Dealing with neighbour problems
Wherever possible we would encourage you to try and settle disputes with your neighbours informally as this is often the most effective way of dealing with problems that arise. If possible, you should try to solve the problem yourself. Your neighbour may not realise how their actions are affecting you, and you may be able to solve the problem by discussing the matter with them. Letting someone know that their behaviour is upsetting their neighbours can often be enough.
Useful tips to help you sort out problems
When you speak to your neighbour, try to explain why their behaviour is causing you a problem. Here are a few tips that might help you:
- Try to deal with the neighbour yourself. If your complaint is passed on by someone else, or is overheard, it could be misunderstood and may make matters worse.
- Plan a sensible time and a private place to talk to your neighbour. This should be when you can be calm about the situation, but let a family member or friend know where you are.
- Let the neighbour know you are glad to have the chance to deal with the situation.
- Think carefully beforehand about what you want to say. It is best to be clear about what the problem is. Stay calm and don’t get involved in an argument.
- Don’t accuse, insult or blame anyone, no matter how upset or angry you feel. It will not help and could make things worse.
- Don’t assume you know why someone behaved as they did. You may be wrong about the reasons for their behaviour.
- Give the other person a chance to have their say. It is important to let them know you are listening to them, even if you don’t agree with what they say.
If you can’t resolve the differences with your neighbour or it isn’t appropriate, talk to us and we will support you by seeking the help of mediation.
Very often it isn’t possible to take legal action against neighbour disputes and one of the most effective ways of resolving disputes is with the help of an independent mediator who can act impartially.
Mediation is a voluntary process that gives all parties a chance to express their views. The mediator will help the people in dispute find their own solution to their problem rather than one being imposed by others.
In many cases where neighbours are in dispute it can be difficult to prove what is happening and we are unlikely to be able to take legal action. Therefore mediation is the best option.
In serious cases, it may be appropriate to use legal remedies that are available to us to help stop the anti-social behaviour and we will discuss these options with you if appropriate. For further details contact us on 01952 217100.