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Hints and Tips on Dealing With Troublesome Neighbours

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 23 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Neighbour Dispute Problem Council

We all hope that our neighbours are going to be friendly and reasonable, but unfortunately some people just aren’t easy to get along with. While being tolerant is the key, there can be a point where tolerance is no longer an option and you really have to start dealing with any problems you’re having.

First Steps in Neighbour Disputes

Neighbourhood Disputes Are Common and it is always advisable to try the softly, softly approach first, instead of going in all guns blazing. Don’t approach a problem when you’ve had no sleep due to yours neighbours partying, or you’ve just found beer bottles thrown over your fence into your back garden.

Ask the offending neighbour if you can have a quiet word with them, and try to stay friendly. They may not have realised that you could hear so much, or that unruly children have been making a pest of themselves. Give them the benefit of the doubt and see if you can resolve any niggling issues without any bad feeling.

If you feel intimidated by your neighbour, you could always try writing a letter, rather than speaking to them face to face. Of course, some bad neighbours just don’t care what they do, and in this case you probably don’t want to inflame the situation, so you might want to try another tactic to deal with the problems. Don’t suffer in silence – there are avenues to go down for help.

Involving Other People in the Dispute

Because problem neighbours are sadly a fact of life in many towns, there are dedicated Neighbour Conciliation and Mediation services now on offer, which aim to try to Mediate Between Neighbours who can’t reach an amicable solution to their issues.

You should be able to find your local service through your local council website or helpline.

Keeping Notes of Everything

Once things have escalated to the point where you can’t resolve a dispute amicably, you need to start keeping evidence of why the neighbour’s behaviour is bad enough to warrant further action or mediation.

Make a note of every incident that bothers you – noise, mess, anti-social behaviour, and anything you think that should be included. Photographs, video, anything that proves your case will be useful – but be careful taking pictures of people as this could inflame the situation if you’re caught! If you write any letters, keep copies.

What to Do Next

Your first port of call is to Contact The Environmental Health Department of your local council. They will have policies and procedures in place to help you deal with problem neighbours, so ask what they are and whether you can see them.

You need to ask them if they will get involved on your behalf, and what you need to do to start action – all councils have slightly different ways of approaching the issue but they will all have some guidelines.

Legal Help with Problem Neighbours

Some house insurance policies include free legal advice services. so check your own policies to see whether you have access to any of these. They might be able to give you some good advice on the next steps if council intervention is getting you nowhere.

It might also be worthwhile trying to get a fixed fee legal appointment with a local solicitor, to see if they can help you by writing a letter to your neighbour. This is a last resort though – legal letters do have a way of inflaming already tense situations. Don’t start legal action unless you really have exhausted all other options.

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[Add a Comment]
del - Your Question:
Next door as complianed that my shed is to close to there fence and making it damp my shed is 20inches from there fence is this distance ok

Our Response:
You should check you title deeds to confimr that nothing prevents this but generally, as long as the shed is on your side of the boundary, the neighbour cannot object about its distance from the fence. Note that planning rules state that outbuildings must have a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres if they are to be sited within two metres of a boundary.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Sep-17 @ 2:54 PM
next door as complianed that my shed is to close to there fence and making it damp my shed is 20inches from there fence is this distance ok
del - 23-Sep-17 @ 7:49 AM
In location Richmond Hill Ontario
Dark213 - 30-Apr-17 @ 5:04 PM
Without getting charge mischief or other offrnce.with mental health issues going and I kinda think the police see more neibour and of course I know they just trying resolve issues.Is only stopping but mostly at night and even and sometimes or mostly middle or part. They make more fights with us not in the house and how deal with this issue. Either I tried to call a lawyer in case and they started with another compliance and may lead to more likely lies.I have case worker to consult or lawyer about it too.
Dark213 - 30-Apr-17 @ 4:51 PM
I had issues with other side neibour tries to install some tracking device to make more disbiance and how properly report it. With getting charge with mischief or other on thinking to use the concern as their family on useless daily base. Act very aggorgant and never. Just now on family and we all decided sell the house. How deal with noise and overly compliance unreaso and without accused of offence.
Dark213 - 30-Apr-17 @ 4:44 PM
Holland - Your Question:
I have a garden, which is etched in red provided with my plans, have spent quite a bit of money, new fencing, pebbled area. A neighbor always her daughter to run over, throwing pebbles everywhere, she also stood on a table I have outside and broke the leg off, this should have been replaced by them, have spoken to mother and all I got was abuse. I am much, much older than her, also own my house and she rents, wonder what I can do?

