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The Most Common Neighbourhood Disputes

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 16 Feb 2021 | comments*Discuss
Neighbour Dispute Property Boundary

If you’re having issues with your neighbours, it be comforting to know that you’re far from alone! According to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), neighbourhood disputes are a very common occurrence, so there is a wealth of experience available for people who are affected by some of the issues that frequently crop up.

Noisy Neighbours

The most common issue that causes tension between neighbours seems to be noise. We all have a bit of a moan when the next door neighbour decides to start a big DIY project early on a Sunday, or their party keeps us awake, but when the problem is more than an occasional minor annoyance and can be defined as Noise Pollution, you might find yourself having to take action.

Asking them to keep the noise down is probably the best first step, but if they won’t, consider contacting the neighbour’s landlord if the property is rented, or Keep A Diary if the problem persists. The police and local authorities also have certain powers to deal with noise problems.

Boundary Disputes

Many a court case has arisen over a Boundary Dispute, and unsurprisingly they are also a popular reason for complaint about the neighbours. The first thing that you need to do if you can’t reach agreement with a neighbour over who is responsible for a boundary is check the property title deeds. If they aren’t easily defined, then you’ll have to speak to an expert in boundary disputes. The CAB may be able to help or point you in the right direction.

Fences And Hedges often cause arguments between neighbours. If there’s a disagreement as to who is responsible for repairing a fence, again the deeds should help. There may be a stipulation that they are responsible for any repairs, although that’s not always the case. Strangely, unless the deeds say that they are responsible for repairs, they don’t have to do anything if the fence (or barrier) is damaged – unless it causes damage to your property, in which case they must sort it out or be prepared to pay for the damage.

Similarly, if your neighbour has the responsibility for a fence, they can do as they wish with that fence, even if you don’t like it. The only stipulations are that any fence or barrier must be safe.

Keeping Shared Facilities Maintained

Arguments can arise over who looks after shared facilities, or garden areas, especially in flats. Check the deeds if you own the property as these are usually well defined, especially in the case of flats.

If you can’t come to an agreement on whose responsibility it is, in some cases the local authority environmental health officer (EHO) can settle it for you. They might be able to order someone to clean up a communal area, keep the garden tidy, or carry our repairs within a certain time. If a garden is actually a bit of a health hazard, definitely speak to the EHO. They could arrange help for an elderly neighbour who can't manage, for example.

Trees and Gardens

If a neighbour doesn’t take care of their garden or property and it impacts on yours, causing you damage or even an accident, they may be liable for damages. If your neighbour owns a tree it’s their responsibility to make sure it doesn’t damage your property. This includes letting roots grow under your property, or causing an obstacle.

Disputes over blocking out light can be very expensive to take to court, and you have no legal right to cut the trees down – so this kind of dispute is best dealt with sensitively, if possible. If you really can’t reach an agreement, you may have to involve solicitors but it’s always best to try to resolve this type of dispute amicably! If a neighbour’s hedge blocks your light, you can prune it back but you can’t reduce its height. Some hedgerows are legally protected, so again, always try to resolve the problem amicably.

Problems with Local Children

There’s not much you can do if the local kids are noisy – that’s just kids for you. However, if they cause damage to your property, the best thing to do is have a word with their parents, and ask if they will pay the cost of repairs to your property. Legally, they aren’t liable for the damage unless they were ‘negligent’, but in most cases they will be mortified that their little darling has broken your window (or whatever damage they’ve caused) and will stump up for repairs even if they are less than happy about it.

If the neighbour’s children insist on trespassing in your garden, again try speaking to their parents first. If this doesn’t work, and especially if the kids are taking things or damaging your property, you could warn then that you’ll call the police if their parents don’t control them.

