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The Most Common Neighbourhood Disputes

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 24 Nov 2023 | comments*Discuss
Neighbour Dispute Property Boundary

If you’re having issues with your neighbours, it be comforting to know that you’re far from alone! According to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), neighbourhood disputes are a very common occurrence, so there is a wealth of experience available for people who are affected by some of the issues that frequently crop up.

Noisy Neighbours

The most common issue that causes tension between neighbours seems to be noise. We all have a bit of a moan when the next door neighbour decides to start a big DIY project early on a Sunday, or their party keeps us awake, but when the problem is more than an occasional minor annoyance and can be defined as Noise Pollution, you might find yourself having to take action.

Asking them to keep the noise down is probably the best first step, but if they won’t, consider contacting the neighbour’s landlord if the property is rented, or Keep A Diary if the problem persists. The police and local authorities also have certain powers to deal with noise problems.

Boundary Disputes

Many a court case has arisen over a Boundary Dispute, and unsurprisingly they are also a popular reason for complaint about the neighbours. The first thing that you need to do if you can’t reach agreement with a neighbour over who is responsible for a boundary is check the property title deeds. If they aren’t easily defined, then you’ll have to speak to an expert in boundary disputes. The CAB may be able to help or point you in the right direction.

Fences And Hedges often cause arguments between neighbours. If there’s a disagreement as to who is responsible for repairing a fence, again the deeds should help. There may be a stipulation that they are responsible for any repairs, although that’s not always the case. Strangely, unless the deeds say that they are responsible for repairs, they don’t have to do anything if the fence (or barrier) is damaged – unless it causes damage to your property, in which case they must sort it out or be prepared to pay for the damage.

Similarly, if your neighbour has the responsibility for a fence, they can do as they wish with that fence, even if you don’t like it. The only stipulations are that any fence or barrier must be safe.

Keeping Shared Facilities Maintained

Arguments can arise over who looks after shared facilities, or garden areas, especially in flats. Check the deeds if you own the property as these are usually well defined, especially in the case of flats.

If you can’t come to an agreement on whose responsibility it is, in some cases the local authority environmental health officer (EHO) can settle it for you. They might be able to order someone to clean up a communal area, keep the garden tidy, or carry our repairs within a certain time. If a garden is actually a bit of a health hazard, definitely speak to the EHO. They could arrange help for an elderly neighbour who can't manage, for example.

Trees and Gardens

If a neighbour doesn’t take care of their garden or property and it impacts on yours, causing you damage or even an accident, they may be liable for damages. If your neighbour owns a tree it’s their responsibility to make sure it doesn’t damage your property. This includes letting roots grow under your property, or causing an obstacle.

Disputes over blocking out light can be very expensive to take to court, and you have no legal right to cut the trees down – so this kind of dispute is best dealt with sensitively, if possible. If you really can’t reach an agreement, you may have to involve solicitors but it’s always best to try to resolve this type of dispute amicably! If a neighbour’s hedge blocks your light, you can prune it back but you can’t reduce its height. Some hedgerows are legally protected, so again, always try to resolve the problem amicably.

Problems with Local Children

There’s not much you can do if the local kids are noisy – that’s just kids for you. However, if they cause damage to your property, the best thing to do is have a word with their parents, and ask if they will pay the cost of repairs to your property. Legally, they aren’t liable for the damage unless they were ‘negligent’, but in most cases they will be mortified that their little darling has broken your window (or whatever damage they’ve caused) and will stump up for repairs even if they are less than happy about it.

If the neighbour’s children insist on trespassing in your garden, again try speaking to their parents first. If this doesn’t work, and especially if the kids are taking things or damaging your property, you could warn then that you’ll call the police if their parents don’t control them.

