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When Mediation Can Help in Neighbour Disputes

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 25 Sep 2017 | 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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I also have had problems like ones above.I bought an ex council kouse 14yrs ago,it was a 2 bed terraced house so had neighbours either side of me.One was council tenant and other side was privately let through estate agent.I would be blocked in on a regular basis making it very awkward or impossible at times to get in or out of my drive.After a lot of problems I approached council and applied for parking bay at bottom of my property and as im disabled with arthritis I was allowed parking bay at a cost of £135 to me.That seemed to solve the problem initially but also built up resentment from surrounding properties.I then had cctv fitted as a few neighbours were so resentful towards me and my family(cctvcost me £400).I compained repeatably to council as I wouldalso get banging on my walls,door slamming,cursing me through walls as well. Unfortunately council and police among others told me there was nothing they could do to helpme out without having a rack of evidence against the perpitraitors.That also proved difficult as I live alone and they all backed one another up saying they had done nothing and I was crazy.Long storybut I was harassed byboth neighbours either sidenand also 3 other council tenants who lived across road.They all stuck together and lied about everything from the very start.18months down line still it goes on and I was harassed 24/7.As I lived alone no one believed me against this group who went out of their way to harass and humiliate me.I then moved out of my property and lived at my daughters 4 miles away and decided after being there a couple weeks I had to get out so put my property up for sale,I was hounded day and night by this group of bullies and decided my time was better spent looking for a new home for myself as the abuse and harassment on a daily basis became too much(I am almost 60yrs of age).It takes years going through council and police,environmental health etc to eventually end in court so though my energy would be better spent selling up and moving.My phones have been hacked by them and also my laptop,they know all of my businessas they read all my texts,emails and calls and I was surrounded by them no one could come or go from my house without them all knowing.As I write this they are reading it and cursing me as I type.They curse me moring till night even through the night hence me moving out.They have slandered me to everyone in street with their nasty lies and stories(all untrue),they are watching me inside my home ,even driving my car they track me everywhere I go.The neighbour who was renting privately moved out of ptoperty in Dec16 (well she got deposit back and held keys into estate agent who managed the property).She never moved out though unbeknown to landlord and estate agents she had key cut and continuedto live or should I say squat in the property as it wasnt let out straight away as it was Xmas.The following coupleof months were hell as she abused and harassed me daily along with her ga
mal - 10-Sep-17 @ 3:24 PM
Hi, my neighbour constantly calls the police on me for playing music too loud, however I want to say that one the police have never found me to be playing music too loud, I do admit to playing music but not excessive nor late at night, the police have said to stop playing music after 7pm (I feel a bit early) to keep the peace. I have even had the police to my door for chopping wood for my stove and “slamming doors” (not true) anyway at what point does me constantly being reported for loud music to the police become harassment to myself. I have complained to the police myself saying he has threatened to put me in the back of an ambulance, kill me, smash my windows and kick my door down, response from police was because I am by myself and my neighbor are a couple that I don’t stand a chance against them because its two against one, (they said to the police that I threatened them, again not true). I feel I am getting a bad name for myself and being trapped into living the way they want to their rules (going to bed at 7pm like them) when I am doing nothing wrong, am I not allowed to live and just accept the harassment I am getting of them because the police are constantly at my door. Just last night a noise complaint was made when the police came they seen I was watching a movie asked if everything was okay and then left. I am honestly doing nothing wrong.
RON - 21-Jan-17 @ 7:12 PM
Hi how do I report a case of harassment proven on more than two occasions as well as article 8 of the human rights act ' a right to a private life' ? Enough is enough...........
Danvan - 9-Jan-17 @ 10:04 PM
PeeWee - Your Question:
My co-freeholder has severe mental issues and is on medication. She won't sign the share of freehold transfer. I've given up my garden as a bargaining chip but she also won't sign that paper work. Her damp work was also paid by myself. I've lost my buyers and spent thousands paying her solicitor fees. I now can't sell and have lost my dream home. What can I do?

Our Response:
Really it sounds to us as though legal action against her is now your only resory.
ProblemNeighbours - 2-Dec-16 @ 12:30 PM
My co-freeholder has severe mental issues and is on medication. She won't sign the share of freehold transfer. I've given up my garden as a bargaining chip but she also won't sign that paper work. Her damp work was also paid by myself. I've lost my buyers and spent thousands paying her solicitor fees. I now can't sell and have lost my dream home. What can I do?
