Conveyancing

Civil Injunctions and Neighbour Disputes

Our expert neighbour disputes solicitors have a wealth of experience in successfully resolving all matters concerning neighbour, land and property disagreements.

If you are having issues with boundaries, noise, privacy, anti-social behaviour or access concerns, we have the ability and experience to ensure your matter is resolved amicably and efficiently.

How our solicitors could help?

Getting expert legal advice regarding any legal matter is prudent. Neighbour disputes are no different. You may have already attempted to resolve matters directly or indirectly, using other support measures such as the police and your local council. However, if your neighbour disputes remain unresolved, it may now be time to consider seeking legal advice in order to resolve it for good. 

Our neighbour disputes solicitors are dedicated to achieving results in a timely and efficient manner. We use various mediums to aid the solution process, drawing upon our team’s experience and knowledge to deliver a fast, effective result for you.

What services do we provide?

Dealing with neighbours regarding disputes can be stressful and overwhelming. If you have raised a dispute or have been approached regarding an issue, speak with one of our experts to discuss your situation. Our neighbour dispute solicitors offer a range of services pertaining to neighbour, land and property disputes including:

  • Obtaining Access to Neighbouring Land Act
  • Adverse possession claims
  • All anti-social behaviour 
  • Boundary disputes
  • Breach of covenant
  • Building & construction disputes
  • Fencing disputes
  • Keeping Shared Facilities Maintained
  • Land disputes
  • Local Children (damaging or trespassing your property)
  • Noise complaints 
  • Nuisance neighbours
  • Party Wall Act
  • Pre-development advice
  • Property & Garden maintenance
  • Right of way
  • Smells and odours 
  • Overgrowing tree & high hedge disputes

Contact our neighbour disputes solicitors for free legal advice regarding your dispute.

What is neighbour harassment?

Antisocial Behaviour

Anti-social behaviour can encompass a variety of matters. If someone in your area or your direct neighbour is causing alarm or upset by displaying inappropriate behaviour, you may be a victim of anti-social behaviour. There are notable exceptions and reasonable behaviour will not be classed as anti-social just because it affects you personally. 

In the first instance, it is always better to seek a resolution with your neighbour directly, attempting to achieve a solution or some level of compromise.

Examples of anti-social behaviour include;

  • Abusive behaviour targeting specific people or minority groups
  • Animal nuisance (for example, a dog barking loudly or causing trouble)
  • Bullying of minors
  • Dumping rubbish or fly-tipping
  • Making harassment because of your race, religion, sex or disability
  • Making a lot of Noise
  • Graffiti and Vandalism
  • Homophobic behaviour
  • Intimidation through threats or actual violence
  • Verbal abuse

If you believe you are a victim of anti-social behaviour, or would like some clarity and advice regarding your matter, contact our neighbour dispute solicitors who can determine your situation and provide guidance on your next steps. 

Boundary Dispute

Many of the neighbour disputes we have encountered involve a disagreement regarding boundaries. In some properties it may be unclear where a piece of land ends and one begins, occasionally meaning two properties have equal rights to the land between them.

Finding out more about the legal boundaries of your property is simple, you can contact the Land Registry or your landlord; However, should there be difficulties in ascertaining or obtaining this information, our neighbour dispute solicitors can help.

Criminal Activity

Criminal activity in your area can impact everyone negatively, affecting the quality of life and perhaps how safe you feel in your local area. You can take precautionary measures by maintaining existing locks and installing burglar alarms to help you feel safer. If you are renting then you should contact your Landlord to discuss updating security. Criminal activities which impact the area around your property, like damaging lighting, fly-tipping or vandalism, can be reported to the police.

If you are concerned about criminal activity in your area or have exhausted other options for support, contact our neighbour disputes solicitors. They will listen to your circumstances and guide you on what your next options are.

Harassment

Harassment can occur in many forms, email, mail, calls, or by someone’s physical presence. Perhaps someone is making unexpected visits to your property (this can be especially concerning at night) threatening or stalking you. If this happens regularly, our solicitors can help you. We can apply to the courts on your behalf to obtain an injunction, preventing the harassment from continuing. Harassment is upsetting and worrying, but you don’t have to accept it. Contact us today and let us help you. We offer a free, confidential consultation, advising you of your options and other agencies that will help put an end to your harassment.

Noise or Nuisance

Another common neighbourhood complaint is noise. Continuous loud noise between the hours of 11pm to 7am is considered as ‘night noise’ and should be dealt with by authorities. If noise issues persist in your area and informal efforts to resolve them have been unsuccessful, your local environmental health officer will help. 

Councils have the power to take actions in these circumstances: 

  1. Car alarms – the council can break into a vehicle to stop the alarm if it’s a nuisance.
  2. House alarms- Sounding for 20 minutes non-stop or on and off for at least an hour, the council can enter the building to disarm the alarm. They cannot, however, force an entry without a warrant.
  3. Music from loudspeakers in the street which are banned from 9pm to 8am can be prevented by removing the equipment.
  4. Noise coming from pubs (licensed premises) from 11pm to 7am.

Our expert neighbour disputes solicitors can help you navigate any of these issues, offering you advice on what your options are.

Share Amenities

On occasion, you may have to share amenities with a neighbour or several. This can include pipes, drains, gardens and even rooftops on a block of apartments. Disputes tend to arise over who has the responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of these shared amenities. Title deeds and leases will normally detail who is responsible for this, however, as these can often be unclear, it may be best to share the responsibility between the parties that use them. Contacting neighbours to discuss this is often the best resolution to this type of dispute. We can, however, resolve this type of issue on your behalf, helping develop amicable and respectful relationships.

