Neighbour disputes – some commonly asked questions

What can be done about noisy neighbours ? The first step that should be taken is to personally discuss the problem with your neighbours. If it is not possible to speak face-to-face with your neighbour because you feel uncomfortable, or for any other reason, you should send them a letter outlining the causes of the

Home » Disputes » Neighbour disputes – some commonly asked questions

What can be done about noisy neighbours ?

The first step that should be taken is to personally discuss the problem with your neighbours. If it is not possible to speak face-to-face with your neighbour because you feel uncomfortable, or for any other reason, you should send them a letter outlining the causes of the noise, and how you would like this problem to be addressed.

What can I do if a local business or traffic noise disturbs me?

Noise from sources such as these can be dealt with in a similar way to noisy neighbours.

If you are a household suffering from traffic or train noise get in contact with your local authority who may be able to provide you with a noise insulation grant.

When will a Noise insulation grant be awarded?

This will depend on how regularly noise happens, the times and place the noise is occurring and who the people causing the noise are.

If the local council consider the noise to be a statutory nuisance, a notice will be served on the relevant person to either end or significantly reduce the noise.

I am having problems with a neighbour’s hedge

Determining the boundaries between one neighbour’s garden and another’s is not always clear. Your first step towards resolving the issue should be to consult your neighbour personally or to write an email or letter outlining your cause for concern.

It is advisable not to trim or mutilate the hedge in any way before seeking professional advice.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbour it may be necessary to seek guidance from an independent mediator who will work towards finding a mutually beneficial solution.

If a mediator does not assist you, you may want to ask the local council for assistance.

How should I deal with a neighbour’s Overhanging trees ?

Overhanging trees which encroach onto your line are considered as trespass. You should

  • ask them to cut it back
  • if they won’t, record the position in a polite letter
  • ask the council to visit if you believe the tree is causing a danger
  • possibly ask your insurers to visit if you believe the tree roots are damaging your property
  • inform the neighbour that you will cut any overhanging branches back to the boundary line
  • be careful that the tree is not protected by a preservation order

Access to neighbouring land

  • always seek permission first and explain what you need access for
  • record everything in writing
  • if the neighbour will not co-operate, take legal advice on applying to court for a Order
  • be aware that you may need to pay fees as well as any repair costs for any works carried out on a neighbours land

Boundary disputes

  • always check property deeds
  • be aware that land Registry title documents are not always helpful, so check through all paperwork you have including any historical deeds there may be
  • possibly ask your conveyancing solicitor when you bought to retrieve your file and check the position
  • try to avoid court and document any attempts to resolve the dispute but be careful of what you say in correspondence and possibly take legal advice early

Noise nuisance

After polite attempts to resolve the situation, if you have to report the noise to the local council and the Council thinks noise is a “statutory nuisance”, they will serve an abatement notice on the neighbour to stop. This may be an Order to stop a certain kind of noise completely or reduce it or limit the noise to time periods. Failure to comply can result in fines of up to £5,000 for individuals or up to £20,000 for a business.

jamesMore advice on neighbour disputes can be found here.

Disputes • James Swede • Property law

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