Religious or not, one of the ten commandments is to ‘love thy neighbour’, which is something that most of us still stick to today. For the most part, we do all we can to get on with our neighbours. We lend them that bag of sugar, we turn down the music when it gets too loud, and we ensure that our kids keep off their lawn, but what happens when you and your neighbours just don’t get on – what then?
Believe it or not, disputes between neighbours are surprisingly common, with the most common cause of tension being noise. However, other causes of neighbourhood disputes include issues with land boundaries, maintenance of shared facilities, trees and gardens, and problems with children and pets. The problem is that these types of disputes can transform a normally friendly neighbourhood into a battleground, so it’s important to ensure that you know how to deal with any problems in the right way. Otherwise, you could end up hating your home and where you live.
With that in mind, below is a list of the steps that you should take to deal with neighbourhood problems and disputes.
Step 1: Try talking
The first step should always be to try and talk to the neighbours that you are having problems with. Whether you are the one who is upset and angry about something, such as them making too much noise, or you are sick of being constantly moaned at for something, talking should always be the first step.
Invite your neighbours to come over to your home so that you can try and work things out. Spend some time explaining that you want to sort things out and ask them how you can do that. Try talking things through to see if you can come up with a solution. Try to stay cool and calm; else you could end up making things worse.
Step 2: Get evidence of what’s happening
If talking doesn’t seem to work, the next step is to get evidence of what is going on. This is important as if you are going to take things further you need evidence to back up what you are claiming.
Whether you are the one who’s annoyed about something or it’s your neighbours claiming things about you and your family, you need to get evidence of what’s going on. To do this, writing down the times and dates of when any issues occur in a notebook could be a good idea – this works either way. If you are the one being ‘victimised’ as such, write down the times when your neighbours say anything about the issue to you. If you are the one making the complaint, write down the times of when music is too loud, etc. You could also record the music on your phone as proof, for instance.
Step 3: Get legal advice
The last step, if you aren’t able to resolve the issue yourself, is to get legal advice. You will find that firms such as BHP Law can provide litigation solicitors who specialise in dispute resolution and are able to help resolve these kinds of issues. Although it may seem extreme, if you aren’t able to find a solution yourself, it could be the best route to go down.
Although going down the legal route may cause more friction between yourself and your neighbours, it also may make things better. Obviously, if you still aren’t able to deal with the issue, then it could be worth considering moving. After all, there’s no point living somewhere where you and your family aren’t happy, is there?
So there you have it, everything that you need to know about dealing with neighbourhood disputes.