How Do I Resolve A Neighbour Dispute?

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A large number of people are having disputes with their neighbours on various issues, including boundaries. Dealing with these disputes can be challenging and cause a lot of stress. 

Yet it is important to handle these personal issues rationally when the relations are hostile and could cause violence. 

Though the government does not issue guidelines on handling disputes with neighbours, some tips for resolving the disputes without any kind of legal assistance are listed below. 

Noise

Many people complain about the high noise levels in the area where they reside. There are many reasons for loud noises like a barking dog or loud music. 

While it is not possible to prevent all noise, in some cases, the noise pollution may become intolerable, increasing stress levels and causing insomnia. 

In this case, it is advisable to request the neighbour to control or reduce the noise levels. For rental property, the landlord can also be contacted if the tenant does not improve.

Trees And Hedges

When trees, hedges and other plants extend into a neighbours property, it often results in disputes. Ideally, the tree owner should be politely asked to trim the overhanging tree so that it remains in the tree owners property. 

If the tree owner does not respond to the request, the complainant can trim the tree so that it does not cross the boundary line. 

In some cases, a tree preservation order may be issued to protect trees or the are is notified for conservation. In these cases, the permission of the local council is required for cutting the tree. The neighbour should be informed that the tree branches are likely to be trimmed. 

After trimming, the foliage and branches of the tree should be given to the neighbours. If the neighbours agree, the property owner can dispose of the branches and foliage.

Boundaries And Fences

If neighbours have disputes regarding the boundary between their property, it is advisable to check the legal ownership of the disputed area. The title deeds for the property will specify the land ownership and exact location of the property boundary. 

In some cases, the property deed may not clearly specify the boundary line, so it may be necessary to consult an experienced surveyor.

 Free advice on property-related disputes can be obtained from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (abbreviated as RICS)

If you need advice resolving boundary disputes, a chartered surveyor could offer informed advice to help mediate your dispute.

Shared Amenities

For some properties, amenities are shared with neighbours. Depending on the property design, there may be shared gardens, drains, pipes, rooftops for apartment blocks. 

Unless responsibilities are clearly defined, there may be disputes regarding maintenance, repairing or cleaning the shared amenities. Usually, the property ownership or lease documents will specify who is responsible for the maintenance of the shared amenities. 

However, if it is not clearly defined, it is advisable to share the cost of cleaning, repairs of amenities which are used by one or more property owners. It is usually simpler to discuss the matter with neighbours and get the matter resolved amicably. 

Party Walls 

Many neighbouring properties have a shared wall to demarcate the boundary, which is called a party wall.

Before carrying out any construction work which could affect the party wall, the person who is planning the construction activity is legally obliged to serve a party wall notice. This should be posted to all the people who are affected by the work. 

Property owners who have friendly relations with their neighbours could reduce the costs involved by negotiating an agreement for the party wall. 

This can be done instead of following a lengthy procedure for issuing a notice for the party wall. More information on a party wall is available online by searching the going to the government website.

 

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