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When Mediation Can Help in Neighbour Disputes

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 5 Sep 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Mediation Neighbour Disputes Mediation

No matter how hard we may try to get a long with our neighbours, some of us will, at some point, end up having a disagreement. Most of the time, this arises out of some kind of misunderstanding or perhaps because of a rare lapse in our consideration for others. Fortunately, things soon blow over and peace and harmony return.

However, in some circumstances, the disagreement ends up escalating into a full-scale dispute which, despite the best efforts to find a compromise to suit both sides, the situation cannot be resolved.

In many cases, this may then lead to Legal Action Being Taken by one party against the other, which can prove a costly affair. Worse still, a major dispute can result in Physical Violence, intimidation or some other type of crime being committed by one or both sides which could result in court action being taken. This is where mediation can often help.

What do Mediation Services Get Involved With and How do I Find Them?

Your local council or Citizens Advice Bureau would be able to recommend mediation services close to where you live to assist with resolving disputes between you and your neighbours. The people who work there are professionals who have received proper training to deal with all manner of neighbourhood disputes. They often deal with the following issues, although this isn’t an exhaustive list:

How do They Operate?

Those who work in mediation will be completely impartial about a particular issue you may have with your neighbour. They will listen to both sides and will try to come up with some kind of mutually acceptable agreement. Most of the time mediation services will work with both sides on the matter independently but, in more serious cases, they might also ask you if it’s acceptable for them to enlist the help of the police, housing officers or environment health inspectors if the issue is a bit more complex.

Either way, they are not there to judge, adjudicate, investigate or to advise. They are simply there to facilitate a solution which ultimately both parties can agree to. They will also treat your case with full confidentiality.

What Are The Benefits?

Because as neighbours, YOU will have agreed to a resolution, you are far more likely to stick to it and not to relapse. It might not end up with you ever becoming great friends with your neighbour, although in some cases, the breakdown in communications can be restored.

However, possibly the two most important benefits of going to mediation are that, by reaching an agreement between yourselves, it prevents the need for either side taking legal action. It also stops the problem from escalating further, which could potentially end up seeing either or both sides committing a criminal offence against the other.

Therefore, if you simply cannot see a resolution to a dispute between you and your neighbour, mediation is often the best way to get the issue resolved, even if that means one or both sides having to be bold enough to make some compromises in order to achieve that.

