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30 Neighbourhood and Community Disputes

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1. Introduction

We don’t always get along with everyone we live near. We can sometimes have disputes with our neighbours about anything from too much noise to problems with parking, rubbish, pets, or plans to build or develop their property. This leaflet explains your rights in relation to problems with neighbours, and gives practical advice for dealing with these problems, whether you are complaining about your neighbour or the neighbour is complaining about you. For more serious problems where you are being harassed, racially abused or threatened with violence, you should contact the police, or get advice from an advice centre, community group or the police.

There is information on:

2. What can I do if I have a problem with my neighbours?

3. Dealing with matters yourself

4. What is mediation?

5. What if mediation doesn´t work?

6. What is a ´statutory nuisance´?

7. What if the council won´t help?

8. Taking a case to court yourself

9. What can be done about anti-social behaviour?

10. Acceptable behaviour contracts

11. Anti-social behaviour orders

12. Further help

13. About this leaflet


A neighbourhood or community dispute normally means a disagreement or conflict with your neighbour or other people nearby. Many can be solved, but there will be a few which will not be.

Neighbourhood or community disputes often arise over things such as:

  • noise;
  • applications for planning permission to build on land or extend a building nearby;
  • children’s behaviour;
  • access to land or property boundaries;
  • parking;
  • high hedges;
  • rubbish; or
  • pets and other animals.

Sometimes there is something more serious behind problems with neighbours, such as racial discrimination.


The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.

Leaflet Version: July 2005

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