Disputes with neighbours

Neighbour disputes can be one of the most common forms of residential property dispute and one of the most stressful for the individuals involved. Since neighbours generally have to continue living alongside one another, and such disputes have to be disclosed on a subsequent sale, they need to be handled sensitively.

We have a vast amount of experience advising clients in relation to these types of disputes and always seek to resolve them quickly and cost-effectively. We always take care to maintain your relationship with your neighbour as much as possible in the circumstances.

Some of the specific areas where we can help are:

Boundary disputes

Boundary disputes are becoming more and more common between owners of adjoining property. It is important that landowners understand the concepts involved and the evidence that is admissible and relevant when determining such disputes. Boundary disputes can be notoriously expensive and the key is approaching the problem correctly and getting the right evidence in place from the outset.

Party wall act disputes

Disputes over party walls often arise when neighbours construct a new party wall or carry out works on an existing structure. The Party Wall Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

Party walls usually apply to terraced and semi-detached properties but may also apply to ceilings and floors in a block of flats. Knowing what constitutes a party wall or structure and then determining whether it is subject to the Act is very important. The legislation concerning party walls is extremely complex and it is easy to find yourself or your neighbour in breach of it.

Some situations which may fall under the regulation include:

If you are considering carrying out any work to your property that may affect a party wall or is near the boundary of another property it is advisable to contact a specialist party wall solicitor for advice. Similarly if your neighbour is planning on carrying out work to a party wall they must give you at least two months’ notice. If you are unhappy with the proposed works you have 14 days to make an objection.

Nuisance claims

If someone does something on their land which, for example, affects the enjoyment of your own land or causes physical damage to it, they could be liable in private nuisance. Similarly, you should also be aware of any nuisance emanating from your own land, as you could also find yourself subject to a claim in private nuisance.

There are various forms of nuisance and one of the most common is the encroachment of tree roots from one plot of land to another. In order to claim damages it is generally necessary for the offending owner to have been put on prior notice. Acting swiftly and providing early notification is therefore vital in such instances.

Other forms of nuisance involve smells, noises, and the escape of non-natural substances from land. There is also an emerging area of pernicious weeds such as Japanese Knotweed which can become an extremely costly problem for property owners, see our page on Japanese Knotweed for further information.

How our solicitors can help you:

Meet the team

Robert Twining

Partner & Team Leader

Mustafa Sidki

Solicitor

Robert Twining is a respected practitioner handling the full range of property litigation. He frequently advises blue-chip clients and has further niche expertise in the control of Japanese Knotweed. Sources describe him as "excellent and very knowledgeable."


Chambers UK 2017

Practice head Robert Twining advises on the full scope of property litigation and specialises in Japanese knotweed. Clients say: "He is approachable but has a core of steel, which makes him a good man to have on your side."


Chambers UK 2015

Robert Twining leads the firm's real estate litigation practice and has considerable expertise in landlord and tenant disputes. Sources note his ability to identify the key issues of a case and advise accordingly.


Chambers UK 2016