Disputes with neighbours
We don’t always see eye-to-eye with our neighbours, but in most cases simply talking peacefully to one another is the best way to solve a problem. However, if talking hasn’t worked or you can’t discuss the issue with your neighbour, find out how you can get help to resolve the issue.
Common types of neighbour disputes
The most common disputes relate to:
- noise, such as loud music and barking dogs
- property boundaries
- overgrowing trees and hedges
- children playing in the street
It’s important to note that most of these cases are not matters for the police (see below). However, you should certainly contact us if a neighbour or someone in your community is:
- violent, abusive or threatening
- harassing you
- breaching the peace, such as being rowdy
- committing a crime (or you suspect they might be)
If any of the above are the case, please report a crime to us.
What is the impact?
Disagreements between neighbours, however small, can fester over time and do lasting damage to your relationships in the long term. That’s why we would always encourage you to raise your concerns with one another and find amicable solutions as early as possible.
If you can’t resolve a dispute with a neighbour it can have a serious effect on your quality of life, especially if it leads to you feeling threatened, isolated or scared in your own home or community. If this is the case, we would strongly advise you to take action using the steps below.
What you can do
Our first advice is always to talk to your neighbour if possible and try to resolve the issue peacefully. If you have a difference of opinion, see if you can find a compromise that works for both of you, such as no loud music after 11pm.
If talking hasn’t worked
If you live in rented property or social housing, your landlord or housing association may be able to help you.
If the problem involves noise, such as a loud party or dogs barking, please contact your local council as this isn’t a police matter.
For disagreements over boundary walls, fences, trees or hedges, contact Citizens Advice for free information and support.
In some cases you may also want to contact a solicitor. You can also refer to government guidance on the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
On the subject of neighbours’ trees and hedges, you can cut any branches or roots that cross over the boundary onto your property. However, these cuttings still belong to your neighbour, so you should speak to them before disposing of them.
If you’re worried about children who are playing in the street and posing a danger to themselves or others, please report crime to us.
For more information on reporting a civil dispute, please use our online civil dispute reporting service.
If you feel targeted or intimidated
If the problems have escalated or you’ve been threatened, verbally abused, or personally targeted please report the crime to us.
We would rather hear from you, and find ways to help, than find out that you were suffering in silence.