How to deal with a neighbour dispute

There are steps you can take to resolve some common problems with neighbours.

How to handle a problem with neighbours 

Try to deal with a neighbour dispute by first speaking to your neighbour about the problem. There may be a way of resolving the issue easily. Through talking, you may find a way to find a solution you are both happy with. The same applies if a neighbour comes to you with a problem

If you can't reach an agreement or you feel your neighbours are being unreasonable, you may need mediation to help settle the dispute.

Noise nuisance

Some noise is unavoidable, but sometimes noise from a neighbour is excessive or an ongoing problem.

In serious cases, the environmental health department at your local council can help.

Find out more from about complaining about noise to the council.

You may be able to find a solution through negotiation or mediation. Use the Ministry of Justice search to a find mediation service.

Find out more from AdviceGuide about what you can do if the noise problem is caused by antisocial behaviour.

Crime or antisocial behaviour

If you are violently threatened by a neighbour, call the police immediately.

You can call the police if you suspect that violence is being committed in your neighbour's home.

Call social services if you are worried that a child may be involved. Social services have a duty to investigate if a child is at risk of harm. Contact the police or the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 if you think a child is in immediate danger.

If you suspect that your neighbour may be soliciting or dealing drugs, report this to the police or your local council.

Problems with communal areas

You and your neighbours have a shared responsibility to keep communal areas tidy and clear This includes lobbies, stairwells, lifts and the space for the rubbish bins. You should have clear access to your home.

It may be possible to leave buggies and bikes in communal areas if agreed between neighbours. You may need your landlord's agreement.

Complain to your landlord if communal areas are blocked.

Contact the council to report problems with fly-tipping or rubbish that is being dumped. Use the council finder to find your local council.

Read more about who has responsibility for repairs to communal areas.

Shared amenities

Home owners may share the responsibility for drains, pipes, the roof of a shared building or other amenities. This might include the rights to use the amenities and any maintenance or repairs.

Read more Citizens Advice about common neighbour disputes.

Find out about shared walls and other boundaries.

Hedges and trees

There are rules about how high a neighbour's hedge can be. You can ask your neighbour to cut a high hedge back. Contact the local council if your neighbour's hedge is causing a problem. The council may be able to go in and do the work needed and then recover the cost from the owner. If the owner doesn't comply with the notice, they can be fined.

The council may charge you a fee before it investigates your complaint. You must provide evidence that you have tried to solve the problem.

You are entitled to remove the parts of trees that overhang your garden, but not to go into your neighbour's garden without permission. If you have a problem with a neighbour's tree that is dangerous, blocking light to your home or that may cause damage to your property, contact the owner first. If this does not resolve the issue, contact your local council.

Find out more from about problems with high hedges, trees and boundaries.

Invasive plants

Japanese knotweed and other invasive plants can cause damage to your property. Your neighbour must ensure that these plants do not spread to other properties or land. You may have a legal claim against your neighbour if they allow invasive plants to spread.

You may be able to report Japanese knotweed and other invasive plants to your local council.


You should be able to gain access to a shared driveway. Contact your local council or the police if you have a persistent problem with a neighbour blocking your drive.


You can complain to the environmental health department of your local council about problems with a neighbour's pet, such as constant barking from a dog.

Contact the RSPCA if you are concerned about an animal that is being mistreated.

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