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Mediation...don't make me laugh.The ones suffering the abuse only get walked on, they tend to be the meek and mild people. The ones who cause te trouble then find out who instigated the 'investigation' in to their behavour and it gets worse. When authorities suggest 'mediation' and you tell them there is no point as you know it doesn't work then YOU are classed as the unreasonable ones. I wouldn't be surprised if mediation is just used as authorities just can't be bothered to do their job in the first place and see it as an easy option.
Scott - 31-Aug-20 @ 7:48 PM
So when we moved into our end of terrace house we were told the neighbour next door had foot access through our side gate into her garden. We didnt question this, but had a lock put on and gave her a key as there was a few petty thefts from the gardens. Recently we've asked her granddaughter to stop abusing the right as on a Saturday night she was in and out with a friend and it passes our back door. We brought up our privacy as an issue and asked her to just be respectful. This has caused massive issues, we recieved a phone call off the neighbour telling us that she will contact the council to get the gate fully removed as its causing issues. We've tried to communicate with our neighbour but she is ignoring us now. We contacted the council and they cant remove it. We've had a look on all our records and we cant find anything about her rights of access, nothing on the land register or any other document we have in our possession. We sent her a letter explaining our view and requesting proof of her access, as well as inviting her to come over to sort it in a friendly way, but we are still being ignored. It's making me incredibly anxious, I'm not sleeping or eating and I just want this to be over. We've not blocked the access, we've not changed the locks, we've not been threatening, but we're being treated like we're the bad guys.
Nelly - 18-Aug-20 @ 9:55 PM
We have neighbours on the road behind our road whose gardens back onto ours. Their back gardens back onto ours by way of an alleyway which is on their title deeds but to which both they and us have a public right of way. 2 of those neighbours have had their gardens extended into the alleyway and 1 has been doing a complete refurb of his house. The problem is that they have dumped a whole lot of waste against the buildings on our side of the alleyway which is breaching the DPC. We have been having conversation with them for over 2 months to remove it but they keep trying to deflect the issue. So we eventually sent a formal note giving them a 14 day notice to come up with a remediation plan. They have now started working on this with us but are asking for a wet signature. We are not entering into any trust, transfers, leases etc so why should be providing what they are asking for. For us its a straight forward matter of agreeing a remediation plan on paper that bothparties are content with and then jointly sign it to show our joint commitments. Please advise, thanks
JustMe - 13-Jul-20 @ 2:58 PM
Yes hello we just moved into our place 2 in and half months ago and my boyfriend can’t work due to mental health issues so he collects disability and I was working at a small motel but since COVID there has been no buisness there so it’s a struggle for us every month already as is then we have our neighbours accusing us of all the break ins that have been going on even went as far as posting photos of the place we rent saying this is where they can find their stuff , all because a stolen item was found in the alley behind our place we live on the corner so the alley ends there and so who ever stole that item left it their because it was as far as they could take it without being seen but no we are the thief’s and we have never done anything to them we are quite keep to ourselves then last night jonny. My boyfriend was out and our neighbour shows up banging on our door at like 230 am saying he wants to talk about what goes on in here and he continued to bang on my door loudly yelling to open door and then he proceeded to come to bedroom window and accuse us of selling drugs and said the whole neighbour hood is watching and the cops are watching and that our landlord have been warned and that they are gonna be on are asses all the time until we move. We can’t even go have a smoke outside and cops show up for a suspicious activity complaint . Like we are just trying to get by in life and struggled to get the place we live in now went from living in a motel for 2 years finally got this place now we might lose it and we can’t afford a new place took us forever to get enough to get this place. It sucks
Jenna - 12-Jul-20 @ 4:16 PM
We recently noticed damp in our property wall and sought advice from our builder, who after inspecting the area believes the cause to be due to the next door neighbour's construction of his block paving patio. Part of the patio is connected to the side of our property and has been built above our blue bricks. This would have caused the damp in our property. We wish to take this matter forward and would be obliged if we could be advised how to deal with this situation.
hiflity - 11-Jul-20 @ 9:59 PM
after over a year of issues, neighbours partying till 4am, Laughing and smoking righte outside my window at night. Tourmenting me. Duping rubbish and nappies (human waste ) in my garden... After over a year of informing the police and council and trying to talk with my neighbours directly, after they said sorry, but that was only because their landlord warned them... and they wanted me to talk with them and not their landlord (big mistake) After over a year of this...helped by no official authority, I'm here, frighten in my house as a youngster (21 years) f-outside my house Who is part of a group that gave death threats to the street just a few days ago Who don't work and take drugs. Who keep me awake at night and intimidate me No help from the council, no help from my MP, all the police have done is take my records... but it seems the landlord, how called us today must have said something... as the thugs have got more aggressive... and still no official help. Unlike these thugs, i have to go out to work soon, so i can eat. I have to walk past them and hope i don't end up in A and E.. hope they don't attack me or my small dog, or do something to my property, since they will see me leaving for work. yeah, all these politicians and counsellors saying they care... well only if your someones , not if you a vulnerable adult (yes official authorities have had the documents classing me as such... they don't care) Let down By @CornwallCouncil let down by @stevedouble This is in the tourist town of Fowey,Cornwall. where they only care about the expensive houses and businesses... They let us rot! The mayor lives only 5 min from me, she has been informed twice, not even a recognition of my worries. Cllr Mrs Ruth Finlay
Snood - 7-Jul-20 @ 2:09 PM
My neighbor stole a Cancer fund jar from my house when he was on drugs crack he also used my son name to jump a train tickets so I had the trouble of having to provide proof that it wasn't my son and then he stole a parcel of me door he was seen but he ran away for a few months but he is back and trying to intimidate me now and yesterday caught him filming my cat outside then when I called the cat in he tried to get the cat to go in his house I caught him out my gate as well last night he gets his kids to bounce on the trampoline when he knows I'm in the garden moved it right by my fence also drive's his girlfriend car with kids in it and doesn't have a driver's license and when I see him he just smirking at me I'm 60years old I have mental health issues I was attacked years ago and this is not helping me I used to help them out they never had any food and he started on drugs and they become the neighborhood pains he has started to get some of the neighborhood to be his friend and just sits with them outside the house as soon as I go out side they look over to me and keep smirking
Pammy - 21-Jun-20 @ 7:52 AM
