Sometimes a neighbour or nearby business might do something that causes you upset or annoyance.
This could be anything from blocking access to your property, making a noise, or allowing their lights to shine into your home.
Falling out with a neighbour can make you feel uncomfortable living in your home, can cause you distress and may make you feel intimidated if you pass them in the street.
There are many things you can do to try and resolve the problem before it gets worse and spoils your relationship with your neighbour.
Talk to your neighbour
Often, the person or business does not know that they are causing you a problem - Perhaps they don’t realise that their dog barks when they at work or their children play loud music if they go out for the evening. Have they recently moved into the property and don’t realise that the party wall is not very effective at preventing their DIY or TV from being heard in your property?
In these situations your neighbours might be grateful to hear from you first rather than a council officer and they may be able to fix the issue quickly and easily once they know about it.
If you can, try to discuss the situation in a friendly way before making a formal complaint. You could take someone with you for support but make sure that they understand their role, and leave you to take the lead in the conversation. Avoid ganging-up on your neighbour!
Guidelines for discussing the problem with your neighbour
Plan what you are going to say beforehand. Make sure you stick to the facts, explain the problem and let your neighbour know how it is affecting you. Be prepared to give some examples if asked, particularly times and dates.
Listen to what they have to say and see if you can reach a compromise you are both happy with. Be realistic about what you hope to achieve, inaudibility is not a requirement in law, it is rather a balance between the rights of members of society to carry out reasonable, personal or business activities whilst respecting the reasonable needs of others to be free from unnecessary interference.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do not to go round when you are angry
- Do not go round if you know or suspect that your neighbours have been drinking or partying heavily. They may not be in the best condition to appreciate your point of view
- Do be courteous, calm and polite, as you are far more likely to receive a courteous response yourself
- Do not use threatening language or behaviour; if this is used against you, walk away immediately
- Do not become embroiled in an argument or retaliate if threatened
- Do not go round with the sole intention of getting an apology or making them feel guilty and inadequate
- Do not use the opportunity to drag up every other past issue you have had with your neighbour.
Remember that you are trying to find a solution to a specific problem that you and your neighbours can live with, and are relying on your neighbour’s cooperation to achieve this informally.
If you don't feel comfortable talking to your neighbour in person, you could write them a letter.
The letter should explain your concern and suggest how the matter could be resolved. If the problem is affecting other residents you could look to get them all to sign it.
Make sure you keep a copy for your records. It is useful evidence that you have tried to resolve the matter on your own and provided an opportunity to your neighbour to address the problem.
Contact their landlord
If your neighbour is a tenant you could contact their landlord and ask them to help. Your neighbour may rent their home from a housing association, a private landlord, or from us.
Contact our contact centre team if your neighbour rents their home or business premises from us.
Use a mediation service
If you want to resolve the problem with your neighbour, but can't come to an agreement, you could get help from a professional mediator.
A mediator is someone that doesn’t know either you or your neighbour, and is trained to help people resolve disagreements.
Make a complaint
If you haven't been able to sort things out with your neighbour we may be able to help.
Tell us about a problem with:
- dog fouling in your neighbour's garden
- dust or smoke
- light or noise nuisance
- smells and odours from business premises
- an untidy garden or land
Environmental Protection Team
Charnwood Borough Council
Office Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm; Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm
Telephone: 01509 634636
Fax: 01509 262076
Our Community Safety Partnership can also help with problems with anti-social behaviour and harassment.
You might also be interested in speaking with Citizens Advice.
Last updated: Tue 26th July, 2022 @ 08:32