A recent Which? survey found that 27% of people have had issues with neighbours in the last year. Neighbour disputes can leave people feeling angry, irritable and stressed. The survey also found that 64% of people who have experienced problems didn’t know where to go to seek help and advice.

Neighbour disputes can cover a wide range of issues including:

  • Boundary issues
  • Parking rights
  • Party Wall disputes
  • Noise nuisance
  • Trees and rights to light
  • The use of personal CCTV cameras and privacy rights

The rights of each party can be difficult to establish and can change over time. It is not always clear at the outset which party’s view is correct and often the parties become entrenched very early on as they both genuinely believe they are right. This can lead to a serious break down in the relationship between neighbours, sometimes irreparably to the extent that the only option left to avoid conflict is to move house.

When there has been a neighbour dispute it can prove problematic if you wish to put your house on the market as you must disclose any past, present or potential future neighbour disputes when selling your property. This can have a detrimental effect on the value of your house, as purchasers will not want to buy a property adjacent to a troublesome neighbour.

The best course of action when you think you might have a problem with a neighbour is to address the issue early on and seek advice from a solicitor before the problem becomes a full blown “dispute” and relationships start to break down. A solicitor can advise you on the legal position before you become embroiled in a distressing argument with your neighbour and can act as buffer between the parties.

We regularly attend clients for a brief one hour meeting, on site if necessary, to go through the issues and explain their rights, which can help to provide clarity and closure on a dispute which might be developing. Alternatively when a dispute has already arisen with a neighbour, we can act as mediators to help diffuse the tension between neighbours and provide clarification to each party on their rights.

For more information on neighbour disputes please contact Robert Cherry.

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