Mediation doesn't work, just makes neighbour worse. Live in the country side and a housing estate with 11 houses with poor parking. Neighbour complains we are blocking there drive and despite police looking at it and agreeing we are not blocking, police have spoken to neighbour and they wont accept what the police are saying. Also we had a Cockerel which they moaned about the noise, Cockerels are allowed in a village and are seen as a countryside noise. We have had water thrown over the hedge at the animals, we caught it on CCTV. After we said we had it on CCTV and we then we had letters through the door demanding to know what we are recording. Police spoke to the about water throwing and gave them a tame ASB warning (Anti-Social Behavior), two days later we get them making it difficult for us to park.
Pete - 12-May-20 @ 7:47 AM
I had mediator made things worse,I have loud music,banging ,crashing from her downstairs,the boyfriend is banging on ceiling the woman downstairs, said she she had mental health problems,so do l but l am not playing loud music,doing these things to her,the mediator told me it was all in my head,no it's not,there causing me problems,l told the mediator your a date of time,and would you like to to live how l am living,it s disgusting cos l have recordings on my phone of there noise but they still took her side,now l am gonna get a solicitor,cos they have made matters worse for me
Madonna - 4-Dec-19 @ 5:45 PM
Hi i went to mediation with my neighbour and came to agreement and i signed it but i made a mistake i shouldnt off sign it i drug up with meds can i do something because i am not happy thank you it say cant use my phone out side my house to talk because my neighbour family feels un comfortable thats because she talks about me
K - 18-Aug-19 @ 12:47 AM
Hi i went to mediation with my neighbour and came to agreement and i signed it but i made a mistake i shouldnt of sign it i drug up with meds can i do something because i am not happy thank you
K - 18-Aug-19 @ 12:43 AM
I have to add that they refuse mediation
Toto - 12-Mar-19 @ 12:35 PM
Hi. I am perfectly aware of the laws regarding CCTV and filming in public/private premises. However my neighbors are aware of this too and is taking advantage of this grey area and filming us via camera phone whenever we leave our home and in the garden. We are aware that filming is beneficial for gathering some sort of evidence or for your own protection but my partner and I have never been in trouble by the council or police for causing any affray etc. Unlike our neibours who have just finished a years probation for anti social behaviour. We had more than enough evidence to have them on an eviction warning from council. We believe this video recording may be payback ? Police and council have just told us to keep records and my partner has actually filmed them back filming him ! It’s a nightmare which will never stop. We just want the filming us to end! nothing else! We even put up with her appalling screaming and shouting at her kids day in day out and canabis smell! We are very tolerant and just use earplugs. It’s the filming us that’s so awful, feels like an intrusive rape of our personal space. There’s got to be a way to stop this. Any helpful advice will be helpful
Toto - 12-Mar-19 @ 12:30 PM
I am in dispute with my freeholder. We both own 50% share of the freehold of the building with joint costs. I bought my flat 2 years ago. She has livedcrhere for overv28 years. No work has been carried out to his freehold and now they have told me I am in breach of the lease for disrepair and maintenance. I have tried to sell my flat twice but cannot because of a STRUCTURAL WALL he has removed without permission and this dispute. My solicitor is not getting any response from his solicitor now that I have requested a joint surveyors report on the building for the repairs and maintenance and for the integrity of the building. She doesn't want to extend her lease. I just want to do the work rectify any damage sell and move on. She is stopping me . So what's the way out?. Mediation ?. What do they wantfrom me?.
Coke - 1-Feb-19 @ 6:46 PM
My parents are having issues with their neighbour who is becoming quite verbally abusive to both my mum and dad, it is starting to become quite out of hand and even his wife has been into their home to apologise saying that he is an aggressive person. Although, this hasnt made anything any easier. My parents were thinking of going down the file a complaint for harassment against him but are worried about this remaining on our property if they ever wish to sell and reducing value of the property. Does anyone have any advice/ information that could help with this issue? Thanks
J1992 - 8-Nov-18 @ 4:14 PM
Just reading on here, it seems people are just being people, if they are scumbags they'll always be scumbags no matter who they are, or where they live. If I had been keeping a written record of all the grief we've had here, that I was told to do by the police, I could have filled 40 volumes of harassment quite easily. When I got cctv one of the perpetrators got cctv, not a problem for me, as his cctv showed him assaulting me, he made sure the assault was not in my cameras view. Now I have 8 cameras instead of the original 4,I've also cut the hedge (screen), down, it's seemed to have solved the problem, as one thing is for sure neither he, or his wife like the thought of being on camera. Personally I would recommend cctv, as you can save the recording, much better than having to keep a written record, all the Best.
Mike - 25-Oct-18 @ 3:54 PM
I have a neighbour who through reasons known only to herself has started spreading gossip that I always moan about everything. I have only spoken to this woman once for about 5 minutes, her boyfriend lives next door to me. Now she has started telling all that he has been told to move out due to all my moaning about noise, this has got so bad that I constantly have to hear from strangers “wonder what she gets out of all her moaning. I have never moaned about anything to anyone. I am a very quiet person and keep to myself. Now this maliciousness has gone a step further she has convinced the other neighbours that I am a terrible person and not to be trusted. What do I do about all this, I am scared to go out of my own home in case someone sees me and pass comments about me, feeling depressed and tearful all the time. I cannot afford to move again so what do I do?..
Rex - 24-Oct-18 @ 8:45 PM
There is a leak from the neighbor flat above our flat which damage to our ceiling for many weeks. I tried to ask her to look for the leak and fix it. But she just ignored it and even not let my own plumber get in to check the leak and fix it. She got enforcement letter from her Housing Association to deal with the leak and she just ignored their letter as well. I tried to knock to her door to ask her whether she can let my plumber do the work and I will pay for the fix. But she did not want to even open the door for me to speak I really dont know where I can look for help for this type of neighbor
Annie - 25-Aug-18 @ 7:44 AM
hi i have neighbours attached to my house who every day was working on their banger cars..hammering welding grinding and god knows what else..i recorded them on council noise app and it has now stopped but im getting intimatated from them every time they pass my window and the man who owns the house his girlfriend is coming out and having a go at me even when im in garden with kids she pops her head over wall to start..he threatened to to slash my mum and dads car and my kids car cause i asked him at 11.40 at night if he was going to put bonfire out cause smoke was coming in my window..he then climbed on my little shed and made threats..i am a resident at my addresss but his girlfriend owns a house down the road but stays next door to mine..i just want it to stop and live in my house with my kid peacefully is there anything i can do
rhea251 - 19-Aug-18 @ 11:42 PM
Nick C - Your Question:
Hi, my dad and step mum who are both in their 70’s are being bullied by their neighbours. It started off over a right of way dispute, they fenced it off and said it was their garden and they would set the dogs on them. Since then the woman has accused my dad of violating her for stroking her dog despite my step mum being there with him. She is now accusing my dad of looking at her teenage daughter and videoing her on their CCTV camera through her bedroom window. I have been around and asked very nicely not to make such accusations anymore only to be told six times an inch from my face that he’s a dirty old F***in pervert. She then called the police and accused me of going around and threatening them for no reason. She works in a police call centre. Don’t know what to do!

