TikToker trims neighbours tree hanging over his front drive
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There’s nothing worse than noisy neighbours keeping you up at night or a neighbour blocking your driveway every time you go to leave your property. While in some cases these problems can be resolved by having a polite conversation, some people can become aggressive or rude when you confront them. If matters can’t be resolved in conversation, fear not, there are a number of rights under UK law that can make dealing with troublesome neighbours easier.
With this in mind, experts at BPP University Law School have explained what to do if your neighbours are causing problems.
1. Loud noise
You’re climbing into bed for an early night and then your neighbours start playing loud music just as you’re nodding off to sleep. There’s nothing worse but, unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence.
But it’s not just loud music that can be a nuisance; singing, partying, shouting, banging and noisy pets can all contribute to a noise problem.
However, under UK law, noise levels must be kept to a minimum during the hours of 11pm and 7am.
If neighbours continually break these rules then you are entitled to make a formal complaint.
To make a formal complaint, contact your local council. They are required to investigate noise complaints that count as “statuary nuisance” under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
2. Blocking driveways
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a driveway which means on-road parking is often the only option.
If you live on a small, crowded road, this could lead to your neighbours obstructing your driveway – either by accident or on purpose.
This can be frustrating but luckily there’s plenty you can do in this situation.
The experts said: “The Highway Code does have various rules and regulations in place that can land drivers with a fine for where they park, but when it comes to private land like driveways, knowing your rights and what you can do to resolve the issue can be a little tricky.
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“In some cases, reporting anti-social behaviour to your council may be enough to stop your neighbours from causing a nuisance with their parking.
“However, when this doesn’t work you may be able to pursue a civil case in court as parking on private land without consent can count as trespassing.”
If your neighbours are dumping their rubbish or waste on your land it will likely be your responsibility to dispose of it.
Fly-tipping comes under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which is classed as a criminal offence that could result in a hefty fine.
However, rubbish dumped on private land is a different matter. You will likely be angry and frustrated that your neighbour has dumped rubbish on your land, and fear not, there is something you can do about it.
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Homeowners can contact the Environmental Agency and explain the situation to see if they can help to dispose of the waste.
Once it has been collected, homeowners should keep the receipts of anything they have had to pay for in relation to the dumped waste so they can get their money back if the neighbour is prosecuted.
It may also help to keep note of what happened, the time period, and take photos of the waste so you have evidence.
4. Neighbours using your land
Some neighbours may accidentally plant trees or build fences that encroach on your property boundaries.
However, others may deliberately go beyond their own land boundaries.
The first step in this situation is to speak to your neighbour politely about it. They may not even realise they’re on your land.
But if you are unable to achieve a resolution, it may be worth contacting a property disputes solicitor.
A solicitor will be able to review the deeds to your property, and previous sale agreements and find any evidence that may suggest your neighbour has the claim of the land you are in dispute over.
If the evidence points towards the land being yours, your solicitor may suggest enlisting the help of a mediator or surveyor who can help you and your neighbour come to an agreement.
5. Garden bonfires
Garden bonfires are common and are often used to get rid of waste. However, excessive smoke from gardens can be a nuisance stopping you from enjoying time in your garden or hanging your washing outside.
Luckily, there are a number of things you can do if politely speaking to them doesn’t work.
The experts said: “First, try contacting your local authority, who can get in touch with them and serve them an abatement notice. If they ignore this they can be fined up to £5,000.
“If they continue to cause problems through back garden bonfires, you can take further legal action.”
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