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Our road includes two rows of terraced houses with an alleyway between them that gives us access to our garages to the rear. One new neighbour has knocked down part of their front garden wall that was a boundary to this alleyway so they can access a new drive from it without going through planning for a dropped kerb. The new neighbour the other side of the alley has taken down half the fences his side and concreted over half his garden so he can park on it from the alley and access a new workshop. This wasn't on the plans approved by the council where this building was described as a hobby room. We have a covenant in our deeds as I suppose the others do as built at same time that says we all own the alleyway and all are liable for its maintenance.The extra traffic as a result of all that means the surface is getting churned up and the nice grass along the sides and centre is getting chewed up. My query is. Should they have sought permission from all us owners and what if we didn't all approve? Can we enforce anything? These people have never helped to maintain the alley I don't suppose they'll start now. The council says they can't intervene as it counts as a private road
Erica - 24-Nov-23 @ 10:44 AM
Hiya We have had an ongoing issue with our neighbours son and his basket ball for three years now. The hoop is right behind our garden fence and he's constantly playing and banging on our fence. It's so noisy and annoying. We have spoken to them to try and get them to move it or play at certain times which they did at the beginning of lock down. Now it's any time of day for hours at a time. We work from home and love gardening and it is becoming more and more annoying. We complained to council, recorded it and did a diary. Council came over but said as its an isolated issue they can't do anything. The neighbours now swear at us and tell us to f... O.. When we ask him to stop for a while. It affects having friends over, our sleep as he can play early and wake us up, having time on our loungers is impossible with the banging constantly. Now we are just continuing to argue but they don't care. What can we do?
Marcia Stratta - 5-Aug-22 @ 12:00 PM
We have lived in a semi,for the last 13 yrs on a new build estate.we are in our early sixties. Each & every neighbour that moves here is worst than the last neighbour. We have a semi attached to us,& a detached on the other side. The neighbours in the semi,have three young children,they are school teachers, which i find incredible as they have no idea how to parent. There little darlings! are in the garden at around 7am at weekends,after school evenings.stomping around on the decking.Banging doors.Screaming,speaking or should i say making annoying sounds.parents don't care! They seem to like being there children's friends? so they never ever get disciplined. The detached house, a young couple without children, the guy has set a gym in his garage. so we have the noise from that,as his garage is attached to ours. We have less privacy as he insists on keeping his garage door fully open. Makes it awkward to use our garage,as i feel i am invading his space if i walk to our garage.at the same time he parks his car in such a way,that it takes space off our path,so taking the bin out is awkward.they also have there food delivered,outside our front door. We are finally putting our house up for sale! we hope their new neighbours are as inconsiderate as they are?
bulldog01 - 17-Sep-21 @ 6:39 PM
We've recently moved into our new home 2 weeks ago after being homeless for several months. Our neighbour next to us has been parking out front of our house for a few days now blocking the driveway for houses infront of ours and making it harder for our cars to get in & out of the street. We own 3 cars so one usually has to be parked outfront and they always take up the parking spot (One that isn't blocking the driveway across from our house) making it so much harder for my heavily pregnant self having to move all the cars out to park the one on the road into our driveway & moving each car & reparking them everytime we need to leave the house. We have tried resolving the issue with them but they refuse to park either infront of their house or even in their own carport, that we've had to contact the police to try n resolve the matter which didn't help at all cause they're still parking there -.- So mf frustrating and such inconsiderate racist people.
RONZA - 23-Aug-21 @ 9:22 AM
we've lived here since 2002, in a ex semi terraced Council house, the hose next door is still owned by the council and has had new tennents for 3 years, their next door semi neighbour, ( drive way between us is also privately owned like us, when the council sold properties off they transferd the boundry deeds , so most of the remaining council houses are no longer responsible for the boundry fences, some neighbours are responsible for both boundry fences ( left and right ). While some only three right fence ? So when the foreign people moved in next door in the adjacent semi to us, they started painting their semi neighbours fence ? Until the council got involved to tell them it wasn't their fence despite being on the right hand side. Just a brief step in history ? 