12 November 2020
Getting embroiled in a dispute with a neighbour can be particularly stressful.
If handled properly though, there is every chance of avoiding formal litigation, which can be lengthy and extremely costly.
There are numerous ways where you could find yourself in a dispute with a neighbour.
You could have a disagreement relating to the legal title to your property such as the position of boundaries or the operation of rights of way. It could be that the dispute arises more out of your neighbour’s conduct such as making excessive noise or building works that your neighbour is carrying out or proposing to carry out.
“Boundaries are a common problem and are frequently fraught and complex,” says Simon Arneaud, who is an experienced litigation solicitor working in our Dispute Resolution team. “Whether it is by the land or use of land changing over time, or by the boundary being poorly recorded; any ambiguity over the position of a boundary can lead to conflict and burden both properties.”
Whilst it remains unresolved, a dispute can directly affect your property. If you wish to sell, you may have to disclose the issue which could have a negative impact on the marketability or even the value of your property. It may seem that by instructing a solicitor you are escalating a dispute, but in most cases, it is the best way of moving towards a solution quickly and calmly. Dealing with a difficult neighbour directly, perhaps over the back fence, can sometimes make matters worse.
Where disputes become heated it can be sensible to avoid a direct approach and seek professional help.
“The best way to resolve disputes is by focussing solely on the legal issues and practical solutions,” said Simon. “Cases all turn on their particular facts so if you do need help with a neighbour dispute, we can advise you clearly as to not only the legal position but also what your options might be.”
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This article is current at the date of publication set out above and is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.
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