Home > Resolving Issues > When Mediation Can Help in Neighbour Disputes

When Mediation Can Help in Neighbour Disputes

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Nov 2018 | 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
Mediation is pointless as the end goal is to get you in the same room as the abusive intimidating neighbour!! No way will I be subjected to that!
Tanya - 13-Dec-17 @ 10:07 AM
Always try mediating before taking anyone to court.Court action is a bad idea as apart from the eye-watering expense, the existence of the dispute will make your house unsaleable. Whether you win or lose, you will still have to live next door to them afterwards. The judge may not treat your case with the seriousness which you feel it deserves.Also when you think about the other terrible cases the judge is likely to be involved in, you'll see whythis is so. You may be surprised what can be achieved with a bit of diplomacy between warring neighbours over a cup of coffee, without going to court.Use solicitors as a resource rather than getting them to write angry letters for you - by and large, angry letters do not help with neighbour relationships. Possibly a different neighbour or respected person locally may be willing to act as a neutral third party in any dispute.It would be worth going down this route.
Toosey - 27-Oct-17 @ 9:07 PM
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
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments