Neighbours! Everybody needs good neighbours! But what if instead of finding the perfect friends, yours are complete rot bags whose idea of neighbourly behaviour is letting their dog bark at all hours, refusing to fix shared fences, dumping rubbish in community areas, playing deafening music at all hours, using foul language at the top of their voice or threatening you and worse? If you’ve had to deal with any neighbour disputes from the mildest to the most frightening, and let’s face it most of us have, then you’ll know that it is extremely unpleasant to feel unhappy and even unsafe in your own home. But what can you do about it?
Well…There are plenty of ways to handle neighbour disputes and some of them are mild and involve friendly face to face resolution such as “hey, would you mind trimming back your overhanging branches” or “can we grab a coffee and talk about when we can get our shared fence fixed?”. Depending on the behaviour, it is usually best to try to resolve these types of neighbour disputes in person. For example, if your neighbour’s dog barks constantly when they’re not there but stops when they get home, they likely don’t know. So, a polite knock at the door or a quick chat when you see them might be the best way to let them know that it is bothering you and give them the chance to fix things. Or, if you don’t see them often, then a polite note providing your number and explaining you’d like to try to resolve the situation in a friendly manner with them either on the phone or in person.
Try to avoid the temptation of an anonymous note on your neighbour’s car or in their mailbox…anyone familiar with social media will know that this often backfires spectacularly and ends with your neighbour dispute splashed all over local community pages, making you look like a total fool. Similarly, don’t post on social media pages with the words “to the person that upset me blah blah blah…” it doesn’t resolve anything and just adds to upset on both sides, probably destroying any chance of a good relationship with your neighbour. Remember that Facebook can’t solve your problems, words to live by.
On the other hand. If your neighbour’s behaviour is at all aggressive or in any way intimidating, do not engage! If your neighbour’s dispute needs resolution and you don’t feel able to solve it between yourselves, or your neighbour is downright scary then you have a few options.
- Call your local council. Things like bad pet behaviour, fencing disputes, tree roots etc come under council jurisdiction. The local council website will have heaps of info on resolving your dispute, what your rights are and how to proceed. They will usually send someone round to assess the problem and let you know what your rights are, and the best course of action
- In the case of noise late at night from a party, probably best not to confront boozed-up teenagers (for example) on your own, call the police and they will tell them to stop. If noise is loud at other times of the day you also have certain legal rights depending on which state you live in, again best to proceed through contacting your local council and other local government offices
In extreme cases, you may have to seek legal action to resolve neighbour disputes in court. Obviously, this is a last resort and as with all cases which end up in court, you will need to provide extensive evidence of the problem…and that is where hiring an experienced and professional private investigator will be of help. Not only are private investigators trained in surveillance and collecting evidence, but they can also do so unobtrusively to avoid further conflict between you and your neighbour.
Some examples of cases where legal action may be required are below:
- Abusive words and behaviour: Unfortunately, it has been our experience that some neighbours are intent on ensuring that people living next door are scared of them so that the people who are being intimidated don’t complain about anything the neighbour does. They do this by verbally and sometimes physically abusing and threatening them. By doing this it ensures that they can conduct themselves how they wish, without retribution from their neighbours.
- Property damage and theft: Sometimes neighbour disputes can escalate into petty crime such as scratched vehicles, damage to lawns, flowers or even buildings (walls and windows), theft of plants, garden furniture and even pets.
- Nosey neighbours: Drone use, regularly snooping and even watching with binoculars or taking photos. Many properties are overlooked in some way by neighbouring buildings, so accidentally catching sight of a neighbour is understandable but there are those that make a habit out of snooping on a regular basis to such an extent that the activity becomes obsessive, intrusive and frightening to those on the receiving end.
Group One Investigations has a diverse team of investigators, from all walks of life, ranging from seasoned investigators to experts in military and police intelligence capable of planning and executing all types of surveillance operations. We also have experienced and professional lawyers on staff who are experts in dealing with a variety of neighbour disputes available to advise on actions and support any prosecutions or lawsuits which may become necessary.
If you need help to resolve a neighbour dispute or to gather evidence for a court case, contact us on at any hour on any day on 1800 181 880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.