Our Response:
Your neighbour sounds like she has problems of her own. It might be worth talking to a solicitor to see if there's anything that can be done about these accusations though; a mediation service could be the answer, but an injunction/slander action may be necessary.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Aug-18 @ 12:20 PM
I live on a street with no parking and for many years parking has been ok until some residents moved in who think it's there right to park directly outside there house not a problem but if any body parks outside there house the car tyres are slashed this has been reported to the police but nothing is done to make matters worse they park there car taking up at least 2 parking spots
M1keyb123 - 6-Aug-18 @ 10:22 PM
Hi, my dad and step mum who are both in their 70’s are being bullied by their neighbours. It started off over a right of way dispute, they fenced it off and said it was their garden and they would set the dogs on them. Since then the woman has accused my dad of violating her for stroking her dog despite my step mum being there with him. She is now accusing my dad of looking at her teenage daughter and videoing her on their CCTV camera through her bedroom window. I have been around and asked very nicely not to make such accusations anymore only to be told six times an inch from my face that he’s a dirty old F***in pervert. She then called the police and accused me of going around and threatening them for no reason. She works in a police call centre. Don’t know what to do!
Nick C - 5-Aug-18 @ 7:16 PM
I have livedim my property which i own for 11 years and have had a difficult time due to the adjoining house having had a very loud barking dog. When this dog died it was like heaven3 years ago.....however they then got 2 small dogs with attachment issues (there words, not mine). who if left alone bark wine and wimper the whole time while they are alone.When I see them go out I am so anxious they have left the dogs because I literaly will have no respite from the noice, it can be heard all over my house. I even taped the dogs on my ipone and everyone i play it to thought the dogs were in my house and not next door, thats how loud they are. Aside from leaving them alone and them getting distressed, when they are in and someone walks past, posts something though the door or knock on they go metal....i really can not descript how ballistic they act. This can sometime happ 10-20 times a day or night. When the owners take them for walks very early in the morning they wine and yap all the way up the road.....disturbing everyone. But noone bothers to say to them, they tell me the dogs are a nucience and cant understand how i cope living next door. We have been resonable and they appeared to care when we told them how bad they were when left alone, but have not stopped any of this from happending. I have got to the point that am shouting through the walls to shut the dogs up and more recently I have had a very verbal confrontaion where they believe I am unreasonable. (calling me a nutter and getting really personal.) I have put my house up for sale , I was adviced as I had not reported this to the council then it is not a dispute. #I am at the end of my tether and feel upset anxious and stressed all the time. I don't know which way to turn.
Lynnielou - 25-Jul-18 @ 11:33 AM
Ok - Your Question:
Hello, my mum lives on a retirement park which consists of mixed private owners and rented properties. My mums property is a rented one, which is on the “owners end” of the park. Due to its location, the owners have previously requested that the property be removed and the plot be used to site a privately owned mobile home. My mum has lived n her property for 4 months, and has since received 6 complaints from neighbours via the site manager. These have been mainly over parking, despite there being no designated parking spaces, and the fact that her cat has gone to toilet in a neighbours garden. My concerns are that my mum is being targeted due to the fact that she is a “renter” and due to her disability, they - being the neighbours - are preventing her from parking close to her property by purposely taking up those spaces, despite having their own driveway and garage. My mum has now been left in tears and under immense stress for two days as the site manager has said he needs to talk to her face to face about the complaints, she is convinced she will be evicted from the site, as it seems that the complaints have been taken as gospel without my mum being able to have her say. Any advise greatly received

