Neighbours at war

How does the theme tune go? “Neighbours, everybody loves good neighbours.  With a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend.”

Evidently, not in this case.

This is an extreme example of neighbours at war, with Mr and Mrs Dyer alleging that they have fallen victim to 25 years of harassment including the poisoning of their dogs and trees, and their fence being set alight.  But on the other side of the fence, their neighbour Mr Baker insists that he is the victim of false allegations and he denies being the cause of the fence fire.

In my experience, neighbour disputes can often be traced back to a catalyst event.  In this case, it may be attempts made by Mr and Mrs Dyer to have a helipad in the field at the back of their garden.  But whatever the cause of the dispute, it has left the parties awaiting another court hearing where the Judge will consider whether Mr Baker has acted in contempt of court, meanwhile Mr and Mrs Dyer have been left with a bill of £6,750 for the High Court application.

Those embroiled in a dispute with their neighbour should follow these three simple steps to try and resolve the matter amicably:

1. Relay your concerns to your neighbour.  If speaking to them, try to follow this up in an email or a letter.

2. Back up your stance with evidence.  If the dispute relates to boundaries, reference to the title deeds is likely to assist both parties involved.

3. Explore options of dispute resolution.  It may be possible to come to an amicable arrangement.  If an agreement is reached, document this in writing.

But if a compromise cannot be achieved with your neighbour, you should speak to a specialist in property disputes without delay in order to find out your rights and the remedies which may be available.

A property tycoon and his wife are locked in a bitter feud with their neighbour over claims he set fire to their garden fence at the culmination of 25 years’ of alleged harassment, a court has heard.