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I have lived on a cul de sac for 11 years. About 3 years ago a neighbour moved into a house opposite. They started dealing drugs, drinking and having all their weird mates come round. In some of the houses there are children and elderly people. Sure they don’t want to see that! When they come round they always park their cars in front of our driveway, preventing us from leaving. We then put up a sign telling them not to block the drive but they just ignore it. They have now destroyed it (5/1/21) Police have been told multiple times and been round but nothing was done. They don’t care about anyone else exceptthemselves and their drugs.
Dellboy - 6-Jan-21 @ 10:58 AM
My neighbour, who at a point in his life decided to buy a mid terrace town house which puts him in proximity to others does not like other people, especially children. He has complained about our toddler looking at him through a hole in the fence and shouted at us on bonfire night for having a small fire and some fireworks finished by 8pm. His interactions range from plain awkward to facetious, sardonic spiced with classics like referring to my little boy as 'it' andleaving me to make amateurish attempts at diagnosing his mental health while barely containing my rage.He seems to be universally disliked on our street so at least i can be fairly sure it's not me. I've so far avoided spifflicating him only because he's the sort that would be straight off to the bill if you did so much as look at him. Until we accrue enough wealth to find a property surrounded by dense woodland for 500 metres in all directions i have resigned myself to marvelling at how his body can support such a huge spherical head with bulging eyes and how someone with such social ineptness can exist on such a densely populated island as ours. We're all in this together folks, Jean Paul Satre had it right- hell is indeed other people. Especially when you share a fence. Try not to kill anyone, move house until you find neighbours who aren't ar****les.
Neal - 30-Dec-20 @ 12:00 AM
People get addicted to making noise constantly and can never lead a normal life watching tv and taking kids skiing swinming hiking to summr places they spend all their time outside in a tiny garden even if they have resources if someone tells them that someone is bothered by kids noises. That is human psychology. Not a single person who isnt stuck making noises and being as close to my home as possiblr and yelling and screaming like devils, being loud on purpose, banging car Doors etc. They are like drug addicts and an Organised crime gang who is training someone telling to move. Although they have sth in common :. They never wanted to leave their home town/area. If that tells you sth. A sadist couple started this lunatoc house. He is like manson, has a family now who gets people manipulated. If i leave they are quiet, inside, normal, but when my family around they are outside. I walk and walk other neighbouhoods, nobody hangs around their homebecause we are a land of Woods and forests, they take their kids to places doing sport go walking but these just hang around here everry Day and try to be loud they think it is their right. Humans.
Not fun - 24-Dec-20 @ 4:57 AM
I live in a ground floor flat in a 4 in a block, there has been ongoing problems with the neighbours who have been throwing cigarette butts and rubbish off there balcony onto my front door patio area which they have watched me clean up for the last 2 years, they have have now started spitting from the balcony onto my property. We share a bin recess and they are constantly dumping their rubbish bags in the bin recess and have resorted to using my bins as theres are full and contaminated as they dont take out there bins or recycle properly. I was taking there bins out for the them for a while to stop the situation escalating, also my bedroom is close to the recess so the smells and the animals bugs etc were getting into my bedroom. Any time they have been approached about these issues she has been very defensive and aggressive towards the person who is confronting her taking no accountability for her actions even comparing her bad behaviour to other neighbours saying it's not as bad as this neighbour or that. I believe they were fined recently due to the fly tipping and dumping of rubbish in the communal bin area which hasn't stopped them continuing, I believe this is what has now led to them spitting from the balcony onto my front doorway entrance, between the lack of respect and cornovirus my fears have heightened greater about approaching them. I am also pregnant which has now put me in a position that's very uncomfortable and making my anxiety worse as I fear catching a virus and cannot continue cleaning up their mess. Please help I dont know what else to do.
Distressed - 20-Oct-20 @ 4:44 AM
My elderlymotherhas noticedthat building work by the neighbour's hascausedrubbish andmaterials to be pushed into herfence forcingitdown andintrudingthese buildingmaterials ontoour property. When this occurred is notclear as the damagedfenceisadjacent to theshedandso the damageis hiddenfrom thehouse . howeverthe materialsarepartially onmymothersland , the fence hasbeen damaged. Istheneighbourrequiredto removehispropertyfrom mymothers garden andrepair /replacethefence? Ifhedeclines to do so,can wegetinafirm to do so andrecoup thecosts from theneighbour?
Zebedee - 17-Aug-20 @ 1:43 PM
Trying to get it out of my throat what the best thing to do
Coley - 10-Aug-20 @ 5:49 AM
Hi, my neighbour has decided to place a gardan table outside the main entrance of our flats. Unfortunately, since they did that it,s a lot more noisier than before. They sit with componey out side my bedroom windows to 12 midnight and later. We don't have a garden, so I wonder can I remove that table, so thing go back to normal.
Nick - 10-Aug-20 @ 2:40 AM
I have a neighbor across road from us it's been going on about 5 weeks now when we sit down to eat our dinner ect at our table which is in window she open blindsand starts doing handthings to us and when we walk outside the blindsare going and shoutingtrap ect at all of us she say we are looking at her but we are not what can we do plz
Jennypen - 27-May-20 @ 9:23 AM
Hi the entrance to my front door is at the side of my property there are steps leading to my door.i store my bins behind the wall here. My neighbour is storing his bins next to mine which I have asked him to remove his response it's a communal area he has a front and back garden surely he should be storing his bins in one of his gardens not mine?
Lynda poo - 8-Apr-20 @ 4:08 PM
Hi ,l live in a ground floor flat and the people who live above me smokes and drop their cigarettes butts onto my balcony I have spoken to them ,complained to the housing officer but nothing has been done to resolve this issue they even drop masonry and chewing gum does anyone have a suggestion on who I can speak to.
Cherry - 25-Feb-20 @ 8:39 AM
