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Last edited 12 Nov 2021
- Boundaries, fences, walls, gardens and hedge heights between properties.
- Parking issues, driveways and nuisance vehicles.
- Rights of way and communal areas, complicating access to shared amenities or access to carry out repairs.
- Neighbourhood noise, abuse, violence or other forms of anti-social behaviour (such as noisy pubs, rowdy parties and barking dogs).
- Lack of property maintenance, resulting in dangerous trees (with overhanging branches and roots), overhanging gutters and other forms of damage or repairs that have spread into a neighbour's property.
 Guidance for issuing a complaint
Citizens Advice recommends documentation of neighbour disputes. This means taking notes regarding the date, time, and location of the issue as well as taking photographs that could be used as evidence (as long as it is safe to do so).
- Talking to the neighbour. For in person contact, it may be advisable to bring another person along for support (particularly if there are other neighbours who may be involved in the dispute). A telephone call, text or written communication can be an alternative if in person contact is difficult to coordinate or causes additional tension.
- Contacting the neighbour's landlord (if the neighbour is a tenant). The landlord could be a local council, a housing association or a private landlord. The type of landlord and type of complaint may vary, depending on the circumstances (particularly in the case of anti-social behaviour in either social or private housing). Anti-social behaviour may be associated with noise, graffiti, rubbish, trespassing, harassment and other such activities.
- Using a mediation service. The council may be able to make a recommendation for a mediation service that is suitable for dispute resolution. This can be expensive, but it is usually less expensive than other forms of legal action.
- Complaining about noise to the council. If the council does not provide a satisfactory response, the first step is to use the council’s complaint process to register any issues. If the issue is still unresolved, an ombudsman can get involved.
- Taking steps to settle disputes over high hedges, trees and boundaries. Cutting trees without permission is not advised, since ownership of the tree (along with legal property boundaries) may be unclear. Property documents or the title deeds should be consulted before cutting trees or dealing with walls or fences that are situated between two properties.
- Calling the police. Police should be contacted if an incident between neighbours could be seen as a threat of violence. They may also get involved when there is excessive noise.
- Taking action through the courts. If disputes between neighbours continue, it may be necessary to get solicitors involved, although Citizens Advice Scotland says this should be a last resort, since it could permanently damage any relationship between neighbours.
 Neighbour dispute disclosure
When a house is put up for sale, the seller is responsible for completing the Law Society’s Property Information Form (which is also referred to as a TA6) form. As part of the information about the property, the seller should include details about the physical condition of the property as well as disputes with neighbours. This means disclosing past disputes and anything that could cause a neighbour dispute in the future (even for something like a noise complaint). It can also mean relaying information as to how the dispute was resolved. These forms should include full disclosure so the potential buyer is aware of any circumstances that might lead to legal action if withheld.
- Land law.
- Neighbour trouble.
- Party Wall Act.
- Prescriptive rights of way.
- Responsibility for boundary features.
- TA6 Property Information Form.
- Tree rights.
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