Tips for dealing with neighbour disputes

Having a dispute with one of your neighbours can sometimes be inevitable. Here are some tips that will help you legally approach a possible future dispute:


Talk first

No matter what dispute you’re having, the best way to resolve them is to talk to your neighbour face-to-face. In some cases, the courts will expect you to have tried this well before it reaches them. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking directly to them, send a letter or email instead (or use a third-party).


Keep evidence

Long before you involve the council or consider legal action, make sure to compile evidence. Record audio if you believe your neighbours are a noise nuisance, take videos and photos of infringements, and keep a reliable diary of the issues you face, noting the time, date, and incident. You should also note any interactions with your neighbours and keep any correspondence. All of these will be useful should you need to take the matter further.


Consider mediation

Rather than launching straight into court proceedings, mediation may be the way to go. In some cases, a judge may order this anyway. You and your neighbour can sit down with an independent, impartial third-party to discuss the problems and the best way to resolve them. As with any contract, agreements between you both can be binding, with the courts taking this into consideration should the dispute require a ruling.


Using a solicitor

An experienced solicitor who specialises in neighbour disputes could help to resolve the issues by initially speaking to the neighbour and writing to them to let them know your grievances and suggest a way in which the dispute could be resolved.

Sometimes a simple and relatively inexpensive solicitors’ letter can solve the problem. It certainly tells your neighbour that you are taking the dispute seriously.

If your neighbour is flouting laws or regulations, your lawyer may point this out and let them know that their actions could result in legal action being taken against them. In many cases, this will lead to the

dispute being resolved as most people will not want to end up in court — particularly if they know they are flouting the law and likely to end up losing the case.


Taking a neighbour to court

If you plan to take your neighbour to court, you should seek legal advice for further guidance on whether it would be worth it and what you should do to prepare if so. Sometimes a letter from a solicitor threatening legal action may be enough to get your neighbour to resolve the problem, without you having to actually go to court.

Contact our specialist team today if you require further information on disputes with your neighbour.

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