Our Response:
If a polite word has not been successful, all you can consider next is to take legal action in relation to the criminal damage, or to fence your garden more securely to stop her getting in.
ProblemNeighbours - 26-Apr-17 @ 1:54 PM
I have a garden, which is etched in red provided with my plans, have spent quite a bit of money, new fencing, pebbled area.A neighbor always her daughter to run over, throwing pebbles everywhere, she also stood on a table I have outside and broke the leg off, this should have been replaced by them, have spoken to mother and all I got was abuse.I am much, much older than her, also own my house and she rents, wonder what I can do?
Holland - 25-Apr-17 @ 12:11 PM
Kel - Your Question:
Hi there,really need some good advice.I have 3 children with special needs and sometimes they tend to have the occasional meltdown which can involve slot of shouting and banging. They can not help this and I always try my hardest to calm them down. When my children are going through these meltdown's the neighbours are banging and shouting and swearing through the wall which makes the situation even worst as it makes my kids more anxious. They have been complaining for about 5 years now and the stress from this has resulted in myself and my kids trying to find a new home and has also resulted in my taking antidepressants. The housing association suggested mediation between myself and them but they were unwilling to participate.My three kids all have autism and high anxiety problems. My youngest daughter has an obsession with footballs as they calm her down. But for the past few week my daughter has accidentally thrown balls over my neighbours fence and the neighbours never returned them. Was in the garden today and my daughter is crying her eyes out because she saw the neighbours playing with all her balls. The neighbours could hear her crying but just started laughing at her. This made me so angry and the protective mother inside me came out and I shouted and swore at them. I really do not no what to do anymore. Advice would be great.

Our Response:
Unfortunately if they are unwilling to agree to mediation, there's no a lot you can do. Do you have any help with your own children in terms of trying to keep them calm and avoiding the melt downs? If you neighbours are Housing Association tenants too, we think the HA should be able to take more action than they've done so far.
ProblemNeighbours - 11-Apr-17 @ 9:54 AM
Hi there,really need some good advice.I have 3 children with special needs and sometimes they tend to have the occasional meltdown which can involve slot of shouting and banging. They can not help this and i always try my hardest to calm them down. When my children are going through these meltdown's the neighbours are banging and shouting and swearing through the wall which makes the situation even worst as it makes my kids more anxious. They have been complaining for about 5 years now and the stress from this has resulted in myself and my kids trying to find a new home and has also resulted in my taking antidepressants. The housing association suggested mediation between myself and them but they were unwilling to participate.My three kids all have autism and high anxiety problems. My youngest daughter has an obsession with footballs as they calm her down. But for the past few week my daughter has accidentally thrown balls over my neighbours fence and the neighbours never returned them. Was in the garden today and my daughter is crying her eyes out because she saw the neighbours playing with all her balls. The neighbours could hear her crying but just started laughing at her. This made me so angry and the protective mother inside me came out and i shouted and swore at them. I really do not no what to do anymore. Advice would be great.
Kel - 9-Apr-17 @ 2:03 AM
I live my own home situated in Counsil area between 2 counsil houses neywboors some are very nose My next doors neywboors have 3 Madbacking dogs and 9 kids simple Hell peoplo very jealous everyday after 8 pm kids starting kick the walls make loud noise till 11 pm I'm a owner will move because there are very ignorants I'm not want my girl in dangerous !
Tininha - 25-Feb-17 @ 8:46 AM
Wendal - Your Question:
Question we live in a converted house and downstairs there's a girl who doesn't work and is always smoking weed our flat stinks of it and is giving us headaches and sore throats when we walk in our front door it hits us it's so bad some days we have to go out we work long hours all week and we are up now on a Saturday at 6 as their smoking it and talking loud we have tried the agency but nothing done we need help what can we do

