The Best Ways to Solve Disputes with your Neighbours.
From arguments over noise to disagreements about boundary walls and overhanging branches, there’s no shortage of things to fall out with our neighbours about. So, what should you do if you find yourself in a dispute with the people living next door? Here, we look at the best ways to deal with these potentially troublesome situations.
Try talking or writing to them
As insurance and tenant referencing specialist HomeLet points out on its website, your first step in a dispute should be to try to contact your neighbour to talk about the issue and agree on a solution. This direct approach is often the quickest and easiest, and it tends to result in the most amicable outcomes. You might find that your neighbour doesn’t even realise they’re causing a problem.
If you’ve had arguments with the person or people involved before and you don’t feel comfortable speaking to them face-to-face, you could try writing a letter instead.
Give mediation a go
If direct contact doesn’t do the job, you could consider using a mediation service. This means getting an impartial person who’s trained to deal with disputes to act as a referee and help you
and your neighbour to reach an outcome that you’re both satisfied with. You should be able to find a mediation service in your area by searching online.
This approach isn’t guaranteed to work, but many people find it to be effective. It’s less combative than legal action, not to mention cheaper.
If they’re a tenant, get in touch with their landlord
If the neighbour you’re having trouble with is a tenant, you also have the option of contacting their landlord. If you know who the individual or organisation who owns the property is and you’re able to get their contact details, you can explain your grievance and ask them to step in to help. You may find they’re willing to talk to their tenants to try to resolve the problem.
Bear in mind that private landlords can require their tenants to leave their properties if they’ve been a nuisance to their neighbours, so they’re in a good position to put pressure on them to change their ways.
Contact the authorities
If you think your neighbour is breaching pollution or public health laws, you can contact the environmental health department of your local council. They may send an environmental health officer to try to resolve the issue informally and, if this fails, they can serve a notice. Meanwhile, if you believe your neighbour’s breached planning laws, it’s worth contacting your local planning department to ask them to start an investigation.
If you think your neighbour’s committed a criminal offence, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the police.
Consider legal action
If the above options don’t work or aren’t available to you, you might want to consider taking legal action. Often, a letter from a solicitor’s enough to persuade people to rethink their behaviour. If it doesn’t though and you end up taking your neighbour to court, you might face significant costs –
and you’re likely to do permanent damage to your relationship with them. This means you should think carefully before you pursue this course.
Hopefully you’ll be able to resolve your disagreement quickly and things will get back to normal. If you can’t settle your differences though and it’s causing you ongoing stress and upset, you might find that the only sustainable solution is to move.
This post has been written for Serenity You