There are many different types of neighbour disputes that the TSP Dispute Resolution team can help you with. We have detailed below some examples of the types of dispute you may encounter.
Boundary Disputes: When neighbours end up fighting over their boundaries it often causes untold stress on them and their families. They are unable to relax at home, in what should be their sanctuary. Often they look over their shoulder and are reluctant to fully utilise their gardens. In Acco Properties Ltd v Severn the judge said that “a party can litigate over a tiny strip of land, although I would certainly agree that it is usually economic madness to do so, but a person remains entitled in law to protect and preserve that which is his or hers”.
Boundary disputes are notoriously expensive to deal with in the Courts. The Judges will be guided by the evidence provided by the parties’ experts. It is usual for the “winner” to be awarded their legal costs from the “loser”, but you do not recover all of your costs. There is a salutary tale in the number of boundary disputes where one party has ended up having to sell their home in order to pay the other party’s legal costs.
Many of us can be stuck with our neighbours for years, so an amicable resolution to disputes is always the best route. Talk to your neighbour. Try to resolve your differences. If that does not work, try to agree to instruct a joint independent expert to demarcate the correct boundary position. If that does not work, we can help. We will explore all the options with you, including Alternative Dispute Resolution, before issuing proceedings.
Nuisance: Private nuisance is usually caused by a person doing something on their own land, which they are lawfully entitled to do, but which becomes a nuisance when the consequences of their act extend to the land of their neighbour by causing physical damage. The damage or interference with the neighbour’s land must be substantial or unreasonable and reasonably foreseeable.
Noise Nuisance: Again try talking to your neighbour and ask them to reduce the noise. If the noise is not reduced and your neighbour is a tenant, it may be worth contacting your neighbour’s landlord. If the problem persists it is useful to keep a record/diary of the disturbances which can be used as evidence in any future action.
Local authorities have extensive powers to deal with noise nuisances. You can ask the Environmental Health Officer to investigate the noise. They are able to measure the level of noise and to give an expert opinion on how it rates as a noise nuisance. Local authorities have powers to seize noise-making equipment, to serve notices, prosecute and apply for an injunction.
If that does not work, we can help you assess the strength of your case and if appropriate apply for an injunction.
If you have a dispute with a neighbour that you need help with contact the team here.