Our Response:
Please try your environmental health department if your landlord/letting agent is refusing to take action.
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Feb-17 @ 12:39 PM
Wow, what a platform for racist views (Lily).. Disrespectful behaviour isn't culture-specific and totally get the frustration, but unnecessary for instructions to "go back" anywhere. If anyone should go back, it's the bigots exhibit ignorance and blame others - they need to go back under the rock they came from!! We live next door to a person who screams at her kids all the time using bad language, and a nosy busybody who sends passive-aggressiveness notes through the door following her nosy ear-wigging about work we MIGHT want to do on our house. The nosy one slams doors, has loud parties until the early hours, parks 5 cars when she only has space for 1, does DIY on a Sunday evening (??!) and then has the nerve to express her "disappontment" when we say anything about it - bringing up historic work on our house years ..... Emotionally dishonest, disrespectful people who want to control and bully others because they think they run the street...!
Dr Jay - 20-Feb-17 @ 8:25 AM
Questionwe live in a converted house and downstairs there's a girl who doesn't work and is always smoking weed our flat stinks of it and is giving us headaches and sore throats when we walk in our front door it hits usit's so bad some days we have to go out we work long hours all week and we are up now on a Saturday at 6 as theirsmoking it and talking loud we have tried the agency but nothing done we need help what can we do
Wendal - 18-Feb-17 @ 6:25 AM
Response to Intimidated. I'm guessing your neighbors are Asian Indian?I completely understand where you're coming from. I am a single woman living alone too.My Asian Indian neighbors are from Hell. Prying into my life, intimidating and stressing me out with the constant fee stomping, banging on my walls, and slamming the front door ever so often till late at night. The children don't sleep till midnight every night, so they're constantly jumping violently, kicking the walls.The parents don't bother teaching them to show respect to their neighbors. The wife keeps competing with me in dressing and hairstyle.So much so, that she's turning into my clone. Even got the same car brand and model as me. The husband talks down to me whenever he catches me outside my rented town home, and is always trying to make me feel like he/they are far better off than memonetarily, and any other way he can think of. So you can see now, what Envious people they are. I am so tired and disgusted of them. Go back to India !!
Lily - 9-Feb-17 @ 3:15 AM
My neighbour is an old lady and often if not everyday she has her grandchildren to visit, they are two girls and two boys ranging from maybe ten to twelve and they're the worst kids I've met. They scream,they climb over the door instead of opening it which makes a lot of noise, the girls shout sexual comments at random guys on the street which is very disrespectful and dangerous. The other day my mom asked them nicely if they could keep it down and they started shouting horrible insults at her, my protective instinct kicked in and i might have insulted them back, and i really regret that cause they're kids, but they're awful. Their mother treats them like crap and also she has another baby and one time the baby hit himself with something and the mother told him to stop being retarded and shut up, i said to her that if she was going to be a bad mother, I'd appreciate she do that in a place where i couldn't hear her and she insulted me and threatened to be physically violent to me. I need help as I'm a very impulsive and unstable person and might act accordingly
Hate - 18-Jan-17 @ 5:04 PM
Hi, I have a problem with my downstairs neighbours who complains too much..we have just moved in a maisonette above theirs. On the first day we moved in, we noticed they have moved our bins and taken our spot from where the former owners of our house usually kept them. Then a week ago we had a very rude visit from them because I turned on the hoover at 9:30pm, admittedly I may be at fault with that but has started throwing accusations that we run our washing machine at all hours and every night, which was totally untrue as I only do my washing in the morning.. then last night we were watching tv which was turned to the lowest possible volume, we even have subtitles on because some words can't be heard properly when we heard them thumping on their ceiling which was our floor. That was only 10:30 in the evening. I don't know what to do anymore these past few days we have been trying to live as quietly as possible and with a toddler at that. But there's no pleasing them. I feel intimidated it's causing me a lot of stress.. it feels like we're not allowed to live a normal life. I need help dealing with bullying neighbours. Please advice me on what to do
Stressed mum - 14-Jan-17 @ 1:03 PM
Hi, I have a problem with my downstairs neighbours who complains too much..we have just moved in a maisonette above theirs. On the first day we moved in, we noticed they have moved our bins and taken our spot from where the former owners of our house usually kept them. Then a week ago we had a very rude visit from them because I turned on the hoover at 9:30pm, admittedly I may be at fault with that but has started throwing accusations that we run our washing machine at all hours and every night, which was totally untrue as I only do my washing in the morning.. then last night we were watching tv which was turned to the lowest possible volume, we even have subtitles on because some words can't be heard properly when we heard them thumping on their ceiling which was our floor. That was only 10:30 in the evening. I don't know what to do anymore these past few days we have been trying to live as quietly as possible and with a toddler at that. But there's no pleasing them. I feel intimidated it's causing me a lot of stress.. it feels like we're not allowed to live a normal life. I need help dealing with bullying neighbours. Please advice me on what to do
Stressed mum - 14-Jan-17 @ 11:47 AM
I Have a neighbor who doesn't at all allow us to do anything on the side of my house which is facing towards the neighbors house and she keeps on throwing her wastes and dirty water on my house
Babu - 30-Dec-16 @ 2:25 AM
Lucy - Your Question:
For years my neighbours & I were friendly but they have five cats living outdoors who kill all the birds in my garden. I've not complained about the damage to plants over the years, peeing right by my doors so I had to buy stones, doing their business in my flower beds or that one cat injured my dog's eye and it cost me nearly a thousand pounds to treat. I couldn't rest for fear the cats would kill again, I got to a point where the distress caused by the cats continually slaughtering on my property and my having to look after injured birds made me angry enough to ask them to try and keep their pets in at dawn and dusk so I could get some peace. I tried this nicely, explaining I love animals but told them the dead birds were theirs to dispose of not mine. They swore at me, told me I was mad (among other things) and pushed me off their doorstep after all the years of being neighbourly. Recently I got fed up as two bird corpses came over the fence so I gave them back. The neighbours came over to my property and began an abusive, rude rant that escalated into my being grabbed around the throat, pushed around, kicked and hit on the chin. They were scary women and totally rude.They are tenants on the property. Do I have any recourse to complain to someone about the physical, if not vocal, abuse? I am concerned for myself and my own pets. I should note I have two indoor cats who do not enter their property. Thank you

