Neighbour Disputes #SolicitorChat with The Law Society.

During the pandemic, many people have been spending more time at home. But what rights do you have if your neighbours are creating excessive noise? And how can a solicitor help you to reach a resolution that works for everyone? Rachel FitzGerald discussed this and more live on Twitter this morning during #SolicitorChat.

Join The Law Society and other firms discussing on Thursday mornings 0900-1000.

What are the most common neighbour disputes clients come to you for help with?

We have extensive experience in helping our clients diffuse and resolve neighbour disputes, including nuisance claims such as unreasonable noise, boundary disputes, trespass, development disputes or blocking a right of way over a neighbouring property.

What steps should someone take to try and resolve a dispute with their neighbour?

When faced with a neighbour dispute it is sensible to first seek legal advice so that you understand your rights and do not say or agree to anything that may inadvertently prejudice your position.

Having taken advice efforts could be made to resolve the dispute directly with your neighbour. Sometimes a cup of tea and a calm discussion between neighbours can work wonders.

If it is not possible to reach a resolution directly with your neighbour a solicitor can help you consider alternative options. Of course, if you felt speaking directly with your neighbour may place you in any danger then you should not attempt to do so.

How can mediation help disputing neighbours find a suitable resolution?

Time and time again the Courts have cautioned against protracted neighbour disputes, with Lord Justice Mummery summarising the reality of such disputes with the maxim “He that goes to law holds a wolf by the ears”.

Mediation gives the parties opportunity to air their differences in a open forum, with the guidance of a mediator, hopefully reaching a resolution before the time & expense of bringing a case to trial are incurred & before the wolf is running at full tilt.

The greatest advantage to a mediation is that the parties can be creative in their resolution and can reach a bespoke agreement that addresses all of the issues between the parties, which will hopefully lead to a harmonious future co-existence.

How can a solicitor help someone to resolve a dispute with their neighbour?

We help by advising on your legal rights so that you are aware not only of the strengths of your position but also any weaknesses. We also advise you on your options for seeking a resolution whether it be Court proceedings or alternative dispute resolution.

Neighbour disputes are often emotionally charged and we understand that you need a cool head to guide you. We are very aware that when the dispute affects your home it can feel like there is little escape and in so far as we can we are there to support you.

With many people spending more time at home recently, have you seen an increase in neighbour dispute cases?

We continue to be busy helping our clients deal with neighbour disputes however do not believe that we have seen a substantial increase in instructions during the Covid-19 crisis.

The contents of this article are intended as guidance for readers. It can be no substitute for specific advice. Consequently we cannot accept responsibility for this information, errors or matters affected by subsequent changes in the law, or the content of any website referred to in this article. © Mundays LLP

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