Who can help you with neighbourhood disputes.

Firstly, you should try and resolve the problem between you and your neighbour by speaking to them directly.  This is usually a faster and more effective way of resolving neighbour disputes. Remember, you live next door to each other and by speaking to them it can save hostility between you. Sometimes people do not realise they are being inconsiderate or that it is adversely affecting you. Try explaining your problem to them and that you would rather not go through official routes, they will hopefully appreciate this and try to come to an understanding. If you are not comfortable or able to speak to them in person then try writing a letter.

Be aware that it would not be advisable to try and resolve issues that may put you at risk, for example where the person or people in question are known to be or you understand or feel they may be violent or aggressive.

If this first step has not worked and the problems continue you would need to report the problem to the relevant people. If you rent your home through the Council, Housing Association or privately, you should report the matter direct to your landlord. If you own your own property then you can contact the Anti-Social Behaviour department of Local Council who will be able to advise you further. Please follow this link for more information>>

If you are experiencing noise nuisance from your neighbour, you can also contact the Environmental Health department of your Local Council who may be able to assist – Please follow this link to go to their site where you can find out more >>

If you have a tree related civil dispute, then you are advised to contact a solicitor. BCP Council cannot arbitrate in disputes between neighbours over trees.

For further information and assistance please visit the Citizens Advice website. If the dispute involves the siting or location of a tree, please contact the Land Registry.

BCP Council have the power to deal with trees on private land that are obstructing the public highway or are a danger to highway users.

What information will they need?

Whoever you report the matter to will need to know dates and times of what is happening.  This should be recent, ideally within the past month. They will also need to know an address of the person causing the problem.  Without these details it will be very difficult for any agency to take the complaint from you.

They will ask for consent that you are happy for them to take action to resolve the problems on your behalf.

The more information you provide, the better informed they will be at ensuring any relevant agencies such as Police or Social Services are involved where necessary.

What happens next?

You should be given a plan of what action will be taken to resolve the issues. You may also be asked to keep diary sheets for a specified period of time in order to get an idea how often the problems are occurring. This will also help show whether any intervention has worked to solve the problems or further action is necessary.

You may be asked if you would consider alternative ways to resolve the issues such as mediation, which is less formal and may lead to an amicable resolution agreed between both parties.

What can I do to help?

You need to ensure you keep agencies updated within the timescales that are requested.

Keep your diary sheets accurate and record as much detail as possible. For example, exact times any nuisance started and stopped, any specific language that was used, what type of noise was being created and what impact the behaviour is having on you/your family.

Also, ensure that if the issues are resolved and action is no longer necessary you make the relevant agencies aware.