Our Response:
You should complain to the police about the assault obviously. It's worth having a word with their landlord about the other issues. Try some cat deterrents to keep the cats out of your garden.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Nov-16 @ 10:11 AM
i can empathise with each and every one of you having been through it myself unless you have lived through the hell i dont think you can quite understand how anxious and depressed and even suicidal it can make you. the neighbour above me would play loud rap music sometimes up to 12 hours a day my walls would vibrate if he wasnt doing that it was loud computer games that sounded like thunder in my flat then he would have friends roud at midnight shouting then he would put the washing machine on spin at 3am as well as putting food and even human excrement on my doormat and shouting abuse at me in the street. i had another neighbour stalking me who would ring the buzer and tap and glair in my door at 5 minute intervals sometimes for hours at a time he would talk into my letterbox and i had to put a lock on the letterbox but that didnt stop him. i told the housing association they were not interested and environmental heathdid serve a noise abatment notice on the one upstairs but it didnt stop him and they didnt seem to want to do anything further to help me. i was scared to leave my flat and fearfull of both of them as i had the stalker creep up behind me on a number of occasions saying will i come and have a drink with him!well after 2 years of this hell i went to the police a nervous wreck they could see this although i have to say the noise problem they were not really interested in but the stalking they were. they got in touch with my housing association and i got moved within 3 months. but the housing would not have taken any notice if the police didnt tell them to move me. so all i can say is dont expect the council or housing association to take much notice of noise problems if you can get the police to take notice of you then you may have a chance. but like i say it was the neigbour that was stalking me that got me away from my sociopath neighbours. i have to add that when i went to police i had recorded this stalker knocking on my door and shouting in my letterbox if i hadnt i dont think they would have done much. unfortunatly they were not able to prosecute him as the glass in my door is frosted so they wouldnt have been able to prove it was him although they knew it was! so if you can get an video evidence to prove what is happening that will help as you cant rely on the council or housing associations to help you im afraid.
saraha - 21-Nov-16 @ 5:04 PM
For years my neighbours & I were friendly but they have five cats living outdoors who kill all the birds in my garden. I've not complained about the damage to plants over the years, peeing right by my doors so I had to buy stones, doing their business in my flower beds or that one cat injured my dog's eye and it cost me nearly a thousand pounds to treat. I couldn't rest for fear the cats would kill again, I got to a point where the distress caused by the cats continually slaughtering on my property and my having to look after injured birds made me angry enough to ask them to try and keep their pets in at dawn and dusk so I could get some peace. I tried this nicely, explaining I love animals but told them the dead birds were theirs to dispose of not mine. They swore at me, told me I was mad (among other things) and pushed me off their doorstep after all the years of being neighbourly. Recently I got fed up as two bird corpses came over the fence so I gave them back. The neighbours came over to my property and began an abusive, rude rant that escalated into my being grabbed around the throat, pushed around, kicked and hit on the chin.They were scary women and totally rude. They are tenants on the property. Do I have any recourse to complain to someone about the physical, if not vocal, abuse? I am concerned for myself and my own pets. I should note I have two indoor cats who do not enter their property. Thank you
Lucy - 21-Nov-16 @ 8:33 AM
Hi I have only been in my upstairs flat for a year this month and when i moved in it was great but since june this year i have a couple living below me and all they do is make loads of noise and bang ad slam doors all the time late at night. I think they take drugs too and i cant handle it anymore. I have phoned the police on them a couple of times but they cant do anything near can my local housing association and i don't know what to do anymore. Im not sleeping at night because of it. Help.
weekimmyxo - 11-Nov-16 @ 5:58 PM
The police around here are useless. I am sick and tired about complaining about my neighbours. I kept getting watched everwhere I go and I also have the person shouting out abuse to me. I am currently living in fear. I hardly ever go out
Ckeyte - 12-Oct-16 @ 11:06 PM
My neighbour is truly evil and its because i wouldnt be his friend he has made counter allegations against me all false now I am going to criminal courts over his lies. I am not even annoyed at him because he is just pure evil and nasty so its expected i am more saddned at the police and my housing associaiton and how stupid they are, funny i wasnt harrassing him until I reported him for things. and i am a female half his age he is a big fat 46yr old man after this experience something i do know is never contact the police for help all they do is arrest victims and they will always take the white persons side
sim - 4-Oct-16 @ 11:54 PM
Hello.I've had a Neighbour problem for years Now.A Couple that are Quite Not Right.There's A Bad Atmosphere in the Block of flats I live .Too others in the Block there So Friendly towards them and they slander Bad mouth me too them.They Hate me I know that.I don't know why No Reason .Or is it I'm kind Natured .they also spread stuff in town constantly and are horrible slander & poison.they watch and listen when I go in and out my flat .and use intimidating verbal threats etc.many a time truthfully I've wanted to retaliate but realise I'm stooping to there level.I've been to my housing association but always seemed to be thobbed off or the..you're world against mine.police have visited them 4 times .Nothing done!! So there free to Harrass more.I hate these people they cause so much misery.at the moment i m seeking a solicitor for injunction which I thinks a step in the right direction.these problems can be damaging and effect areas of you're life and become isolated .Don't take there Crap .Rise up seek the right help and evidence.jot down all incidents and hopefully .A Victory to nail people like this .Thanks :)
Deano777 - 1-Oct-16 @ 1:20 AM
Marilyn - Your Question:
Hi My neighbour has become involved with my ex husband and is intimidating me. The first thing he did was take my children twice and wouldn't let me see them. I called the police.On Sunday something was thrown at my bedroom window twice by the time I found a torch to look out I just saw his door opening and closing. Yesterday I walked outside my front door he was at my front gate on the road staring at me. There is an order for my ex husband not to intimidate me so I believe he is getting his friend to do it.

