Home > Taking Action > Hints and Tips on Dealing With Troublesome Neighbours

Hints and Tips on Dealing With Troublesome Neighbours

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 16 Jun 2018 | 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.

1. A Gentle Request

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.

2. A Letter or Note

If you feel intimidated by your neighbour, you could always try writing a letter, rather than speaking to them face to face - Here are some templates we've produced to help you. 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.

3. Mediation/Involving Other People

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.

4. Keep a Record 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.

5. Environmental Health

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.

6. 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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Ongoing problems with semi detached new neightbour.Lasytyear he used my end gutter to supplement his rear roof extension rainfall drainage.Just recently he built an ugly porch with pitched roof at front and today noticed that a down pipe inside a rain butt was ri.ght by our boudary in the middle of the 2 houses.Shortly afterwards I realised that he had sloped his new guttering instead of towards the end at the side as before, he had sloped it towards me thus directing the rain in the opposite direction than before again to make my guttering take most of is rain when we have a storm/peltdown.His guttering is small too.When his water butt overflows it will flow over to my side as I am lower than him. The poster who wondered if 20" was far enough away from neighbours fence, my NFH built a 6'long summer house on raised land towering above my 24 year-old shed and used my shed side as his fence panel. on the boundary and said my shed was too near. Unbelievable but true.
twinkletoes - 16-Jun-18 @ 5:51 PM
I had a lovely house then my mum died an i was alonesoon i met someone and we had a son not long after i was pregnant again with tripletsso when they where born we both slept on the couches, which ened up being 4 yeas , we found a house and our neighbour tells our kids off and is nasty , they have twins and they are horrible aswell i dont know what we did, but my kids are ; being affaid if playing in there own garden,
Lyn - 16-Jun-18 @ 7:03 AM
My partner and I have a mortgage on a ground floor converted flat (originally built 1950's). New tenants moved in upstairs two months ago and we immediately noticed the increased noise levels (kids jumping on the very squeaky bed or drumming on the radiator at 06:00am.) We spoke to the tenant who unfortunately didn't speak English and, as the noise levels did not decrease, we assumed it was a communication barrier and spoke to the Landlord's managing agent, asking them to explain to the tenant about the noise. Shortly afterwards, we were approached outside our front door by the tenant and a woman who claimed she didn't live in the flat but that she was his sister living in the area, she demanded, quite aggressively at first, to know why we had called the managing agent. We explained our reasons and thought they understood our concerns but the noise problem still persists today. About 2 weeks into the new tenancy, we noticed an increase of strangers walking past our bathroom window towards the entrance of their house. We are now convinced that they are housing multiple lodgers without the landlords knowledge, we have raised another complaint with the managing agency but want to know what are rights are with regards to: 1 - the shared drain and who would have to pay for any issues with regards to increased use of washing machine and utilities upstairs 2 - the constant noise affecting our ability to enjoy our home, we are both so frustrated and angry it's now affecting our mental health 3 - any loss of investment if we are forced to sell the flat early 4 - intimidation, based on their reaction to our first complaint I don't trust them to act rationally to any action we take. I am also scared to go into my garden in case I bump into their group of lodgers 5 - Would building insurance be affected if there are more tenants living upstairs than listed in the lease? Building insurance for all properties on the road are handled through the freehold's managing agent.
A.M - 30-May-18 @ 1:53 PM
Next door bought a house and rented next door to family lol at first they was ok then it started with kicking a football at my fence for hours and no one will tell them to stop then banging doors running up and down the stairs its two girls and a boy all under 10 in one room the boy always making the little one cry and she screams the kids lock them out of the house for a while and wasn't told off the kids rule that house and im so fed up wit it all I suffer from bad deprsion since the murder of my son all I want is peace and be able to sit in my garden without kids kicking the ball or screaming what make me laugh is the landlady has rented her house out to someone she meet in a park no back-ground check the amount of rent they are paying they could buy their own place or are they black listed what can I do? I had a bbq and she rang the council on me because these people have money why is a law for them and a law for me who has no money
themarj - 22-May-18 @ 11:28 AM
I have horrible names they are bullies below me in a stair they don’t talk to me in the stair I just walk pass them there always coughing really loudly even at night time when you’re trying to sleep they both cough at the same time he talks really loud so you can hear him they both smoke in the stair it comes right up into the house I’m a non smoker and I hate itmy daughter has had to move bedrooms cause they wake her up coughing really loudly there just really horrible I have never had neibours like this in my life I have always had really nice neibours before I have my name on the council list hoping for some where else to move too
N/a - 7-May-18 @ 5:51 PM
Emsi - Your Question:
Hello I don't know what to do about my neighbours she has been living there a couple of years now and it's been hell she has to young kids that she leaves crying constantly and I never get any sleep then get woke up early hours by crying babies and her slamming and banging about playing music while her babies cry in the background it's just constant noise and it's got worse since we got into a argument about the constant noise and she just gave me a load of abuse and excuses she told me to get used to it screamed and shouted at me got in my face with threatening behaviour there is just no reasoning with her and now she intimates me all the time gives me funny looks and her family and friends join in to it's been going on since November 2017 which is when we had words and she still isn't looking after her kids and she just slammes around her house all the time and I know she's doing it on purpose because it was never this bad before I spoke to her about it I don't know what to do I feel miserable and it's really affecting me I really want her to move she also has another child she looks after from time to time and they all just run riot running around the house all day she just let's them do what they want what shall I do ?

