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Tips on how to deal with your neighbour and property disputes


Our relationship with our neighbours forms an important part of our social networks and community. As the old proverb goes, “good fences make good neighbours”. There are many benefits derived from being friendly with your neighbour. These benefits include increased mental wellbeing due to social connection and peace of mind knowing that you have someone to rely on if you forget to put the bins out or to check on your house whilst you’re on holidays.

However, relationships with your neighbours (as with most relationships), are rarely perfect and can sometimes experience challenges. Common disputes between neighbours include disputes about repairing damaged fences, fallen trees, planning permit applications, and barking dogs.


Plan a time to meet with your neighbour


It is always best to meet with your neighbour face-to-face to try and resolve a dispute. This will give you an opportunity to hear each other’s concerns. It is recommended to schedule a specific time and to not rush through it. Find a place where both of you feel comfortable and can go through each other’s concerns without interruption.


Explain your concerns


It is important to be relaxed and approach your neighbour with a positive frame of mind. Hear out their concerns without interrupting them and listen to them carefully. Once they are finished, take your opportunity to tell them your side of the story.


Find solutions together to resolve the problem


Once you have both aired your concerns, try to find some common ground and start from there to find a solution to the problem. Try to flesh out all the details, pick out a timeframe and agree on any costs involved. It is recommended to take note of the conversation and follow up with an email so that it is in writing.


What to do if you can’t find a resolution?


Sometimes neighbours cannot reach a mutual resolution after meeting in person. Depending on what the issue is, there are a variety of options available for property disputes. It is recommended that you seek legal advice to better understand how the law applies in your situation and what your options are to solve the dispute. A lawyer can help take the emotion out of the situation so you can maintain your social connection with your neighbour.


De Kretser Law has an experienced legal team that will work hard on your behalf to resolve your dispute as quickly as possible to ensure that you avoid any unnecessary cost, delay and stress. Call 1800 800 LAW for a free no obligation consultation.

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