Our Response:
If you think this is the case, you should also mention this to the police.
ProblemNeighbours - 29-Sep-16 @ 11:15 AM
Hi My neighbour has become involved with my ex husband and is intimidating me. The first thing he did was take my children twice and wouldn't let me see them. I called the police. On Sunday something was thrown at my bedroom window twice by the time I found a torch to look out I just saw his door opening and closing. Yesterday I walked outside my front door he was at my front gate on the road staring at me. There is an order for my ex husband not to intimidate me so I believe he is getting his friend to do it.
Marilyn - 28-Sep-16 @ 1:12 PM
Patsy - Your Question:
We have neighbours opposite our house that make me feel intimidated. I will not open my living room blinds to clean my windows when I know they are home because they sit up in the bedroom looking down on me.I don't go out and clean my drive,because he watches me. He has gone to other neighbours in our street and told them things about my husband and me.I am at the end of my tether as this has gone on for more years than I care to remember. Please someone help me.

Our Response:
If you feel threatened by this behaviour but are not in any immediate danger, contact you local police on 101. Make sure you have some evidence of what's been said if you think he has talked about you to you neighbours. You will also have to prove that they're not simply looking out of their windows rather than just "watching you". Our article on How to Deal with A Neighbour Stalking You might also help.
ProblemNeighbours - 28-Sep-16 @ 12:27 PM
I wish to report a neighbour,who has been stamping up and down stairs loudly , shouting,intimidating and bringing back his girlfriend and her kids till early hours,which is affecting the whole block, we have all reported them more than once, can you help
Dez - 27-Sep-16 @ 8:08 PM
We have neighbours opposite our house that make me feel intimidated. I will not open my living room blinds to clean my windows when I know they are home because they sit up in the bedroom looking down on me.I don't go out and clean my drive,because he watches me. He hasgone to other neighbours in our street and told them things about my husband and me.I am at the end of my tether as this has gone on for more years than I care to remember. Please someone help me.
Patsy - 27-Sep-16 @ 3:07 PM
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