PeeWee - 1-Dec-16 @ 4:11 PM
vonn - Your Question:
I live in scarborough with my son who was asked to be a witness by the police after complaining about a off road bike been driven on footpath, since this I have suffered verbal, threat of harm by the lad and his family they keep walking past my house staring at the house if they see me they shake their fists at me. I suffered from several physical and mental health issues and feel scared to be in my own home because of them, my anxiety is on overdrive and I have nobody to help me I have no family or friends to turn to and im scared what they might do to me or my son. Its making me feel suicidal as I have were to turn for help just want it all to stop

Our Response:
You should mention this to your local PCSO who will be happy to give you some advice and/or talk to the perpetrators.
ProblemNeighbours - 19-Sep-16 @ 2:33 PM
I live in scarborough with my son who was asked to be a witness by the police after complaining about a off road bike been driven on footpath, since this I have suffered verbal, threat of harm by the lad and his family they keep walking past my house staring at the house if they see me they shake their fists at me. .I suffered from several physical and mental health issues and feel scared to be in my own home because of them, my anxiety is on overdrive and I have nobody to help me I have nofamily or friends to turn to and im scared what they might do to me or my son.Its making me feel suicidal as I have were to turn for help just want it all to stop
vonn - 17-Sep-16 @ 1:28 PM
The property next door to me is a run down old lean to shopthat my exhusband sold a couple of years ago when we spit up,The back yard belongs to the lean to shop .when the property was sold it had conditions attached that the main property my house had right of way and that nothing other than bins are allowed in the back.The new owner as been filling the back up with rubble broken tiles and is refusing to move it.he also said i need to remove my bin.im trying to sell my house and i think the buyers may back out of the sale if this problem isnt sorted soon help please.
Mandy - 3-Sep-16 @ 5:52 PM
Free mediation is available in Surrey through the Alliance of Surrey Mediation Services. Does anyone know of similar services available elsewhere in the country?
Clive - 5-May-16 @ 3:09 PM
Hello, my name is todd andrew blanks.I live in bristol, brentry bs10. in a 1st floor house type council flat. I have lived here for approx 16 years, i am a single tenant in my thirty's. I have always been living here on my own and it is extremely rare that i have any visitors. I have lived at my address since the september of 2000. I have suffered 14 years of anti social behaviour since my living here, 7years from the previous ground floor tenant below and am now been suffering from the existing one who is the third since i moved here, now for another 7 years! who is a single female tenant who lives alone' who is in her forties. I have always got on well with the other neighbours who i rarely see as i have always kept myself to myself, so i only greet others when im leaving or coming home just to say a quick hello. I have been and am being very harshly attacked with harassment and intimidation by my ground floor neighbour by her approaching me in the past on numerous occasionson our shared communal garden pathway by her calling me foul names. she has made very wild allegations in the past to the police against me. A very early first example was, i came home late one night and had the police knocking at my front door who just barged their way past me and walked up my internal flat staircase and looked around my flat. me in tears asking what are you doing? them saying we have had reports of screaming coming from your flat? I'd been home for 20 minuets making myself some supper. It all started off because i complained to the council when she first moved in after about a month. She would be up all early to late hours of the morning knocking things about whilst having her washing machine on which kept me awake. Of course i asked her many times about the situation before i made the complaint. I don't currently work as i suffer with mental health because of the on going depression due to what is still going on. She slams her internal doors which makes my floor shudder & me jump. Iv'e been trying to move for 6 years on the rehousing list. I simply can't live my life here. I can't listen to my music which at times is so low i can barely hear it because she slams doors no matter what volume i have it on! She has made me a paranoid wreck. I have my t.v on' she slams her doors. I just sit and do nothing, eventually she will slam her doors. She attention seeks by going out her front door and moves the rubbish wheelie bins that annoys me and other residents at between 2-3am. As i have been here as long as i have and have had to put up with this persons ways, this tenant makes herself an obvious nuisance without any thought for others. I have tried mediation before years ago, but this nuisance tenant just put it off at that time by putting it on hold then later by saying she was too busy. Obviously i cannot put everything that has happened on here, past and present' but i know that it has become far obvious that this neighbour has a serious mental
noname - 24-Mar-16 @ 3:49 AM
fdm - Your Question:
I have just been out and returned home - my neighbour saima has just verbally abused me and physically pushed me so she can put the bricks back on my propertywhat am I suppose to do? Do I have a right to ring the police for the physical body contactshe has just done and is it classed as a physical attack?

