Neighbour disputes – a call to prayer?

The national media has reported with some apparent glee the news that former Stephen Bett, former Police & Crime Commissioner has had a ‘spot of bother’ with his neighbours.

Neighbour disputes have sadly become prolific and often involve a perceived indiscretion by one side which the other regards as more than just an annoyance or irritation: they are seen as an actual erosion of a person’s health and well-being.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of what’s in dispute, there’s one really important consequence of neighbour fall-outs that is frequently overlooked in the heat of battle, namely, the jeopardising of a possible sale of the property in the future. Sellers of residential property must disclose a great deal of information to prospective buyers, not just alterations undertaken or connected services, but also disputes with third parties. It is not inconceivable therefore that a potential buyer might be put off by not only the fact that there is or has been a dispute but also by the nature of it.

I spend a lot of time talking to home owners about this subject and can say with authority that it is always a good idea to take sensible advice (legal and otherwise) to evaluate all of the risks and benefits, not just financial, and the prospects of success before initiating a dispute with a neighbour. Sometimes doing nothing at all might actually be the best weapon!

What were those wise words?

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

"Wealthy landowner Stephen Bett, a former Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, who is accused of putting up a wall of bales so he does not to have to look at a neighbours home near his mansion in Thornham, Norfolk.

"Looking out on the horses on the meadow was a real pleasure for [mum], but now all she can see is this wall made of straw."

"We would now seem to have a 'neighbour dispute'. I believe you were thinking of selling your mother's house in due course. You will no doubt inform the selling agents of this issue as such things are disclosable by law when it comes to selling a house these days."