Our Response:
As this a private park, we can't really advise on this, but if your mother feels she is likely to be affected badly or evicted then an organisation like Shelter may be able to help.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Jul-18 @ 3:08 PM
Hello, my mum lives on a retirement park which consists of mixed private owners and rented properties. My mums property is a rented one, which is on the “owners end” of the park. Due to its location, the owners have previously requested that the property be removed and the plot be used to site a privately owned mobile home. My mum has lived n her property for 4 months, and has since received 6 complaints from neighbours via the site manager. These have been mainly over parking, despite there being no designated parking spaces, and the fact that her cat has gone to toilet in a neighbours garden. My concerns are that my mum is being targeted due to the fact that she is a “renter” and due to her disability, they - being the neighbours - are preventing her from parking close to her property by purposely taking up those spaces, despite having their own driveway and garage. My mum has now been left in tears and under immense stress for two days as the site manager has said he needs to talk to her face to face about the complaints, she is convinced she will be evicted from the site, as it seems that the complaints have been taken as gospel without my mum being able to have her say. Any advise greatly received
Ok - 3-Jul-18 @ 8:00 PM
Hi We have neighbours who are gesturing at our CCTV cameras (which we installed as we have had damage caused in the past) in various ways , all disgusting and threatening...my wife is now feeling vulnerable as the Bloke verbally had a go at her a few weeks ago, this lead to a blow up from me over the wall in defense of my wife.They also run a livery yard business from their premises which has never ending horse banging with no attempts to quieten them down....There is history of arguing and legal action has been taken in the past to sort boundary and trespass disputes out...That is all done, but now they have caused more damage and refuse to accept the liability...Also walking down our drive without permission taking photo's and more gesturing and nasty emails...Bottom line we are sick of it and would like advice regarding our options....I have kept a massive log of events .
Daft Lad - 15-Jun-18 @ 3:58 PM
My next door neighbour has sent malicious letters to residents where I live, claiming unspeakable things about me, she checks on me when I go out,and makes abusive gestures at me in public, I live alone,and becoming increasingly concerned about her behaviour, told police and landlord, yet they don't appear to be dealing with this Where do I get help before this gets out of hand?
Solo - 5-Jun-18 @ 4:05 PM
Krery - Your Question:
I have a neighbour, who, like myself has learning difficulties. We have had an on going problem since 2004, when we first moved into a supported LIVING ENVIRONMENT, however, since we live in a private rented accommodation, I believe her harassment/bullying has turned into stalking. We tried mediation - and it didn't help. My neighbour doesn't listen, or learn - or it is fairer to say she only learns what she wants. it has been over a year since we requested mediation - which would have helped - but did not.I have been physically assaulted, verbally assaulted, racially and culturally assaulted, but the police have not been able to do anything, nor will my landlord, or my supported living environment.I have told the police, I fear that the next time, I might end up in hospital or worse, they disagree. What would you propose?