Our Response:
If your neighbour has been violent of course you can contact the police, do so on the non-emergency number 101. Again as we mentioned before, you should seek the advice of a solicitor regarding the boundary/trespass issue.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Feb-16 @ 10:14 AM
fdm - Your Question:
I have a joint boundary with a neighbour who lives next to me but on another street. She has removed the front fence (the deeds to our houses say a fence must be up and maintained at all times) and built a double story extenstion right on the boundary line - which is fine. She has removed the front fence without consulting me - a man came and knocked on my door asking me to remove my car off my drive so he could take the fence down. She came out and told him she would put another one up but after nearly 5 months has not done so. Today I have come back home to find her and her husband running inside - they have put a line of loose bricks and some potted plants along the space but on my side not on the actual boundary line. I put them back and she and her husband came out and started to take them off her land and put them back on my land saying they will keep putting them on my land - very childish!I told her she does not have a right to put her belongings on my land and that she needs to remove them but she refused.Can I remove them? and if so what should I do with them? I was thinking of leaving them in my garage or leaving them on the street outside her house. She will continue to do this she said - what should I do?

Our Response:
You should really seek legal advice on this. Your neighbour is trespassing on your property but if you remove the items and dispose or them/keep them elsewhere, that is theft, so you're caught in a tricky situation.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Feb-16 @ 9:53 AM
I have just been out and returned home - my neighbour has just verbally abused me and physically pushed me so she can put the bricks back on my propertywhat am I suppose to do? Do I have a right to ring the police for the physical body contactshe has just done and is it classed as a physical attack?
fdm - 6-Feb-16 @ 4:17 PM
P.S. I have already organised for mediation and she agreed but then cancelled the day before. I feel I have no rights and she can do what ever she pleases. already she has been parking across onto my land because she struggles to park her car. I have used the 101 line and each time I'm told they cannot do anything
fdm - 6-Feb-16 @ 2:19 PM
I have a joint boundary with a neighbour who lives next to me but on another street. She has removed the front fence (the deeds to our houses say a fence must be up and maintained at all times) and built a double story extenstion right on the boundary line - which is fine.She has removed the front fence without consulting me - a man came and knocked on my door asking me to remove my car off my drive so he could take the fence down. She came out and told him she would put another one up but after nearly 5 months has not done so. Today I have come back home to find her and her husband running inside - they have put a line of loose bricks and some potted plants along the space but on my side not on the actual boundary line. I put them back and she and her husband came out and started to take them off her land and put them back on my land saying they will keep putting them on my land - very childish! I told her she does not have a right to put her belongings on my land and that she needs to remove them but she refused. Can I remove them? and if so what should I do with them? I was thinking of leaving them in my garage or leaving them on the street outside her house. She will continue to do this she said - what should I do?
fdm - 6-Feb-16 @ 2:13 PM
We have lived in our old victorian semi detached property for 6 years, our neighbours around the same time. The problems for us started a year after we moved in. Our neighbour who we originally were sociable with started to complain about noise from our house, children playing on a Sat pm etc. He would come round and ask if the kids could play in their rooms and not up and down the stairs. They eventualy paid for soundproofing as their builder advised that the construction of old victorian houses only contributed to sound issues. His wife would then come round and apologise for his behaviour and told me he had "problems with noise" in general. We are a family of four and DO NOT make any noise other than normal family noise, ie children playing chasies etc. We then got a wood burner installed in a new extension and this has somehow perpetuated issues. He started to complain about the smoke, we advised that we were burning correct fuel in a DEFRA approved stove. He then complained to the Council who we cooperated with at all times, they carried out an investigation, took video etc and advised in writing that everything was in order. We were advised that he had contacted the Council 9 times in total, the coucil advised us he was borderline harassment. My husband did go round when we got the first council letter but he was swore at and accused of mixing it! Since then things have got worse. When his wife is out of the house, he bangs the kitchen doors repeatedly (we have seen him do this), jumps up and down the stairs repeatedly or bangs on the wall.We have kept a record of this as it is now becoming a sustatined and deliberate campaign, so far we have not acknowledged it. He played loud rock music all day yestersay and last night this went on to midnight, followed by loud banging this morning and the usual jumping and down the stairs. The music being played deliberately from the bedroom so as to disturb me and my husband. His wife was away for the weekend. Can someone advise me how we should deal with this person who seems intent on escalating this campaign of noise against us at every opportunity. I do feel mediation would not work with this person as he is extremely highly strung and unbalanced. I am not on speaking terms with his wife.
