Posted on 31.5.16 by Danielle Clements
The issue of nuisance neighbours is hitting our headlines more and more frequently. It seems that many streets in the UK have lost their sense of community and instead some neighbours prefer to bicker, quarrel and annoy the next door neighbours through inconsiderate behaviour who might play loud music or use their front garden as a dumping site.
In the past year alone, around 25% of homeowners and renters have had to deal with an annoying neighbour. Most people don’t really know how to deal with this. They don’t want to make the situation awkward and escalate the problem, but they would also quite like to live with a little peace and tranquillity.
Your rights are important. It goes to say that if you are renting a property, then your rights are the same as owning one. The only difference between renting and owning is that renters have a landlord who they can turn to for issues such as boundary disputes or damage to the property.
So what do you do? Below are 5 systematic steps to help you tackle a nuisance neighbour in the right manner.
- Have a Conversation
The best way to solve any problem is always amicably. Not only does it save a lot of money but it cuts back on a lot of wasted time. A great first move would be to discuss the problem with the neighbour in a friendly, chatty manner. In the first instance, I’d always recommend have a face-to-face conversation rather than posting a straight to the point letter post box as this might not go down too well – the annoying neighbour might become defensive and harden their stance. To avoid being confrontational and release the tension from yourself, take a friend along with you.
- Next step is write a letter
If the friendly chat doesn’t work you might consider writing a letter. You don’t want this to be aggressive or threatening, but considered and carefully worded. You want to show that you are willing to solve this problem amicably. Keep your letter polite in the hope that you can maintain a good relationship. Make sure you keep a copy of your letter just for good measure.
- Keep a track of the incidents
It is good practice to keep a diary of all incidents that take place so you can back up your argument at a later date should you need to. Ensure you record the date, times and what happened. As with point 2, keep a copy of any contact you make with the neighbour as evidence may be very important later on.
- Involve the landlord
If the nuisance neighbours are in rented property then you may want to let their landlord know they are causing a problem to see if they can bring the annoying behaviour to a halt by speaking with their tenants. If they are renting then they should have signed a tenancy agreement which will stipulate not to cause a nuisance. If you don’t know their landlord, you may be aware of the property letting agents, if so you can contact these to see if they can get in touch with the landlord on your behalf.
- Seek advice
Neighbour advice is always unique to the situation and can vary greatly. The Citizens Advice Bureau should be the first organisation you contact for advice. As they are non-for-profit organisation, they can hand out free advice. Your building and contents insurance supplier may also be able to give you a worth words of wisdom to help with your dispute as they tend to have legal teams, but this will depend on your policy.
The last resort is to contact someone like me – a property dispute solicitor. A solicitor will discuss your case and advice you on the possible steps forward to suit your situation. One step may be to begin ‘injunctive proceedings’. This is where a court is approached in order to get an order or instruction for your neighbour and their annoying behaviour.
If you are at this last step, then give me a call on 0343 507 5151. We have an exceptional team of Dispute Resolution solicitors here at Gorvins who strive to solve problems amicably without the need to go to court. You can also fill in our online contact form and someone will get back to you.