Our Response:
Please see our response below.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-May-18 @ 1:52 PM
Hello I don't know what to do about my neighbours she has been living there a couple of years now and it's been hell she has to young kids that she leaves crying constantly and I never get any sleep then get woke up early hours by crying babies and her slamming and banging about playing music while her babies cry in the background it's just constant noise and it's got worse since we got into a argument about the constant noise and she just gave me a load of abuse and excuses she told me to get used to it screamed and shouted at me got in my face with threatening behaviour there is just no reasoning with her and now she intimates me all the time gives me funny looks and her family and friends join in to it's been going on since November 2017 which is when we had words and she still isn't looking after her kids and she just slammes around her house all the time and I know she's doing it on purpose because it was never this bad before I spoke to her about it I don't know what to do I feel miserable and it's really affecting me I really want her to move she also has another child she looks after from time to time and they all just run riot running around the house all day she just let's them do what they want what shall I do ?
Emsi - 2-May-18 @ 8:35 PM
Emsi - Your Question:
Hello I don't know what to do about my neighbours she has been living there a couple of years now and it's been hell she has to young kids that she leaves crying constantly and I never get any sleep then get woke up early hours by crying babies and her slamming and banging about playing music while her babies cry in the background it's just constant noise and it's got worse since we got into a argument about the constant noise and she just gave me a load of abuse and excuses she told me to get used to it screamed and shouted at me got in my face with threatening behaviour there is just no reasoning with her and now she intimates me all the time gives me funny looks and her family and friends join in to it's been going on since November 2017 which is when we had words and she still isn't looking after her kids and she just slammes around her house all the time and I know she's doing it on purpose because it was never this bad before I spoke to her about it I don't know what to do I feel miserable and it's really affecting me I really want her to move she also has another child she looks after from time to time and they all just run riot running around the house all day she just let's them do what they want what shall I do ?

Our Response:
Have you tried the steps recommended in the above article? What was the outcome?
ProblemNeighbours - 2-May-18 @ 12:55 PM
Emsi - Your Question:
Hello I don't know what to do about my neighbours she has been living there a couple of years now and it's been hell she has to young kids that she leaves crying constantly and I never get any sleep then get woke up early hours by crying babies and her slamming and banging about playing music while her babies cry in the background it's just constant noise and it's got worse since we got into a argument about the constant noise and she just gave me a load of abuse and excuses she told me to get used to it screamed and shouted at me got in my face with threatening behaviour there is just no reasoning with her and now she intimates me all the time gives me funny looks and her family and friends join in to it's been going on since November 2017 which is when we had words and she still isn't looking after her kids and she just slammes around her house all the time and I know she's doing it on purpose because it was never this bad before I spoke to her about it I don't know what to do I feel miserable and it's really affecting me I really want her to move she also has another child she looks after from time to time and they all just run riot running around the house all day she just let's them do what they want what shall I do ?

