Types of neighbour disputes
Issues with a neighbour can escalate quickly. The most common disputes and what you can do to resolve them in the first instance.
The first step is to talk to your neighbour, especially if the noise is a one-off (late night party, for example). It is possible your neighbour did not realise how their noise affected you.
Night hours are 11 pm to 7 am, and excessive noise during these hours is not permitted by law. You can contact your local council when a loud noise is not a one-off and is a regular problem. Keep a diary of each disturbance and when it happens, as this can be used as evidence. The Council can issue your neighbour with a noise abatement notice.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, unacceptable noise is defined as that which ‘unreasonably or substantially interferes with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises’ or when it could ‘injure health or be likely to injure health’.
If the Council does not investigate your complaint, talk to our solicitors who can help you to resolve the situation.
You might have discovered your neighbour is going to rent out their property and turn it into a house of multiple occupation (HMO), or they are going to build an extension that will block your light.
The first step is to find out whether your neighbour has planning permission for these changes. You should have been informed if they have planning permission as part of the planning permission process.
It is best to talk to a solicitor before raising objections to planning permission. Disputing planning permission can take up a huge amount of time. At Davisons, our dispute solicitors will advise you whether you have valid grounds to oppose. We will help strengthen your argument, whereby your neighbour makes changes to their plans, or the Council rejects their application altogether.
If your neighbour does not have planning permission, report it to your local council. Similarly, if your neighbour does not abide by the specifications in their plans once the build starts, report it to the Council.
Disputes can arise over who is responsible for maintaining shared amenities like shared drains or a communal rooftop. As with all disputes with neighbours, the first step is to talk to them directly.
The lease or title deeds to your properties should clarify who owns what. Where ownership is unclear, our solicitors at Davisons can help to resolve the issue.
If your neighbour refuses to contribute towards the maintenance of a shared drain, contact your local Environmental Health Officers. They can issue a notice to all neighbours who should contribute towards the cost.
This includes anything from failing to maintain a wall to overgrown trees.
This is anything that causes you to feel uncomfortable or afraid in your own home.
If your neighbour is verbally or physically abusive towards you should call the police. If they are discriminating against you because of your race, religion, disability or sexual orientation, this may be classed as a hate crime under the law.
Anti-social behaviour covers a range of conduct such as abusive behaviour, noise nuisance, bullying, inconsiderate driving, dog fouling, vandalism and dumping rubbish.
Sometimes anti-social behaviour can be resolved by talking to a neighbour. However, if this is not possible or if talking has failed to resolve the issue, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.