3 years ago before the foreign people moved in , we spent £2,500 putting up a new boundry wire fence just before the previous old lady council tennant died ? (Wire mesh fence like around Schools , parks, commercial , industrial units. ) We came home the other day to find planters hanging on our wire fence ? Sadly I don't remember any one asking our permission ? Hovever to keep the peace we overlooked the 3 small hook over planters . Big mistake! Several days later we noticed strings tied to our fence as supports , presumably for climbing plants . So tactfully we chatted to the son next door as the mother aparently doesn't understand or speak English ? They confirmed they were climbing plant supports tied on our fence .I then pointed out that the fence was ours , as the boundry fence is our responsibility on our Deeds. ( thanks to the council ? ) I then explained thats why we have put wires along ourside 3 years ago and training our Wisterias along it as a Screening, I then pointed out that their climber plants are butted up against our fence and they cannot climb up my fence as I never gave permission , neither did I give permission for plant support strings or fixings to be fitted / tied to my fence, or baskets to be attached . I pointed out and told them to remove it all as the climbers will climb and grow through the wire mesh and caurse problems with my Wisterias on my fence. My wife was livid that people just push and see what they can get away with ? So we contacted the council complaints department, explained no permission has been given and they never asked before the did it. We explained we wanted the plants removing as they were butted up against our fence and if they weren't moved they would self attach and climb our fence, So instead of removing them the neighbor in question put up a FREE Standing trellis about 3 inches away from our fence and bent the climber over too it instead of digging it up and moving it else where . So we contacted the council and explained the climbers were not actualy on our fence anymore, but when they grow bigger and mature, they will come into contact with our fence again in several years time! The council said well if its a self stand
crusher - 12-Jun-21 @ 10:22 PM
I have had a dispute in the past with neighbours we have both signed a written agreement. One issue is there children’s Basketball came into the garden I was out at the time and the neighbour put a note though the door . I came home and noticed no ball in the garden I have a camera in the back and noticed someone had been in my garden to get the ball what should I do about this I do not want a as a as anyone coming into my garden . Gwendoline
Dollycart - 8-Jun-21 @ 6:46 AM
We live in property where we park on the road. Parking can be an issue as many residents have more than 1 car. Now my neighbour who has a drive seems to park infront of our house and not in his drive. Told him politely but refuses to move it into his drive. Does this make sense where is the sense in this?
H - 14-May-21 @ 11:08 PM
We live in a mid terrace property and share a passage way to the our rear gardens. Our neighbour wants to use our passage way for his business use with his staff coming and going at least 5 days a week.He is in Social Housing and we are private. His business would involve a chef, plus drivers/sellers of a food from a mobile food take away business. Also waste disposal people.He intends to use a trolley from a unit along the garden path and into the passage way where there is a deep step. We object to this on the basis of our home becoming like business area with non-residents using our passage way and causing noise with the trolley and the potential smell of foods. There could be health and safety for employees matters here. We both have rights to use the passage way to reach our back gardens but this is for business use and one that will interfere with our peace and life. Does anyone know how we stand for this please?
Fiona - 3-May-21 @ 5:54 PM
I have just purchased and old property and have a window that looks onto the next door neighbours garden The first night they banged on the window saying they were going to block the window up as it looked onto their garden My property has been empty for over 8 years the window has been there for over 25 years,and my neighbour has lived there for 6 so have been used to nobody living there I found out that they have changed there patio from the far right of the property to outside my window knocking a hole in the side of their house to accommodate there new sliding glass patio,but cannot find ant planning permission to do this,creating this dispute Do i need legal advice for this
Toddy - 18-Mar-21 @ 11:24 PM
I have lived on a cul de sac for 11 years. About 3 years ago a neighbour moved into a house opposite. They started dealing drugs, drinking and having all their weird mates come round. In some of the houses there are children and elderly people. Sure they don’t want to see that! When they come round they always park their cars in front of our driveway, preventing us from leaving. We then put up a sign telling them not to block the drive but they just ignore it. They have now destroyed it (5/1/21) Police have been told multiple times and been round but nothing was done. They don’t care about anyone else exceptthemselves and their drugs.
Dellboy - 6-Jan-21 @ 10:58 AM
