9 Reasons Your Neighbour Might File a Property Dispute

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No one wants to get involved in a dispute with their neighbour, right? So, understanding the reasons your neighbour might file a property dispute is incredibly important. Take a look…

Having a good relationship with your neighbours is always going to have its advantages. Of course, you don’t have to be best friends, but being on good terms will go a long way when it comes to enjoying a peaceful home life.

That said, as you may already be aware, not all neighbours get along, which could even lead to a residential property dispute. Sometimes, that may be out of our control – we can’t negate the actions of others all the time!

But what reasons might they have for doing so? We’ll be answering that very question here, where you’ll find some of the most common reasons your neighbour may file a property dispute so you can be sure to avoid them.

Property Dispute
Gleren Meneghin via Unsplash

9 Possible Reasons for a Property Disputes

1. Noise Complaints

We all value some peace and quiet every now and then. So, when that peace and quiet is disturbed on a regular basis, it’s no wonder why some neighbours feel as though they need to take matters into their own hands.

Noise complaints form the basis of a number of property disputes and can range from someone playing music too loud, a dog who won’t stop barking, or non-stop arguing between parents and their children. If you can admit to your household being on the noisy side more often than not, you might want to consider turning the volume down.

2.) Boundary and Fence Disagreements

If you and your neighbour can’t agree on where the boundary lies between your respective properties, or you’ve erected a fence that they object to, then trouble may be just around the corner.

You can get a general idea about where the boundaries for your property are by taking a closer look at its title plan. If you think that you need to record the boundary more precisely, you can do so by making a boundary agreement with your neighbour or by applying for a determined boundary.

3.) Overhanging Trees and Shrubs

When it comes to your garden, it’s probably not the best idea to simply let nature takes its course. It’s important that you always maintain your garden as best as you can so that you can reduce the chances of your trees and shrubs overhanging into a neighbour’s outdoor space.

This is a small issue that quickly escalates into a dispute, especially if you aren’t seen to be making an effort to keep things in order.

4.) Unpermitted Building Work

If you propose to make a change to your property that falls outside the scope of ‘permitted development’, then you best make sure you obtain planning permission first!

A very common (and easily avoidable) cause of many disputes is where someone continues with building work despite not obtaining planning permission or ignoring a verdict that prohibits them from carrying out the work. Even if you don’t get the outcome you’re looking for when it comes to planning permission, you’d be ill-advised to take matters into your own hands.

5.) Failure to Maintain Shared Amenities

Many properties share a number of amenities, such as shared drains, pipes, gardens or rooftops. In certain situations, it may not be clear who has the responsibility for maintaining or keeping the shared amenities clean.

If there is a legal document which states that you have the responsibility, then you need to make sure that you stick to this. Otherwise, you can expect to receive a swift complaint from a neighbour.

Party Wall
Budgeron Bach via Pexels

6.) Work on a Party Wall

You might have a party wall if your property is joined on to your neighbour’s. As the wall affects both you and your neighbour, any plans you both have to carry out work on it will need to be signed off beforehand.

It should go without saying, but to prevent any confusion or issues, you should always consult your neighbour before you plan to do any work on a party wall

7.) Anti-Social Behaviour

Neighbours will always respond to instances of anti-social behaviour poorly. If it’s just a one-off (perhaps you’ve forgot to clean up after a dog, for example), then they’re unlikely to resort to a dispute right away. However, if it’s a repeated issue, then that’s the most likely route.

You always need to act with respect towards your neighbours and remember that any actions that are out of line could be treated very seriously.

8.) Noisy Builders

Sometimes a neighbour dispute might not be entirely your fault. If you’ve got builders or workers on your property, then they need to be mindful of how they behave and the state they leave the surrounding area in.

It is still your responsibility to make sure that they are well behaved and respectful. So, if you recognise that there are a few issues, it’s best to address them yourself before a neighbour weighs in with a dispute.

9.) Painting the Exterior of a Home

Under normal circumstances, you’ll be able to decorate the exterior of you home however you like. However, if your style isn’t to everybody’s taste, this could result in a dispute.

You should also be mindful of the fact that there are often limitations in place with regards to what you can do to your home. For example, if you home exists within a wider development, there may be restrictive covenants in place which are designed to keep every property looking the same.

Dispute with Your Neighbour
Brett Jordan via Unsplash

Are You Worried About Getting Involved in a Dispute with Your Neighbour?

In this post, we’ve covered some of the possible reasons why your neighbour may file a property dispute against you. If you want to make sure that your relationship is harmonious as possible, then it’s important to avoid falling foul to any of them.

Have you ever had any issues with your neighbours in the past? Do you have any tips for anyone looking to avoid a dispute? Feel free to leave a comment below with you own advice.

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