1. Talk to your neighbour
Before making a formal complaint or getting others involved, try to discuss the problem with your neighbour. If you’re worried about approaching them, write a letter, explaining the problem clearly and sticking to the facts. If the problem affects other neighbours, involve them as well. It can be easier to settle a dispute if the complaint comes from a number of people. A tenants’ association might help if you’re a member of one.
2. Contact your neighbour’s landlord
If your neighbour is a tenant, you can complain to their landlord. This could be a housing association, the council or a private landlord.
3. Use a mediation service
If you cannot resolve the dispute by speaking to your neighbour, get help from a mediation service.
4. Complain about noise to the council
You can ask your local council for help if the neighbour dispute involves an activity that is damaging to health or a nuisance. This is known as a ‘statutory nuisance’. Your council has a duty to investigate any statutory nuisance.
5. High hedges, trees and boundaries
You must try to settle a dispute about a high hedge informally before the council can intervene.
Ask your council for a complaint form if the hedge is all of these: Two or more mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs over two metres tall affecting your enjoyment of your home or garden because it’s too tall. You might have to pay the council a fee to consider your complaint.
6. Call the police
You should call the police if your neighbour:
is violent, threatening or abusive.
is harassing you sexually, or because of your sexuality, religion or ethnic background.
is breaking the law in any other way – or if you suspect this.
7. Take action through the courts
If all else fails, you can take legal action against a neighbour. Taking someone to court can be expensive so it should be your last resort if nothing else works. There may be court fees and you may have to pay a solicitor.