Neighbour nuisance guidance

Speaking to your neighbour

Research suggests that in three quarters of all complaints, neighbours do not know that their actions are causing problems for others. Discussing the problem, or simply bringing it to their attention, gives neighbours the opportunity to sort it out for themselves.

Approaching the source yourself will also give you the chance to resolve the problem quickly. An investigation by us will take some time to conclude and may not successfully stop the nuisance while causing relations with your neighbour to deteriorate.

Remember that you have got to continue living next to your neighbours whatever happens. If the matter does go to court your case will be strengthened if you have acted reasonably, discussed the problem with your neighbour and given them the chance to stop the nuisance.

Plan what you are going to say beforehand. Describe the nuisance and be prepared to quote some examples such as times and dates and how it affects you in your home or garden. If the disturbance is due to DIY noise you may have to be prepared to negotiate times with your neighbour.

If you are on reasonable terms with your neighbour, and the nuisance involves loud noise, you may feel comfortable about inviting them round to your house to hear this.

Try not to go round when you are angry. Be calm and polite and never use threatening behaviour.

Do not go round with the sole intention of getting an apology and making them feel guilty. Do not use the opportunity to drag up other issues, and especially avoid raising past problems. Remember that you are trying to find a solution.

Ideally do not go round if you suspect that your neighbours have been drinking. If you feel the situation is safe enough to approach your neighbours, limit your request to asking for the volume to be reduced, and call round on another occasion to discuss the incident.

If other people are bothered by the same problem, ask one of them to accompany you but avoid ganging-up on your neighbour.