I live in a flat on a main road and my neighbour has placed a large general waste bin a few feet away from my front door. He disposes polystyrene containers of fresh fish which causes horrible fish odour at the entrance and outside of my flat and a lot of littering around the bin by general public as the bin is locked and not accessible by all.
sonudyer - 17-Feb-20 @ 10:15 PM
Hi my neighbour to the rear of my property has taken upon themselves to prune a tree that is on my property whilst I have not a issue with them pruning the parts overhanging the fence line they have cut large branches of the tree at the trunk 1.3 meter inside my property and in doing so have come onto my property to do so They have damaged the tree to the point that all the weight of the tree is on one side rendering the treevery possibly unstable They at no time discussed with me their intentions or obtained permission to enter the property to do so This work was also carried out during the day when they knew I would not be home and alerted by the noise of the chain saw Can you advise me on what course of action I have
Richard - 25-Jan-20 @ 12:49 AM
I'm dealing with two of my neighbors billing me and my husband and my mom and sister and saying that I want this woman's husband and I'm a happily married woman to my husband almost 17 years the 31 of January and then keeping us arguing and stuff we stay to ourselves but it gets told to are other neighbors to so I'm just over it all
Hope - 4-Jan-20 @ 3:39 PM
My neighbour plays insanely loud music from around 11am until around 6 PM. When I say loud I mean club level loud and I spend my days at home wearing headphones but they drown out very little. This has been going on for 6 months daily and I've been in regular contact with my local council (enfield). I've logged three weeks worth as requested and 2 letters have now been sent to them but they've replied saying they dont make a sound. Theres no environmental officer who comes out unless its 11pm til 7am on the weekends so I've been told that's the end of it and I along with all my neighbours must suffer. What's my next step is any? Thank you
Distressed - 9-Dec-19 @ 3:00 PM
Hi we buy property 1 yr ago our neighbour is old asian lady she refuse put fancing on in her garden n close boundry but we want to close our boundry we dont want her interferance in our area at all .so finaly i m making my garden fancing by myselfe and m closing my area but still she is having issue plz dont close ur area n all we dont want her interfearence in any thing she said yes now she is creating problem in everything what to do ...
22 - 7-Jul-19 @ 10:34 PM
My neighbour is responsible for fence. Never had problem with them.This weekend they have put late in blocking gaps which isn't a problem however the nails they have used have gone through fence on my side in quite few places where they have missed fence supports and are sticking out by at least inch. I have dogs. I am within my rights to hammer them back through
Cheri - 7-May-19 @ 12:26 PM
A few weeks ago a woman knocked on my door saying she was the owner of house next to me the back deviding fence has been in a state years I've maintained its repairs. Anyway said was going to place new wooden slots in the stone frame work fine, until asked me if could come into my garden an remove my ivy climbing an bush I replied no, she said here's my number think about it, I said no again an stay out of my garden, yet. Has complete ignored me, removed all the climbing ivy an pushed my ivy tree forward cutting plenty away. damaged my tree border fencing I will need to buy a new piece and bamboo support canes. Texted me back saying contact your landlord how rude an the texts just got more absurd. What do I do now?
Emzi - 7-Apr-19 @ 8:47 PM
Please Could I Receive Advice Over a Year Neighbours Above Have Made My Life Hell Screaming Loud Music Recently a Seeking of Possession Was Ordered The Male Visitor Child's Father Come to my Home he Smashed at My door Spat and Threatened an attack on me A Injunction was Ordered He Must Stay away The Housing Claimed he Can Stay because he's Claimed He's Homeless The seeking possession Stands against the woman who's a Tenant not the Male I am Vunrble and Frightened to be Alone What could be my Next Step Landlord Agrees previous Tenant had the same an he knew of the problem although I Questioned anti Social Behaviour before signing an Agreement
Rebecca - 27-Jan-19 @ 3:41 AM
I’m having problem with noise of my neighbours. They came home every day at 10 pm and the noise are banging the doors, cooking , banging the doors again ; going outside to smoke keep conversation on the or both forum 10pm to 1 am. I have to wake up at 5am. I complained to oUr land lord as it happen to be at the same building . She said I have to leave and find another place. I talked to the couple and they don’t change . I don’t know what to do. I am constantly tired everyday.
Gina - 12-Jan-19 @ 1:46 AM
Sharred entance to garden neighbour underneath me has refused access for for the last year, now put a alarm on communual door acess to warn her of my entry
boo boo - 9-Jan-19 @ 2:17 PM
I have a boundary fence which I paid half of£350 8 years ago this summer I put up a new fence in front of the existing one as the old fence was a bit shabby looking. Because we had both paid for the old fence I respectfully left it in place .This morning my neighbour has removed the old fence without consulting me which means my new fence is now acting as the partition what rights do I have should I have had a say on whether this fence could be removed
Linda - 2-Nov-18 @ 2:49 PM
My next door neighbour smokes sitting on her front step an throws her cigarette ends still burning in to her front garden beside my living room window and my house stinks of smoke.... now noo e in my house smokes so why should i smell her 2nd hand smoke !!
Lou - 12-Oct-18 @ 5:42 PM
Hi, neighbour after 3years of hell she has now been convicted of harassment. My question is has anyone ever had chemicals being sprayed on plants, gates fencing and/or spraying paint stripper through windows, I know this sounds crazy but I am convinced crazy neighbour has now sprayed something through my window, killing a plant and now I noticing damage to property internally, paintwork and any metal surface has now rusted? If I brought my concerns to my council I am certain they would in fact believe I wasimagining it. This neighbour is well known for causing all neighbours misery throughout her life, , I know this all sounds mad but I have come to this conclusion as it is the only logical explanation as to damage. Any advice or information would be very gratefully received.
Twinks - 11-Oct-18 @ 1:41 PM
Pish - Your Question:
Hi I live in what was a fairly peaceful neighbourhood, that has now changed thanks to a group of older teens , who now arrive at back of our property most eve/ nights in their cars. Revving the engines , doing all sorts of car repairs inc paint spraying. This is in a small communeral car park which already full of neighbors cars , so they block the legitimate cars. It’s driving us all crazy , non of them even live on estate. Please what can we do , as we don’t want to approach them for fear of reprisals.

