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When Mediation Can Help in Neighbour Disputes

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 28 Jun 2024 | 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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In reality fundamental differences and disagreements with neighbours is a zero sum game and will lead to a dispute and a breakdown in relations. It is better one party leaves the area as the situation never improves once neighbours fall out. Mediation services may keep the peace, at least the time being, but not allowing the situation to spill over into a full blow civil conflict is the delicate part. I am in such a situation now, so have chosen to sell up. Unless the law is on your side you can't do anything. I am surrounded by rentals, feral families, and bums. Paying to leave the area is the better option, staying around just keeps the tension and only compounds the problem. With living environments you need to move to an area that best suits you, if you want quite you have to go as rural as possible. If you don't like feral kids, you need to move to a better area away from schools, play areas, and side streets. Opt for something along a busy main road. When buying check your neighbours before you make an offer.
Agma - 28-Jun-24 @ 7:53 AM
Neighbour dispute cctv
Adele Wood - 18-Jun-24 @ 5:08 PM
I have suffered at the hands of my neighbours for the past 19/20 months, more terrorising with A noise that is of recircled air used for air con in shopping centres and such. They have had an Ariel put up on the building by GNS COMMUNICATIONS and have had me stroked and are moitering my movements. Its said athunder clap is the loudest decibel noise, last time we had thunder storm, could see the lightning, but couldn't hear the thunder due to this noise . They have masses of electrical equipment, have seen it when delivered, after reading and looking on the net, it must be controlled via smart phone, speakers etc, so they must have set when I come in the noise of opening my door or turning the tap on sets it going louder. They also have it so others can't hear it. At one time they attached the door intercom with mine, so have disconnected mine. Am about at breaking point. Council and police don't want to know. So am going to ask my solicitor for help. Could go on but enough said.
Jay - 13-Oct-23 @ 6:20 PM
i being bullied constantly housing dont want to know or the police i like to be moved im disabled and have a esa dog cant go outside if these people are in commual garden they drink just abuse me say im fat and ugly etc cant cope like being in prison put lot weight on comfort eating weigh cause pain i was born disabled
MARIE BERT - 16-Jun-23 @ 3:14 AM
I have lived in this detached bungalow for nearly 40 years in a village near the sea .My neighbours are furious because we have now have rats in our garden and they were on the driveway .We have had this oroblem sometimes over many years and get the pest control man to cull them .We are next to a large churchyard and a field so there will be wildlife . I have a partner living with me who is vulnerable as he has Aspergers and now some cognitive decline . The lady opposite says I have to get rid of him and his old car! i am quite happy to have him here so what is the problem now the rats have gone . This woman also said I might fall and end up in a home or dieand he would still be here ! Hordes of people are moving here from London mostly from flats ,and want to make it like the town .
marina - 24-May-23 @ 3:27 PM
Me andmy partner moved into our property in August 2022 my neighbour below us instantly took a dislike to us and has been telling lies to our other neighbours saying that my boyfriend has been beating me up whichvis a complete lie and don't no why she would say this my boyfriend is the nicest man you could ever meet and hasn't got a violent bone in his body I suffer with depressionand mental health and I am know embarrassed to leave my house and so is my partner I don't no what to do about this does anyone have any ideas please.
Halfpint - 19-Apr-23 @ 6:10 PM
We live in a house in a small private courtyard.There is a pub which backs onto it along with two businesses. They own 6 parking spaces and the pub owns four.There are carports for residents.At the weekend, visitors use the business spaces as there are not used. We have a male who see himself as a vigilante.He will verbally assault WOMEN AND CHILDREN in the public park that borders the courtyard AND verbally assault any women alone.He also bangs on our wall for no reason. He will not approach males at all but today, a female Pizza Delivery driver was abused in the courtyard for no reason.He was full on angry and swearing.My children are young and they are being subjected to his abuse as he lives next door. We know his wife left him due to abuse.He goes to work in his 04 Vauxhall and when he returrns he will abuse any female in the area.He films women and children from his living room window and then states he is filming drug dealers. He is not. We noticed something was odd when we moved into our three-storey Town House 5 years ago.We had a van parked outside our property and as he drove past he started shaking his head.He lives on the second floor and there is another neighbour on the third.Between the two flats, they have NO refuse or recycle bins between them outside their property.Yet we had six bins outside our.So we moved theirs back and it became a daily dance. Today, we heard him abusing a female Pizza delivery Driver for parking in a bay that has nothing to do with him whatsoever. She was shaking and we invited her in to calm down. We regularly hear him abusing people and when we investigate it is always a female or a child. We have so many Reference Numbers from Herts Police its unreal. He feels protected as the entrance to the two flats is midway in the carport, therefore he is somewhat isolated with a few feet of protection between the flat door and the car door. If this male abuses my children on the way to or from school then I will do whatever it takes to eliminate the threat.