frankie10_6 - 18-Jan-16 @ 11:31 AM
Have had 2 prior service dogs.The last one the neighbor kept calling my service Dog, [I was stuck on the ground unable to get up and injured back with x2 prior back surgeries]Neighbor gave her treats, tells her we hated her, pulls her tight and then tells here to run.We had no choice to re-home my SD after a 1 1/2 yrs.The neighbor would NOT listen when I told this was a service dog. I called.911, ADA and ASPCAetc not respond.She is Judge, Jury and Executioner!Now I am only able to walk 2 blocks [it was 1 mile prior without a cane/walker]My Neurologist and PMD insistfor me to get another Service Dog.How can I get one when she continues to harass me, with her x2 pomeranians barking only when they get near our hours and infront of it. She said 'I decide who has a dog or not!'Manipulates and is a very depressed syrupy sweet voice who is very has to have things only her way.Into every one eses business on the block!I need to do something she won't listen to me or anyone!, I need another Service Dog!Help!I have tried everything I know of.Helpless.
huckey-pucker - 12-Jan-16 @ 7:25 AM
I live on a busy main road, we have a drive way from the main road that leads directly in front of our house.Our next door neighbours keep parking on it and letting their visitors park on it.This causes an obstruction, we can not get to our house or reverse out of it.They insist it's a shared drive way but it does'nt lead to their property at all and even when we have someone parked on it they are in no way blocked from reversing out of their drive.I know the drive way was laid for our property when we was buying the house in 1995 but the neighbours seem to think its shared.
maggie11 - 12-Dec-15 @ 2:05 PM
We have a big communal car park outside our council property, which could easily fit 6-8 cars and more parking spaces across the road.We have two cars, which have always been parked closed to our property. My neighbour who has recently got a car now keeps moving closer and closer into our space. Although he has his own driveway, he never uses it. We've had problems with this neighbour before and reported him to the council. I feel like he is doing this deliberately to get a reaction from us. The council doesn't get involved in parking issues and were reluctant to make any notes when I called them. I would have a word but the way he is, he will probably call the council to claim we are harassing him, which we are not. Could really use some advise.
Chris - 20-Nov-15 @ 4:39 PM
Ash - Your Question:
I live in a small culdasac my neighbours have a vechile permantly parked opposite my prooerty which I have lived in over 5 years it is causing propblems to access to my own property. Also neighbour next soor has put a plant pot at end of her property to cause further problems for me to get in and out of my drive. What should I do about this problem?

Our Response:
If the vehicle is parked opposite, can you still enter or exit your drive by reversing etc? If so the police will not do anything. If the neighbour has put a plant pot on the pavement it can be removed by the police as an obstruction. There is nothing to prevent someone place a plant pot on their own property, even if it is a driveway.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Oct-15 @ 12:32 PM
I live in a small culdasac my neighbours have a vechile permantly parked opposite my prooerty which I have lived in over 5 years it is causing propblems to access to my own property. Also neighbour next soor has put a plant pot at end of her property to cause further problems for me to get in and out of my drive . What should I do about this problem?
Ash - 7-Oct-15 @ 11:15 AM
Angel - Your Question:
We have lived in our property for well over 30 years and within the past year have acquired a new neighbour in her late thirties. We are beginning to feel victimised by her with regard to parking issues. We live in a small rural hamlet in a quiet one way road where parking has never been an issue until her arrival. The police have been involved, initiated by herself, but have been unable to give much help as we all understand that we live on a public highway. In the past everyone has been sensible and courteous. She is however, deliberately provocative moving cars ( she has two at times ) so that we cannot park in our normal spots. We also own two vehicles, one is parked outside our home. Even if there is space outside her own home she will deliberately attempt to compromise our parking and now tells us that we are 'bullying' her ( untrue) We would desperately appreciate some form of mediation and have attempted on several occasions to attempt a reasonable conversation with her which results in much rudeness from her. This is becoming a needless and stressful situation. Last evening my husband could not park outside our home due to her inconsiderate parking and she was lying in wait for his return. He duly parked outside outside her home, without fouling her entrance , she then immediately pounced and asked him to move it which he did. She then moved into the parking spot which she should have used in the first place. I must reiterate that there is plenty of space to park, but obviously her understanding of this is limited no matter how much we attempt to explain. Please advise.