Our Response:
Talk to your local community policing team, they'll be able to go and take a look at what's going on and if necessary use their antisocial behaviour legislative powers.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-Aug-18 @ 10:35 AM
Hi I live in what was a fairly peaceful neighbourhood, that has now changed thanks to a group of older teens , who now arrive at back of our property most eve/ nights in their cars . Revving the engines , doing all sorts of car repairs inc paint spraying . This is in a small communeral car park which already full of neighbors cars , so they block the legitimate cars . It’s driving us all crazy , non of them even live on estate . Please what can we do , as we don’t want to approach them for fear of reprisals.
Pish - 31-Jul-18 @ 7:50 PM
Bobby - Your Question:
We have a sheard drive next door have a buetie business all the clients are forever blocking our driveway have talked to my neighbor many times but with no joy.What can I do it is so upsettingHave I a case to take to court.Will my neighbor need planning permission to run a business from there home.Help.

Our Response:
Planning permission is usually required to run a business from home, especially if it involves clients visiting the premises. If your neighbour has ignored your complaints, solicitor's letter might help. You could pursue it further if that did not resolve things.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Jul-18 @ 11:17 AM
We have a sheard drive next door have a buetie business all the clients are forever blocking our driveway have talked to my neighbor many times but with no joy. What can I do it is so upsetting Have I a case to take to court. Will my neighbor need planning permission to run a business from there home. Help.
Bobby - 19-Jul-18 @ 3:23 PM
Ceri - Your Question:
Hi, my neighbour has cut down part of my tree, this is no way on their side. They have reached over the fence while I was out and cut it down! While I was also out they have thrown a white liquid all over the trees, and kids play equipment which is now killing the the rest of my trees. When asked about it they just said that they were spraying green flies. my 10 years trees are now dying! They are not the friendliest of people!

Our Response:
Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about this other than suing for damages. The police may be interested because of the combination of tree damage and the intent to damage or injure property/people with the white liquid etc. Contact your local community policing team.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-May-18 @ 12:09 PM
Hi, my neighbour has cut down part of my tree, this is no way on their side. They have reached over the fence while I was out and cut it down! While I was also out they have thrown a white liquid all over the trees, and kids play equipment which is now killing the the rest of my trees. When asked about it they just said that they were spraying green flies... my 10 years trees are now dying! They are not the friendliest of people!
Ceri - 21-May-18 @ 1:30 PM
2 in a block houses both with sideways next to our door for the bins my downstairs neighbours have decorated they're sideway bit so they use the sideway I thought my bins were meant to go but they've mine on the grass at the back of the pathway. Where really should the bins be placed cause I don't think its fair that everytime I put my bins out I have to walk on muddy grass but she get to stand in her doorway to put rubbish in the bin where should the bins be placed
JSTA - 15-Mar-18 @ 4:31 PM
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