Staycations could lead to increase in neighbour disputes - Palmers Solicitors

Staycations could lead to increase in neighbour disputes

Staycations could lead to increase in neighbour disputes

This summer, many people had to rethink their holiday plans, swapping two weeks on an exotic beach for a staycation.

DIY stores and garden centres have reported a huge upturn in sales in the past year as home improvements and gardening projects remain popular amongst homeowners

However, the recent spate of home improvements may, in some cases, have resulted in problems with neighbours, particularly if, quite literally, they have overstepped the boundaries.

Residential property disputes can take a number of forms, including:

  • Excess noise and anti-social behaviour
  • Vegetation trimming and pruning which reduces privacy
  • Boundary problems – where a neighbour has infringed on a land boundary
  • Rights of way – attempting to take shortcuts across a neighbour’s property or trying to create rights of access where none exist
  • Issues with party walls
  • Construction work which infringes a neighbour’s ‘right to light’

In some cases, property and boundary disputes can be as a result of a neighbour’s inaction rather than their actions.

One London homeowner was sued by her neighbours for £500,000 because of damage to their properties. They claimed the damage had been caused by the roots of four sycamore trees which had extended under their properties and caused subsidence.

Erin Duffy, an Associate Solicitor with Palmers, who specialises in Property Dispute Resolution, explained: “One consequence of us all spending our summers at home, is that we are more aware of our neighbours’ actions, including any infringements which affect our own property or enjoyment of our home environment.

“Even minor disagreements or disturbances between neighbours can quickly spiral out of control and become a major drain on your time and resources unless handled quickly and efficiently. A small disagreement can quickly turn into a bitter legal battle if advice isn’t sought early on.

“Sometimes the matter can be resolved informally and there’s no need for legal help, but if you find you aren’t able to communicate amicably with the other party, or if the other party has involved a solicitor, then it is important to seek legal advice.”

For help and advice with property and boundary disputes, please contact us.