Our Response:
This is all too common a problem and it seems some people find it difficult to consider others in these circumstances. Mediation is a good idea (unfortunately it doesn't come free) if your neighbour is willing to participate. Your local council and Citizens' Advice Bureau will be able to give details of mediation services in your area.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Sep-15 @ 10:35 AM
We have lived in our property for well over 30 years and within the past year have acquired a new neighbour in her late thirties. We are beginning to feel victimised by her with regard to parking issues. We live in a small rural hamlet in a quiet one way road where parking has never been an issue until her arrival. The police have been involved, initiated by herself, but have been unable to give much help as we all understand that we live on a public highway. In the past everyone has been sensible and courteous . She is however, deliberately provocative moving cars ( she has two at times ) so that we cannot park in our normal spots. We also own two vehicles, one is parked outside our home. Even if there is space outside her own home she will deliberately attempt to compromise our parking and now tells us that we are 'bullying' her ( untrue) We would desperately appreciate some form of mediation and have attempted on several occasions to attempt a reasonable conversation with her which results in much rudeness from her. This is becoming a needless and stressful situation. Last evening my husband could not park outside our home due to her inconsiderate parking and she was lying in wait for his return. He duly parked outside outside her home, without fouling her entrance , she then immediately pounced and asked him to move it which he did. She then moved into the parking spot which she should have used in the first place. I must reiterate that there is plenty of space to park, but obviously her understanding of this is limited no matter how much we attempt to explain. Please advise.
Angel - 8-Sep-15 @ 7:37 AM
@moose. Yes get evidence...better still, let him see you in the act, taking the photo and/or filming him!? That might spook him enough to stop ;-)
tapestry - 5-Aug-15 @ 2:50 PM
@Moose - Your question:
"Hi, I have been living nextdoor to my neighbour in council accommodation for a year and a half, semi-detached, both houses are council. For the first six months, everything was great, he was really friendly. Then something changed, I don't know what, but he started consistently reporting me to the council saying I was making too much noise (which I don't, the council have agreed as much). It's now getting to a stage where I am afraid to go outside my property on my own, because he watches me all. the. time. Guests have noticed this, too, he does it almost covertly, but so I am aware he is doing it. He comes out in his garden, to do nothing but listen to any conversation I am having in mine. He's reported me twice for benefit fraud (which I am not committing) and I just genuinely don't know where to turn. He is really creeping me out, all this watching me - it's almost like he's stalking me. Will the police be able to do anything without evidence? I mean, can they go and talk to this guy and tell him to stop it? I don't want to bother them right now as I know they're pushed for resources as it is. I'm just so depressed at the whole situation."

Our response:
The police will usually need some kind of evidence of something untoward before they are able to take action. You could mention your worries, so that it's on record, then if something occurs and you are able to get some kind of proof such as a photo that might work.
ProblemNeighbours - 5-Aug-15 @ 2:49 PM
Hi, I have been living nextdoor to my neighbour in council accommodation for a year and a half, semi-detached, both houses are council. For the first six months, everything was great, he was really friendly. Then something changed, I don't know what, but he started consistently reporting me to the council saying I was making too much noise (which I don't, the council have agreed as much). It's now getting to a stage where I am afraid to go outside my property on my own, because he watches me all. the. time. Guests have noticed this, too, he does it almost covertly, but so I am aware he is doing it. He comes out in his garden, to do nothing but listen to any conversation I am having in mine. He's reported me twice for benefit fraud (which I am not committing) and I just genuinely don't know where to turn. He is really creeping me out, all this watching me - it's almost like he's stalking me. Will the police be able to do anything without evidence? I mean, can they go and talk to this guy and tell him to stop it? I don't want to bother them right now as I know they're pushed for resources as it is. I'm just so depressed at the whole situation.
Moose - 4-Aug-15 @ 5:20 PM
@scotty. Goodness, there seem to be a lot of problems but you have not given us much information about them so we can't offer any constructive suggestions. We hope mediation helps you.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Jun-15 @ 12:51 PM
Hi.. We have issues with boundaries I have Plansstating where boundary is we been to council and police But no avail. The neighbour parks car on top of sewer She has cctv camera looking at our property And continously doing minor damage to property We don't no which way to turn
scotty - 21-Jun-15 @ 7:05 PM
My new nabours have just moved into the bottom flat and are very lowd to kids running across the floors to bangs of doors to shouting out from both of there parents.
Lesley - 28-May-15 @ 6:33 PM
@Marie2378. Is there no pavement? Not sure how the neighbour is blocking you in as a mobility scooter cannot be used on the road (unless there's no pavement). Can you explain?
ProblemNeighbours - 2-Apr-15 @ 2:43 PM
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