MICHAEL - 4-Feb-23 @ 4:36 PM
Never had any issues until a young couple (not married) moved in next door, since then it has been nothing but a carry on nightmare. First off, the neighbor started digging up 'his' side of a shared rear access between his house and and partners house, basically halving the access - not knowing if the deeds of represented the land as a shared area or not, but he started to put posts in for fencing.When I approached him and asked him what he was doing, he said that he was erecting a fence between his property and my partners property...because he could , because it was on his property.Now forget me if I'm wrong, it's normal practice to approach your neighbor and talk about what your intentions are before you start digging up foundations.At no point did he come to see my partner (its her name on the deeds, not mine) so that was the first incident. The second issue he has is that I built an outside bar, all within the regulations, and professionally installed a wood burner to use if I was out in the bar during cold weather - the install was all in spec with the regulations and modified accordingly to those regulations as the install progressed.Since them I have had a member from the environmental agency come round to ask me what wood I'm burning (all of it is seasoned wood), a representative from the local councils Building & Planning Dept checking over the install, I got a thumbs up for it as it was all in spec, and finally within the last day, aletter from HETAS Ltd asking me to have a registered installer confirm the installation meets building regulations and is safe to use!I'm an engineer, and would not do anything that would contravene health and safety - either my neighbor has got a personal vendetta against me and my partner, or has got nothing else to do but complain to the authorities because he hasn't got the backbone to speak to me face to face about his little issues he has. I now feel that this kind of intimidation is starting to take its toll on both myself and my partner, we feel like prisoners locked in our own home and don't want to make any noise or use the bar in return of getting more letters from external authorities.Do I contact the Police and report this as harassment?
jase - 7-Oct-22 @ 7:39 AM
Since moving into the house nearly 7 years ago we have received multiple and ongoing notes and texts from our neighbour sometimes including the neighbour next to her. Many of the notes include complaints about us parking on a public road that happens to be outside her house we have been threatened with reporting the cars as abandoned, we have been told that we should be more neighbourly and everything was fine until we arrived in the road, we have been told that the next door neighbour but one’s daughter can't park outside her mother's house when she's visiting, because our cars are parked there. When my son moved in during the pandemic because he had nowhere else to live, we were accused of breaking the rules, on the back of the fact that his car was parked in that place. We were actually isolating at the time as my husband had COVID. When we arrived (June 2015) we had one dog- very soon after we had moved in she informed us that the dog was barking a lot during the daytime so we immediately acted on this and make sure that the dog was taken to doggie day care and eventually we brought a second dog which stopped the problem of the barking in the daytime. Since the pandemic, the dogs seemed to be more unsettled in the evening when we are out and we have had several texts from her saying that they had been barking around 8:30 when we have been out. Subsequently, we have stopped leaving them past 8:30 and if we have to go out we always will take them to a dog minder. We even used to send her notes saying that we were out locally and we would come back if they were barking. More recently she is now complaining that they are barking at 4:15 and she's trying to work from home.We have cameras and I have watched their behaviour - there is some intermittent barking between 4:15 and five o'clock when I always return from work but this is not constant.We have now done our best to change when the dogs are walked and hopefully she won't be hearing this anymore.One of the days this week, when we received a message from her, I had left the radio on in my bedroom which is directly next to her bedroom very, very loud. She would have been able to hear this very clearly through the walls as I am able to hear her TV when she has it on. Instead she chose to complain about some intermittent barking that probably lasted 20 minutes from the opposite corner of the house to where she is working. In the time that we have lived here we have had three different sets of neighbours on the other side of us. I have checked and asked each one if the dogs are annoying them or if the noise is too much and all three families do not have any issues with the dogs barking or have even noticed the noise. I might add that all these complaints are about the dogs barking inside the house, they are not left outside.They have a doggy door and they can come and go outside as they please. I feel that whatever we do she will find something else to compla
