How to resolve disputes with a neighbour?
Neighbours from Hell!
There is nothing worse than having a dispute with your neighbour. Any such dispute must therefore be handled carefully and effectively, to stop it spiralling out of control.
If you experience a dispute with your neighbour you should consider the following:
Try to speak to your neighbour first
You must at least try and reason with your neighbour first. Explain clearly what you are unhappy about and why your complaint is reasonable. There is a good chance that this will resolve the matter.
If the dispute continues, despite speaking to your neighbour:
Speak to your neighbour's landlord (if they rent the property) If the dispute continues: Contact your local council
If your attempts to reduce the nuisance fails, contact your local Public or Environmental Health Department, or Environmental Protection Division. They are 'obliged' to take 'all reasonable steps' to deal with your complaint.
The Environmental Officer will:
- Visit the property to assess the nuisance
- Write to your neighbour
- If your neighbour ignores the Environmental Officer - a notice will be issued requiring your neighbour to stop causing the nuisance
- It is an offence not to comply with a notice.
- Some local authorities may impose restrictions on night-time noise under the Noise Act 1996.
- Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1988 local authorities can apply to a magistrates court for an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO). This will prohibit your neighbour from continuing the nuisance.
- If this still does not resolve problem - Take action yourself.
You will have the following options:
- Ask your neighbour if they are prepared to attend mediation.
- Apply direct to your local magistrates court to complain about the nuisance. However, before you do this you should write a formal letter to your neighbour setting out your complaints and giving them 14 days to remedy the situation.
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Last updated 14.07.2014