How simmering neighbour disputes can boil over in summer heat
The hot summer months lead to a large rise in neighbour disputes compared to other parts of the year.
Most of the disputes are over such things as noise, bad parking and overhanging trees or hedges. These issues can simmer throughout the year but tend to come to a head during the summer when the fine weather leads to more garden barbecues and parties, and vegetation starts to creep across boundaries.
Most disagreements can be settled quickly with a little goodwill on both sides but sometimes it can be more difficult to find a solution, especially if the dispute is about more complicated matters such as boundary lines.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy for matters to get out of hand if individuals don’t maintain a sense of perspective. Many cases cost between £10,000 and £50,000 and take years to settle, even though there is often little at stake except a few feet of land.
It is usually better for disputes to be settled amicably, but if this is not possible, then both sides should seek legal advice before attitudes begin to harden. Clarification of the legal position may help resolve the problem right at the outset.
If problems persist then there are still things you can do before heading for the courts. Mediation is often a useful tool to resolve disputes without the cost and delay of court proceedings. Trained mediators can help bring both parties together to negotiate a settlement that is fair to both sides, which is as you may have to live alongside each other for many years to come.
If agreement still can’t be reached then litigation may become necessary. However, it is vital to ensure that the dispute doesn’t escalate to a point where the costs involved are out of proportion to the value of the claim.
Please contact Janice Young or Holly Baker if you would like more information about dealing with neighbour disputes.