Trees and Hedges

If a neighbour’s tree overhangs into a neighbouring property or garden, it is the tree owner’s responsibility to maintain and remedy this. Should this not be completed, then the person complaining has the right to trim back the tree to the boundary line. If you live in a conservation area or the trees are protected, however, you will need to receive your council’s permission to trim or cut the tree. Always discuss with your neighbour or council before you act. The majority of disputes of this nature can be resolved with a simple conversation.

Hedges are increasingly popular due to people desiring more privacy in their homes and gardens. Hedges can’t be more than two metres tall or block light etc. You can register a complaint with your local council but you may incur a fee in order for them to consider your complaint.

If you would like some guidance in navigating land or property entitlements and responsibilities, our neighbour disputes solicitors will be happy to go through your documents with you, providing simple, legal advice on your circumstances.

Party Walls

If you share a wall with a neighbour, or your property is adjoining to another, this is known as a party wall. Should you or your neighbour intend to carry out work that will affect a party wall between the two properties, there must be a party wall notice served on all parties affected. If your relationship with your neighbour is good,  it may be more cost-effective to just negotiate a Party wall agreement between you instead of going through the usual party wall notice procedure. Our neighbour disputes solicitors can assist in drafting the agreement between you and your neighbour, get in touch to discuss your options.

Dealing with neighbour disputes – step by step

Writing a letter

Your first action to deal with a neighbour dispute should always be an attempt to resolve it directly with them. If you believe a party may struggle to keep calm, or don’t feel able to speak with them face to face, write down your dispute and hand-deliver it to them instead. 

Mediation

If direct dispute resolution is unsuccessful, then it may be advisable to try mediation. Mediation provides an independent, impartial service, enabling both parties to discuss their views without judgement. A mediator is trained to facilitate this, offering solutions after hearing both sides. There can be a fee associated with this service but it is a considerably cheaper option than going to court or legal costs.

The Ministry of Justice can provide you with details of mediators in your area.

If your neighbour is a tenant, you can also contact their landlord who can act as a third party to resolve any disputes.

Going to court

If every other method of dispute resolution has been unsuccessful, it may be time to consider initiating court proceedings. Before doing so, consider the costs associated with this channel and the impact this will have on your relationship with your neighbour. You will need to contact a neighbour disputes solicitor to discuss your options and your circumstances and they will advise you on your case and whether court action is necessary at this stage. 

Civil Injunctions and Neighbour Dispute

Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, if someone is harassed, intimidated, verbally abused or threatened, they can apply to the County Court for a Civil Injunction Order against the perpetrator.

In our experience, this is quite common amongst neighbours and a dispute can arise from anything ranging from complaining about a neighbour fly-tipping in your driveway/garden, to the serious conflict concerning excessive noise and depriving you of your enjoyment of your home.

Breaches of an Injunction Order

A Breach of an Injunction Order can be enforced by way of Committal Proceedings. If a person fails to comply with the terms of the Order, you can ask the court to send him/her to prison for up to two years.

If you have a problem such as the above, our neighbour disputes solicitors can help you reach a resolution. They can do this by either writing to the perpetrator or by applying to the Court for a Civil Injunction Order. Our experienced team of Solicitors have successfully assisted many clients with neighbourhood disputes, applying expert knowledge and legal assistance to ensure your matter is resolved for once and for all.

What is a party wall act?
Open What is a party wall act?

The Party wall act outlines what you should do if you intend to carry out any work to your boundary, party walls or neighbouring buildings. 

Types of work considered are as follows: 

  • Work to an existing party wall or party structure
  • New Building on or at the boundary of 2 neighbouring properties
  • Excavating works near to and below the foundation level of neighbouring properties.

You will need to give appropriate notices in order to protect your position. This Act states that both parties could appoint a surveyor or each appoint their own, who will act impartially. The surveyor will create an award, detailing the work to be done. The condition of buildings will be recorded, who will pay for each part and how much should be paid, alongside timetables for access and the work that should happen.

Can I access my neighbour's boundary? What are my rights?
Open Can I access my neighbour's boundary? What are my rights?

In order to ascertain the rights you have over a boundary or adjacent building or land, you will need to review the title deeds or lease attributed to your property. You can obtain this information from The Land Registry. 

Depending on your relationship with your neighbour, it is always useful to have a conversation with them first, requesting if they mind you obtaining access to undergo works on the boundary or property. 

If your neighbour fails to grant access, particularly if you have rights to do so, speak with one of our solicitors who will go through your options with you. If you are unsure what your title deeds or lease means, we offer a free consultation and would be happy to review them for you, providing you with professional guidance on what you can do next.

How should I approach a boundary matter with my neighbour?
Open How should I approach a boundary matter with my neighbour?

Depending upon your relationship with your neighbour, more often than not, a simple and open conversation can resolve many issues. 

If a neighbour’s tree, as an example, is obstructing your property, legally, the tree owner has to remove the tree/branch to ensure it doesn’t cross the boundary. In most cases like this, matters can be resolved between you but if the situation has become untenable, or you are unclear of the rights you both have, speak with one of our solicitors today. We will discuss your matter with you and help you understand your rights, what you can do and how to resolve the situation amicably and sensitively.

Key Contacts

If you are looking for help and guidance or have a question relating to Civil Injunctions and Neighbour Disputes, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 7242 1666.