My neighbour, who at a point in his life decided to buy a mid terrace town house which puts him in proximity to others does not like other people, especially children. He has complained about our toddler looking at him through a hole in the fence and shouted at us on bonfire night for having a small fire and some fireworks finished by 8pm. His interactions range from plain awkward to facetious, sardonic spiced with classics like referring to my little boy as 'it' andleaving me to make amateurish attempts at diagnosing his mental health while barely containing my rage.He seems to be universally disliked on our street so at least i can be fairly sure it's not me. I've so far avoided spifflicating him only because he's the sort that would be straight off to the bill if you did so much as look at him. Until we accrue enough wealth to find a property surrounded by dense woodland for 500 metres in all directions i have resigned myself to marvelling at how his body can support such a huge spherical head with bulging eyes and how someone with such social ineptness can exist on such a densely populated island as ours. We're all in this together folks, Jean Paul Satre had it right- hell is indeed other people. Especially when you share a fence. Try not to kill anyone, move house until you find neighbours who aren't ar****les.
Neal - 30-Dec-20 @ 12:00 AM
People get addicted to making noise constantly and can never lead a normal life watching tv and taking kids skiing swinming hiking to summr places they spend all their time outside in a tiny garden even if they have resources if someone tells them that someone is bothered by kids noises. That is human psychology. Not a single person who isnt stuck making noises and being as close to my home as possiblr and yelling and screaming like devils, being loud on purpose, banging car Doors etc. They are like drug addicts and an Organised crime gang who is training someone telling to move. Although they have sth in common :. They never wanted to leave their home town/area. If that tells you sth. A sadist couple started this lunatoc house. He is like manson, has a family now who gets people manipulated. If i leave they are quiet, inside, normal, but when my family around they are outside. I walk and walk other neighbouhoods, nobody hangs around their homebecause we are a land of Woods and forests, they take their kids to places doing sport go walking but these just hang around here everry Day and try to be loud they think it is their right. Humans.
Not fun - 24-Dec-20 @ 4:57 AM
I live in a ground floor flat in a 4 in a block, there has been ongoing problems with the neighbours who have been throwing cigarette butts and rubbish off there balcony onto my front door patio area which they have watched me clean up for the last 2 years, they have have now started spitting from the balcony onto my property. We share a bin recess and they are constantly dumping their rubbish bags in the bin recess and have resorted to using my bins as theres are full and contaminated as they dont take out there bins or recycle properly. I was taking there bins out for the them for a while to stop the situation escalating, also my bedroom is close to the recess so the smells and the animals bugs etc were getting into my bedroom. Any time they have been approached about these issues she has been very defensive and aggressive towards the person who is confronting her taking no accountability for her actions even comparing her bad behaviour to other neighbours saying it's not as bad as this neighbour or that. I believe they were fined recently due to the fly tipping and dumping of rubbish in the communal bin area which hasn't stopped them continuing, I believe this is what has now led to them spitting from the balcony onto my front doorway entrance, between the lack of respect and cornovirus my fears have heightened greater about approaching them. I am also pregnant which has now put me in a position that's very uncomfortable and making my anxiety worse as I fear catching a virus and cannot continue cleaning up their mess. Please help I dont know what else to do.
Distressed - 20-Oct-20 @ 4:44 AM
My elderlymotherhas noticedthat building work by the neighbour's hascausedrubbish andmaterials to be pushed into herfence forcingitdown andintrudingthese buildingmaterials ontoour property. When this occurred is notclear as the damagedfenceisadjacent to theshedandso the damageis hiddenfrom thehouse . howeverthe materialsarepartially onmymothersland , the fence hasbeen damaged. Istheneighbourrequiredto removehispropertyfrom mymothers garden andrepair /replacethefence? Ifhedeclines to do so,can wegetinafirm to do so andrecoup thecosts from theneighbour?
Zebedee - 17-Aug-20 @ 1:43 PM
Trying to get it out of my throat what the best thing to do
Coley - 10-Aug-20 @ 5:49 AM
Hi, my neighbour has decided to place a gardan table outside the main entrance of our flats. Unfortunately, since they did that it,s a lot more noisier than before. They sit with componey out side my bedroom windows to 12 midnight and later. We don't have a garden, so I wonder can I remove that table, so thing go back to normal.
Nick - 10-Aug-20 @ 2:40 AM
I have a neighbor across road from us it's been going on about 5 weeks now when we sit down to eat our dinner ect at our table which is in window she open blindsand starts doing handthings to us and when we walk outside the blindsare going and shoutingtrap ect at all of us she say we are looking at her but we are not what can we do plz
Jennypen - 27-May-20 @ 9:23 AM
Hi the entrance to my front door is at the side of my property there are steps leading to my door.i store my bins behind the wall here. My neighbour is storing his bins next to mine which I have asked him to remove his response it's a communal area he has a front and back garden surely he should be storing his bins in one of his gardens not mine?
Lynda poo - 8-Apr-20 @ 4:08 PM
Hi ,l live in a ground floor flat and the people who live above me smokes and drop their cigarettes butts onto my balcony I have spoken to them ,complained to the housing officer but nothing has been done to resolve this issue they even drop masonry and chewing gum does anyone have a suggestion on who I can speak to.
Cherry - 25-Feb-20 @ 8:39 AM
