles between neighbours. 

3. Boundary Disputes

angry man

When buying a property, you’ll usually receive deeds which lay out the perimeters of your property - i.e. where your domain begins and where it becomes that of your neighbours. Unfortunately, a significant number of homeowners fail to properly read and digest this information and, instead, simply make assumptions.

These assumptions can very quickly lead to disputes with a neighbour which can escalate into costly and time-consuming legal action. An example of a boundary dispute may be that one neighbour builds a fence to separate their property from next door but their neighbour claims that the fence encroaches on their own land.

4. Overgrown Plants And Trees

Brits are a green-fingered lot and many of us take great pride in our gardens and outdoor space. While this may seem like a pretty innocent pastime, our green fingers can make the neighbours see red in cases where a tree or plant creeps onto their property or obscures their view.

Large trees blocking views, overgrown gardens spreading to the neighbours' patch of garden and visible unkempt gardens are all ways to rub your neighbour up the wrong way.

5. Anti-social Behaviour

Anti-social behaviour can encompass a number of activities, including:

  • Children playing in the street causing noise, disruption and / or damage to property
  • Health hazards such as overflowing bins
  • Illegal activities such as taking drugs
  • Pets creating noise and mess
All these examples can easily lead to a dispute if they’re not nipped in the bud early on.

How To Prevent A
 Neighbour Dispute Becoming A Soap Opera

A dispute between neighbours can be stressful, time-consuming and sometimes expensive and so, as with so many other things, prevention is better than cure. In this section, we’re sharing tips on turning down the heat on a neighbour dispute:

  • It’s good to talk - Your first step should always be to try to have a calm conversation with your neighbour about the issue (although this should be avoided if they tend to be volatile or aggressive). In many cases, neighbours are able to reach a solution between them which suits both parties.
  • Know the facts - Always check the deeds to your property and local authority regulations to make sure you know what’s what before escalating a dispute.
  • Consider a mediator - Before resorting to legal action, it's a good idea to consider a third-party mediator to help bring about a resolution - often, your local council will be able to help with this.
  • Keep notes and records - Unfortunately, with the best will in the world, some disputes will go to court so it's important that you keep detailed notes of what happened and when.

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

While you may not have the urge to become close friends with your neighbours, maintaining a civil relationship can make life easier for all concerned. As such, it's a good idea to try to stay on good terms with your neighbours wherever possible as this will almost always make it easier to squash any issues that arise and to stop a disagreement from turning into a dispute which benefits nobody.

*Collaborative post

No comments