In an ideal world, we’d all live in perfect harmony with our neighbours. In reality though, tensions can build between property owners over a whole range of issues, leading to arguments and in some cases legal action.
Here are three examples of common neighbour disputes, along with suggestions on how to resolve these problems.
One issue that can really get homeowners hot under the collar is confusion concerning boundaries.
If people think they are being duped out of land that rightfully belongs to them, they can quickly lose their patience. Ideally, any boundary issues should be picked up by solicitors during the conveyancing process, but sometimes problems can go undetected.
The key to resolving these matters is to get legal advice as soon as possible. As solicitors www.thelawhouse.com state, many property disputes occur because the parties involved are not clear over their rights and obligations.
By getting specialist advice, you can avoid any confusion and ensure your rights are safeguarded. Chartered land surveyors or surveyors specialising in boundary disputes could be your first port of call. These experts can look at the land, analyze property deeds and the plans associated with them and refer to any relevant historical documents.
Once you are in full possession of the facts, you may be able to settle the disagreement with your neighbour out of court. Alternatively, you can get the court to define the boundary between your properties and use a surveyor to mark it out. To prevent further arguments, you could get this specialist to supervise any building or fencing contractors.
Repairs are another major source of contention. When amenities such as drains, driveways or roofs are shared between two or more homes, disagreements can break out concerning which parties are responsible for arranging and paying for maintenance and repairs. These responsibilities are usually set out in the property’s legal documents. However, this paperwork does not always provide clear evidence.
In cases like these, it is usually best to agree in advance that the costs will be shared between the owners of the relevant homes. The next stage involves getting estimates for the work required and drawing up agreements with contractors to do the work. Bear in mind that at each point where a cost is incurred, the owner initiating the repairs must have the consent of all the other parties involved.
From barking dogs to loud music, excessive noise can also be a cause of disagreements between neighbours. If you think the people living next to you are too noisy, your first course of action should be to speak to them about the issue.
If the problem persists and the culprits are tenants, try contacting their landlord. Meanwhile, regardless of whether they are owners or tenants, it’s a good idea to keep a record of the disturbances. This may prove useful if you subsequently take legal action.
You might also benefit from contacting the environmental health officer at your local council. These officers can conduct investigations and measure noise levels. If they believe there is a nuisance and they are not able to resolve the issue through discussion, they can serve a notice on the individuals involved or on the property owner. If this notice is ignored, the council can then take action to prosecute them.
Hopefully, you won’t experience problems like these with your neighbours, but if you do it’s important to know what action you can take.