AJ - 18-Mar-22 @ 12:27 PM
I have been offered told I have to attend mediation now due to ongoing complaints (harrassment) from the 2 across the court yard from me, Basically they've complained over 3 times now in the space of a year so the housing association has now said well mediation Is on the cards,Can I decline to go? What if I don't show up? Do I have to pay? Housing is said they will cover the cost,I'm a waiting legal advice from a solicitor but because of covid I haven't heard anything,I guess mediation will give me a chance to have my say and I want to counter their complaints about me and put it down to them harrassing me, Apparently there is other neighbours made complaints about me behind a cowardly annomouus letter,I would really like to confront these people and have a chat face to face as to what their problem is with me,What happens at mediation,I no longer am home anymore because of these people but when I do come home I feel I'm walking on eggshells and feel I'm being watched monitored and can no longer make any noise or feel comfortable in my own home
Chaz - 12-Sep-21 @ 10:49 AM
We were sharing septic tank with the neighbour I have spent around 3000 tounblockthe drainssame amount to empty the tank around 5000 solicitors feeneighbourhoods blaming our drains physical attack fix drains 3000 his back gardening boundary when hospital following strok had a solicitor lettersaid his. Septic tank not workingcaused all the problem now would like to sue neighbour for 2000
Gaz - 8-Jun-21 @ 9:19 AM
I have very difficult neighbours, once tried to attack me, had a legal notice put on her, now she getting the other one to start at me, sit out the front for days on end, can't have a life can they and making comments and taking photos and trying to stop me talking to other neighbours.This needs stopping.Also sitting facing my window.I feel very imprisoned.
bellah - 5-Apr-21 @ 12:01 AM
We moved into a HA property a couple years ago, it’s 11 houses in a horseshoe. Since we moved in we have had issues with several neighbours, we have had our car scratched, nails in tires, been falsely reported to police and work and HA, had nasty things shouted about us across the houses, had our car window punched whilst our children were inside, had our car blocked in, the list goes on. Perpetrated by different individuals, police and HA will do nothing because we have no evidence but will not allow us to put CCTV up. The neighbours all lie for each other, we have zero support and we are an extremely vulnerable family. Can anyone help? Is there any other help out there? Community policing officer won’t get involved, in his words there is a tribal mentality here. The problems have been around long before we were here.
Anxiousannie - 7-Dec-20 @ 10:39 AM
We have issues with our neighbour she inherited the property from her mother and we have lived here 21 years. Basically verbally abusing me, hate crime and other issues including false allegations against me public order section 5. Police suggested mediation separate rooms to resolve. The allegation he claimed to have a witness but the cctv I have tells a different account which I informed the police about. Police said no further action and that when I asked if it would be disclosed either as a criminal record told no and any other information on enhanced dbs no. Does this show up as I didn't do anything wrong and agreed the mediation merely because I want to move on and just want nothing to do with these people who have lived here 6 months but due to her drunknessess and abuse I now have severe depression am on anti depressants and my mother taking angina treatment. A reply would be appreciated.
Harassed - 30-Nov-20 @ 6:55 PM
Mazz, contact your safer neighbourhood team and environmental health. This is malicious noise and harassment.
Pix - 26-Oct-20 @ 7:23 PM
I moved into our new home 2 years ago and the house which is next door laid empty for two months. When my neighbours moved in, they were noisy with shutting doors, bellowing their voices and other noise. I never said anything and just ignored it. Until, I was drying my hair getting ready for work they pummelled on the wall starting my children and I. I contacted the council which made things worse. They reported my Children for screaming which wasn’t the case they were in their beds sleeping. Constant knocking on the wall, kicking the wall and other obtrusive behaviour and noise. I took it to the Council to ask for mediation to sort out the problem. They have refused. I now, still the noise disturbance which affects my children and I. I know the answer is to move away, believe me I would and have tried but have been let down by the council as they have said I’m suitably accommodated for my needs. I’m a single parent and private rent is out the question. I’m stuck in a situation where I don’t have anymore answers.
Mazz - 26-Oct-20 @ 5:53 PM
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
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