Neighbour disputes are a feature of life. Issues arising might include one or more of the following:
The classic boundary dispute between neighbours is usually over a garden fence/wall or a driveway and does not necessarily have any substantial monetary value. However, it may still be important because of the effect it has on the enjoyment and security of your property.
Trespass and nuisance
Some examples of trespass to land/property by your neighbour include their straying animals intruding onto your land, extending a boundary onto your land, intrusion into your airspace.
Nuisance is a legal term. It is an unreasonable use of land by your neighbour to your detriment. The causes of nuisance are wide-ranging and can include noise, leaks, smells, vibration, encroaching tree branches or roots from a tree, chemical pollution and immoral activities.
Access to neighbouring land
There may be circumstances in which you need permission to access your neighbour's land or vice versa, for example, to carry out building works or repairs/improvements to the property. Difficulties can also arise between neighbours when one already has right of access/way over a particular part of his neighbour’s property, but may be abusing that right.
Your neighbour might shout abuse over a separating wall/fence, destroy your plants or hedges, deliberately play loud music and abandon his rusting cars against an open boundary. In isolation, such acts may not amount to much, but when they are continuous and become part of a campaign by your neighbour it can have major consequences.
We are here to take the heat out of these difficult situations and to provide you with legal and practical solutions to help resolve what can become protracted, difficult and expensive disputes.
Unlike many other disputes, neighbour disputes are often not about money. You may simply want to prevent your neighbour from doing something or, in the alternative, want to make them do something. This could range from telling your neighbour not to block up the drainpipe, not to build an extension or that they must pay half the cost of repairs to a fence or driveway. In these circumstances, you can obtain an injunction from the Court.
Court is always a last resort. We would encourage all clients to consider alternative methods of resolving a dispute with their neighbour; through mediation, for example. Mediation usually costs less than litigation and allows the parties, not the Court, to make decisions affecting their future. It promotes positive relationships by reducing conflict.
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"The [Dispute Resolution] team is excellent and shows very close attention to detail."
Chambers UK Guide 2020