Our Response:
If the noise becomes really bad and is often at unsociable times, you could try contacting your environmental health department for advice. If you're concerned about the children's welfare, you could try social services.
ProblemNeighbours - 1-May-18 @ 11:19 AM
Hello I don't know what to do about my neighbours she has been living there a couple of years now and it's been hell she has to young kids that she leaves crying constantly and I never get any sleep then get woke up early hours by crying babies and her slamming and banging about playing music while her babies cry in the background it's just constant noise and it's got worse since we got into a argument about the constant noise and she just gave me a load of abuse and excuses she told me to get used to it screamed and shouted at me got in my face with threatening behaviour there is just no reasoning with her and now she intimates me all the time gives me funny looks and her family and friends join in to it's been going on since November 2017 which is when we had words and she still isn't looking after her kids and she just slammes around her house all the time and I know she's doing it on purpose because it was never this bad before I spoke to her about it I don't know what to do I feel miserable and it's really affecting me I really want her to move she also has another child she looks after from time to time and they all just run riot running around the house all day she just let's them do what they want what shall I do ?
Emsi - 30-Apr-18 @ 11:35 AM
Hello I don't know what to do about my neighbours she has been living there a couple of years now and it's been hell she has to young kids that she leaves crying constantly and I never get any sleep then get woke up early hours by crying babies and her slamming and banging about playing music while her babies cry in the background it's just constant noise and it's got worse since we got into a argument about the constant noise and she just gave me a load of abuse and excuses she told me to get used to it screamed and shouted at me got in my face with threatening behaviour there is just no reasoning with her and now she intimates me all the time gives me funny looks and her family and friends join in to it's been going on since November 2017 which is when we had words and she still isn't looking after her kids and she just slammes around her house all the time and I know she's doing it on purpose because it was never this bad before I spoke to her about it I don't know what to do I feel miserable and it's really affecting me I really want her to move she also has another child she looks after from time to time and they all just run riot running around the house all day she just let's them do what they want what shall I do ?
Emsi - 29-Apr-18 @ 4:26 PM
Hello I don't know what to do about my neighbours she has been living there a couple of years now and it's been hell she has to young kids that she leaves crying constantly and I never get any sleep then get woke up early hours by crying babies and her slamming and banging about playing music while her babies cry in the background it's just constant noise and it's got worse since we got into a argument about the constant noise and she just gave me a load of abuse and excuses she told me to get used to it screamed and shouted at me got in my face with threatening behaviour there is just no reasoning with her and now she intimates me all the time gives me funny looks and her family and friends join in to it's been going on since November 2017 which is when we had words and she still isn't looking after her kids and she just slammes around her house all the time and I know she's doing it on purpose because it was never this bad before I spoke to her about it I don't know what to do I feel miserable and it's really affecting me I really want her to move she also has another child she looks after from time to time and they all just run riot running around the house all day she just let's them do what they want what shall I do ?
Emsi - 29-Apr-18 @ 3:27 PM
The problem with my neighbour may seem trivial compared to some but it is making me ill. To start with we got on well and used to chat when in the garden. However, over the last couple of years she has become incredibly over familiar to the point that I have no privacy. She has a drink problem and drinks to excess at least once a week, coming home shouting and playing music, sometimes till 4am or later. She has often sat outside her front door until 7am drinking. Until last year there was no fence between our gardens (it is her boundary) and she would regularly come into the garden uninvited, open the back door and call to us uninvited and on a couple of occassions come into the house when no one was there. Every time I went outside she would be there, often drunk, often obnoxious not just to me but to my step sons. No matter what I said or did, she wouldn't get the hint and leave me alone, even when we would tell her directly to go home. It was so bad that I wouldn't go in my own garden for fear of her being there. In the end we insisted that a fence was put up, which her partner at the time did. However, last summer, a week or so after the fence was put up, she cut a window sized hole in it so that, in her words, she could talk to me. Now every time I go in the garden her head pokes through the hole and she starts. I have absolutely no privacy in my own garden. Today we put up a small shed in the place where the hole is, so she can't see through. I could hear her muttering about it in the garden and now I'm terrified she's going to take the fence down or cut another hole in it. She knows I suffer from anxiety and depression so why won't she leave me alone?
