Neighbour dispute problems

Stewart Patterson - barrister, commercial and business property expertAny neighbour dispute can be long term and at times it can become overwhelming. What you choose to do about the problem depends very much on the circumstances, however there are a range of actions that you can take.

You may be the victim of bad neighbours or you could even be accused of being one. There are effective solutions for both sides of the argument.

Types of neighbour dispute

In brief, the problems that arise center around:

  • Boundary Disputes
  • The condition of fencing and walls
  • Overhanging trees
  • Tall trees and hedges
  • Property damage
  • Smells, fumes and gases

  • Animals in unhygienic or unsafe conditions
  • Barking dogs
  • Loud music
  • Regular arguing and shouting
  • Inconsiderate parking
  • Harassment

This is a general list and each circumstance is different. When these issues are being resolved each case needs to be considered on its own merits.

First steps to resolving a neighbour dispute

Neighbour dispute over garden fenceUsually, you should consider talking to the person causing the problem first. For various reasons this is not always possible, however if you are able to pursue this it is quicker, less costly, is much less stressful and is less likely to harm your future relationship with the neighbour than if you had taken official action.

There are number of things you should do when you are involved in either a neighbour or community dispute. You can:

  • Try talking to the neighbours who are complaining
  • Or try talking to the neighbours who are causing the problem
  • You can try mediation
  • You may contact the police or local authority
  • There is always recourse to take legal action

Understandably the thought of speaking to the problem neighbour is very daunting for some and may not be possible. At this point you should consider outside help. You can speak to a local community group, an advice group, local council or the police.

If doing these things does not help, is impractical or is not likely to be fast enough, then you should seek specialist legal help direct.

The benefits of talking to a specialist barrister

At some point you may need to discover your true legal position. This could be because you are considering legal action or are expecting legal action to be taken against you.

In both cases the right advice is required and you can obtain this from a barrister. You will need someone who has years of experience in dealing with neighbour disputes and property issues.

My best advice to you is that you take action now. It will relieve the worry and uncertainty that grinds you down. Also it will quite possibly save you time, money and more problems in the future.

The barrister will listen to your problem, study the merits of your case and the problems that you are facing. He will then make the best recommendations on how you should proceed towards obtaining the resolution that you want.

Get the right legal advice faster

property boundary disputeIn the past you would have contacted a solicitor first, they would then refer you on to a specialist barrister. Rather than following this process you can now contact some barristers directly yourself. This way you will have the help that you need almost immediately. Avoiding unnecessary delays, you will also avoid the extra expense that is incurred when being referred by a solicitor.

You can email or call Stewart Patterson for this. As an experienced barrister of long standing, he has a tremendous depth of knowledge with property, boundary and neighbour disputes.

‘Who should’ & ‘How to’ take action

Naturally when a neighbour dispute arises, the first thing that you should attempt to do is to talk to your neighbour. It may be that there was a misunderstanding, or that a satisfactory resolution can be reached in a friendly manner. When this is not possible, it is best to seek good advice.

By taking action now the process is easy and fast. Very quickly you will be confident that you are dealing with a specialist. You can make your initial enquiry by phone or email and this is free to do. After that all work is carried out on a fixed cost basis, so you will always know exactly where you stand.

You should make contact straight away if…

  • You are suffering anti-social behaviour
  • You are being accused of anti-social behaviour
  • If personal injury has been inflicted upon you
  • There are access to daylight issues
  • There are right of way issues in dispute
  • There are tree or fence problems
  • A neighbour’s building is affecting yours in a negative way

  • A neighbour has damaged your property in some way
  • A neighbours tree has caused subsidence or root damage to your property
  • There are noise nuisance, mess or trespass problems
  • There are health and hygiene related problems

Contact Stewart Patterson Barrister


Contact Information

We wholeheartedly welcome you to contact us regarding any legally related issues or concerns. We're easy to talk with and will very quickly steer you in the right direction.

Stewart Patterson
Barrister, Mediator & Arbitrator

Pump Court Chambers,
31 Southgate Street,
SO23 9EB
Tel: 01962 690061
Fax: 0845 259 3240
DX: 2514 Winchester