Complaints about neighbours

Find out where to get help with neighbour disputes and how to complain about more serious antisocial behaviour.

Talk to your neighbour

Discuss the issue with your neighbour if you can.

It's often best to assume that your neighbours don't intend to upset you unless you have evidence that their actions are intentional.

Common issues around parking, bins, noise or communal areas can often be resolved through conversation and compromise.

Consider mediation

An independent mediator who is not involved in the dispute could help you reach an agreement. You and your neighbour must both agree to take part. 

Your council or housing association may offer free mediation.

Sometimes you have to pay for mediation but this can still be cheaper than taking legal action to resolve a dispute.

Noise and littering

Your council should investigate complaints of environmental nuisance, such as loud music or littering.

If the problem is affecting your health the council can serve an order for your neighbour to stop. The council can sometimes seize speakers or sound systems.

A court may also grant you or your landlord an injunction ordering a neighbour to change their behaviour.

Report noise nuisance to your council on GOV.UK

Hedges, trees and boundaries

Overhanging trees can usually be cut back to the property boundary if your neighbour won't do it. You should discuss this with them first.

You can complain to the council about a hedge over 2 metres high or a tree that could damage your property.  

The council will expect you to discuss the issue and negotiate with your neighbour first.

The council could serve an order on your neighbour to fix the problem. Or they could do the work and charge for it. 

Find out more about hedges, trees and boundaries on GOV.UK

Reporting antisocial behaviour 

You can contact the council, a landlord or the police about antisocial behaviour.

This could include:

  • threats of violence
  • causing a nuisance
  • racist or homophobic abuse
  • vandalism to your home or car

Councils and housing associations should have teams and policies in place to deal with antisocial behaviour.

Some private landlords will take steps to address any problems with or between their tenants. Many councils also have a private rented housing team who can look at complaints if a private landlord won't take action.

Keep a diary of the behaviour. Take photos or videos as evidence.

Contact the police if a neighbour is violent or you feel threatened.

If you're unhappy with the response

You can make a complaint about how a council or housing association deals with your case. For example, if you think they haven't investigated properly or taken the right steps to help.

Find out how to complain to:

Serious or ongoing antisocial behaviour

You can ask for a case review if you've reported antisocial behaviour to a council, housing association or the police and feel that nothing or very little has been done.

This is sometimes called the 'community trigger'. 

You can use it if you've made at least 3 complaints about antisocial behaviour within the last 6 months.

Find out more about the community trigger on GOV.UK


Last updated 26 November 2020 | © Shelter

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