Dealing with noisy neighbours or a neighbour dispute can sometimes be a fine line between resolving the problem and making the matter a lot worse. Over Christmas, there may be a lot more activity at your neighbours, with more people coming and going and higher levels of noise than usual, so it is important to consider the best way to approach your situation, however difficult the problem may be.
The best starting point for any neighbour dispute is simply speaking to them about the problem – after all, you do know where they live. Whatever the concerns are, the best way to mitigate any problems with noisy neighbours is to talk the issues out.
Obviously, you can’t just tell a dog to stop barking, but certainly, the owner can try their best to negate any further issues. Whilst they may not appreciate the comments, they may appreciate the honesty in coming to them with the problem before taking it any further.
Talking and resolving problems together may reduce any further deterioration in the relationship between you and your neighbour. If it doesn’t work, you can look at pressing the matter further. There can be no harm done in trying to resolve the issue peacefully in the first instance.
Any aggressive and threatening manner used to contact the neighbour is almost certainly going to aggravate matters further, and severely decrease the prospects of the issue being resolved at an early stage. The importance of cooperation and amicability at the early stages of a conflict cannot be overstated.
Not every dispute is as easy as this, however, so where do you go from here?
If speaking with your neighbour fails, you are able to go to your local council for help if the neighbour dispute involves any activity by your neighbour which is deemed damaging to your health or is a nuisance to you.
Nuisances could include loud music, a barking dog, smoke or gases, and various other issues. Further to this, the council may decide someone is causing a statutory noise nuisance. Therefore, a ‘noise abatement’ order can be issued, instructing the neighbour to stop making the noise, or at least a reduction in its volume.
It does however go without saying should a dispute reach this stage, the relationship going forward with the neighbour could be in a state of non-repair. Therefore, it is each party’s interest to try and reach an amicable solution before reaching this stage.
What could this consequently mean? Well, the neighbours may take it into their own hands to make matters more difficult for you on a day-to-day basis. You still have to live next to each other after all, reiterating the importance to maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbour to whatever extent can be reasonably expected.
There are no guarantees that the council or talking to your neighbour will resolve any conflicts. Failing speaking to your neighbour, being able to take it to the council, or any other avenue, you are able to act on the neighbour dispute through legal action or the courts as a last resort.
There is no guarantee either that your case will be successful, and the legal costs can be prohibitive, and it is very likely there will be no going back to a friendly relationship with your neighbour. It is extremely important to explore every avenue to resolve any issues you do have with a neighbour before considering this route.