I live in a flat on a main road and my neighbour has placed a large general waste bin a few feet away from my front door. He disposes polystyrene containers of fresh fish which causes horrible fish odour at the entrance and outside of my flat and a lot of littering around the bin by general public as the bin is locked and not accessible by all.
sonudyer - 17-Feb-20 @ 10:15 PM
Hi my neighbour to the rear of my property has taken upon themselves to prune a tree that is on my property whilst I have not a issue with them pruning the parts overhanging the fence line they have cut large branches of the tree at the trunk 1.3 meter inside my property and in doing so have come onto my property to do so They have damaged the tree to the point that all the weight of the tree is on one side rendering the treevery possibly unstable They at no time discussed with me their intentions or obtained permission to enter the property to do so This work was also carried out during the day when they knew I would not be home and alerted by the noise of the chain saw Can you advise me on what course of action I have
Richard - 25-Jan-20 @ 12:49 AM
I'm dealing with two of my neighbors billing me and my husband and my mom and sister and saying that I want this woman's husband and I'm a happily married woman to my husband almost 17 years the 31 of January and then keeping us arguing and stuff we stay to ourselves but it gets told to are other neighbors to so I'm just over it all
Hope - 4-Jan-20 @ 3:39 PM
My neighbour plays insanely loud music from around 11am until around 6 PM. When I say loud I mean club level loud and I spend my days at home wearing headphones but they drown out very little. This has been going on for 6 months daily and I've been in regular contact with my local council (enfield). I've logged three weeks worth as requested and 2 letters have now been sent to them but they've replied saying they dont make a sound. Theres no environmental officer who comes out unless its 11pm til 7am on the weekends so I've been told that's the end of it and I along with all my neighbours must suffer. What's my next step is any? Thank you
Distressed - 9-Dec-19 @ 3:00 PM
Hi we buy property 1 yr ago our neighbour is old asian lady she refuse put fancing on in her garden n close boundry but we want to close our boundry we dont want her interferance in our area at all .so finaly i m making my garden fancing by myselfe and m closing my area but still she is having issue plz dont close ur area n all we dont want her interfearence in any thing she said yes now she is creating problem in everything what to do ...
22 - 7-Jul-19 @ 10:34 PM
My neighbour is responsible for fence. Never had problem with them.This weekend they have put late in blocking gaps which isn't a problem however the nails they have used have gone through fence on my side in quite few places where they have missed fence supports and are sticking out by at least inch. I have dogs. I am within my rights to hammer them back through
Cheri - 7-May-19 @ 12:26 PM
A few weeks ago a woman knocked on my door saying she was the owner of house next to me the back deviding fence has been in a state years I've maintained its repairs. Anyway said was going to place new wooden slots in the stone frame work fine, until asked me if could come into my garden an remove my ivy climbing an bush I replied no, she said here's my number think about it, I said no again an stay out of my garden, yet. Has complete ignored me, removed all the climbing ivy an pushed my ivy tree forward cutting plenty away. damaged my tree border fencing I will need to buy a new piece and bamboo support canes. Texted me back saying contact your landlord how rude an the texts just got more absurd. What do I do now?
Emzi - 7-Apr-19 @ 8:47 PM
Please Could I Receive Advice Over a Year Neighbours Above Have Made My Life Hell Screaming Loud Music Recently a Seeking of Possession Was Ordered The Male Visitor Child's Father Come to my Home he Smashed at My door Spat and Threatened an attack on me A Injunction was Ordered He Must Stay away The Housing Claimed he Can Stay because he's Claimed He's Homeless The seeking possession Stands against the woman who's a Tenant not the Male I am Vunrble and Frightened to be Alone What could be my Next Step Landlord Agrees previous Tenant had the same an he knew of the problem although I Questioned anti Social Behaviour before signing an Agreement
Rebecca - 27-Jan-19 @ 3:41 AM
I’m having problem with noise of my neighbours. They came home every day at 10 pm and the noise are banging the doors, cooking , banging the doors again ; going outside to smoke keep conversation on the or both forum 10pm to 1 am. I have to wake up at 5am. I complained to oUr land lord as it happen to be at the same building . She said I have to leave and find another place. I talked to the couple and they don’t change . I don’t know what to do. I am constantly tired everyday.
Gina - 12-Jan-19 @ 1:46 AM
Sharred entance to garden neighbour underneath me has refused access for for the last year, now put a alarm on communual door acess to warn her of my entry
boo boo - 9-Jan-19 @ 2:17 PM
I have a boundary fence which I paid half of£350 8 years ago this summer I put up a new fence in front of the existing one as the old fence was a bit shabby looking. Because we had both paid for the old fence I respectfully left it in place .This morning my neighbour has removed the old fence without consulting me which means my new fence is now acting as the partition what rights do I have should I have had a say on whether this fence could be removed
Linda - 2-Nov-18 @ 2:49 PM
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