Fiona - 19-Apr-18 @ 1:29 AM
My husband 77years old, he is serverely disable. He have regular appointment with 3 hospitals, Kings , St Thomas,Guys Hostal. Most time he uses patient transport but sometimes he dive himself to the hospital. To get to the point , most of time we are blocked in by the neighbors cars. Unfortunately the situation getting worse by the day (morning and afternoon). The argument has got to a stage I am beginning to fear the worst. We don’t know what to do now, we need some advise. Thank you Mrs Marisa Maneeniam
Marisa - 28-Mar-18 @ 1:54 PM
Hi, My neighbour has initiated workmen to erect a 7 foot fence beyond the boundary wall between our houses. We do not want this and feel like she is boxing us in. What can we do? Thanks Leanne
CT7 - 12-Mar-18 @ 8:45 PM
Neighbour switches washing machine on and off to permanent spin every night until early hours of the morning She tells the council, she is home all day, there's no need to do washing in the evenings It's getting on my nerves and my partner's he does shift work, he has heard the machine 5 am when he's been getting ready for work Her and her son who lives with her bang the doors she says she has to hang them to shut them She doesn't do any maintenance to her property She had big hole in her fence, there was no privacy Her fence is none existing I put a fence up on my side She's got this over grown hedgeing, it grows over my border I then put a three for trellis on top her hedging is growing brought the trellis her hedgeing split my new fence panel, I went through my house insurance to claim against her. She ignores letters, she makes up a load of lies went to a solicitor told him I smeared dog excrement on her garage, I threw eggs in her garden, the solicitor bought her story this was her way of getting out of paying for my new fence panel that her hedging damaged Years ago she called the police and said my husband follows her my husband had broken pelvis and ankles he was on crutches, couldn't walk For three years we use to pay out for a professional gardener to trim her hedging back to her border, she told her solicitor she was happy for us to do that What neighbour cuts your hedging three times a year to get accused of smearing dog excrement on their garage throwing eggs , We don't cut her urge now after all what she has said It looks a sight I keep my garden nice , hers is like a tip She don't put rubbish out for collection It's stored down the side of her property when she feels like it she takes it to he dump If I could pick up my house and move it I would go tomorrow I've never lived next door to a neighbour like it who don't do maintenance, don't do gardening don't put rubbish out She is a neighbour from Hell
Not got one - 18-Jan-18 @ 9:42 PM
My neighbors is a hot head a few weeks ago I had a leak in my hall which leads to there ceiling I didn’t know about he went mad asking me if I knew about obviously I didn’t he was drunk asked if I reported which I did he didn’t believe me he started on my teenage daughter shouting at her she was scared so I got the police now every time the tv is on he talks loud they bang doors etc he thinks he’s it they have a daughter too that doesn’t live with themshe used to live with them but doesn’t now I just don’t know what to do
Wenders - 15-Dec-17 @ 8:30 PM
Tiko102 - Your Question:
We have had issues with my neighbour to the point he has attacked me twice in front of our children, we took him to court gained compensation and a two year restraining order, he has now started banging on the walls throwing things at the wall slamming doors early hours of the morning is this classed as intimidation thanks

Our Response:
Make another complaint (to the police), you may need to go back to the courts with this one unfortunately.
ProblemNeighbours - 21-Nov-17 @ 10:41 AM
We have had issues with my neighbour to the point he has attacked me twice in front of our children, we took him to court gained compensation and a two year restraining order, he has now started banging on the walls throwing things at the wall slamming doors early hours of the morning is this classed as intimidation thanks
Tiko102 - 20-Nov-17 @ 9:07 AM
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
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