THE five most common neighbour rows have been revealed – and how to solve them.
Many of us live in harmony with the people next door but some face daily battles with their neighbours from hell.
However, it is not always clear what action to take.
The five most common neighbour rows have been narrowed down to loud noise, boundary issues, parking spaces, unkempt land and maintaining common areas.
Mark Montaldo of leading civil law firm CEL Solicitors said: “Good neighbours can be worth their weight in gold, but all too often we can fall out over both minor and major issues that ruin our domestic bliss.
“Unfortunately, there are lots of people who are at loggerheads with their neighbours and it can make life that bit more difficult.
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“Some of the most common disputes include parking spaces, excessive noise, unkempt gardens and arguments over just where your land ends and theirs begins.
“Sometimes these disputes can be resolved over a friendly cup of tea but in other cases they can be so serious they spark a legal battle.
“It’s important to know your rights in cases where all is not well between you and your neighbours as it might just save you some hassle and a lot of money.”
Noisy neighbours made it to the top five most common causes of disputes.
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If your walls are thin or you live below an inconsiderate tentant, you may be kept awake by running children, moving furniture or loud music.
But councils are obligated to follow up any noise complaint that could be considered a statutory nuisance.
This means excessive noise according to the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
For noise to be considered excessive it must unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home.
It also qualifies if it is negatively impacting your health or would be likely to affect your health soon.
Noisy neighbours could receive a fixed penalty notice of £110and £500 if the offender is a businesses.
This can be increased to £1,000 for homes and unlimited fines for businesses if not paid on time.
Overgrown hedges, new walls, or even a shed, can cause disputes about where one neighbour's land ends and another's begins.
Often it is difficult to find original blue prints and if you concede wrongly, you could lose thousands on the property when you come to sell it.
However, if ou are sure part of your neighbour's property is over your legal boundary you could obtain a Court Order for trespassing.
You may also be eligible to claim compensation to cover the loss of enjoyment of your property.
In areas with limited parking spaces, how neighbours leave their cars parked can be a major issue.
Problems most commonly arise with residential street parking, when spaces are taken on a first-come first-serve basis.
The Highway Code’s traffic and road legislation states you should not park in a resident's space if you don’t have permission and you cannot block the entrance to someone's property.
Selling your home can be difficult at the best of times, but if the people living nearby have unkempt and unslightly land it can be a nightmare.
Some neighbours, for example, allow their shrubbery and trees to overgrow into the property next door.
However, if this is the case you are allowed to trim anything that grows over the boundary line.
But, you are not allowed to trespass into your neighbour’s land to do it for them on their side.
Some trees also have protection orders on them and should not be cut or trimmed.
Maintaining and cleaning common areas
In many apartment blocks there are communal areas but it can be a disaster for residents if others don't contribute to maintaining these spaces.
Obstructing emergency routes with parcels, blocking fire doors with bikes, or creating tripping hazards with abandoned children's toys can cause major rows within an apartment block.
If your neighbours are leaving rubbish in communal areas it is advised that you speak to them first in the hope that they agree to remove their rubbish amicably.
However if your neighbours refuse, you should report the issue to your local council who will investigate and determine whether the issue amounts to a statutory nuisance.
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If so, the council will serve an abatement notice on the people responsible for the nuisance.
If someone does not comply with an abatement notice they could be prosecuted and / or fined.
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