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When Mediation Can Help in Neighbour Disputes

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Mar 2022 | 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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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
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
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