Our Response:
We're sorry but you have already tried all the avenues that we would have suggested, namely, your landlord, supported living supervisor, the police etc. What have they told you?
ProblemNeighbours - 26-Feb-18 @ 10:44 AM
I have a neighbour, who, like myself has learning difficulties. We have had an on going problem since 2004, when we first moved into a supported LIVING ENVIRONMENT,however, since we live in a private rented accommodation, I believe her harassment/bullying has turned into stalking. We tried mediation - and it didn't help. My neighbour doesn't listen, or learn - or it is fairer to say she only learns what she wants. it has been over a year since we requested mediation - which would have helped - but did not. I have been physically assaulted, verbally assaulted, racially and culturally assaulted, but the police have not been able to do anything, nor will my landlord, or my supported living environment. I have told the police, I fear that the next time, I might end up in hospital or worse, they disagree. What would you propose?
Krery - 22-Feb-18 @ 1:46 PM
Your Rights Under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 Is a joke!!! Keeping this very short, I have dates and times etc. I have been harassed by my neighbour for years, for parking infront of my own driveway, they have called the police out 5 times in one year for things like parking infront of my own driveway, parking a camper van on my own driveway ect. list gose on like this, the police all 5 times said I'm doing nothing wrong, I've been attacked by my neighbour, which I have on CCTV police did nothing!!! Your Rights Under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 Is a joke!!! Is a joke!!! Is a joke!!!
Kevin - 6-Feb-18 @ 7:42 PM
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