Neighborhood Disputes

Problems with neighbours and how to solve them

We’ve all probably had some issues with neighbours at some stage in our lives. Whether you
are building or renovating, keeping your neighbours onside is key to a great outcome for all.

The best people to seek advice from about the building regulations permissions is a professional surveyor, planning consultant or to lesser extent an architect. All these people understand the law and its idiosyncrasies with architects able to devise solutions to best apply the law to your project.

Privacy is probably the number one reason for disputes between neighbours with new additions or dwellings allowing people to look into an adjoining house. The Law states that if a neighbour can look into your house from less than nine metres away, steps need to be taken to make sure everyone’s privacy is respected. There are a number of measures that can be taken such as planting hedges of thick plants such as clumping bamboo or conifers, etched glass or garden walls.

Noise is another issue that can really escalate quickly if not dealt with properly. Waring couples, loud BBQs, barking dogs, kids that seem to have been possessed can all make your life quite painful and unpleasant. The first option is always to have a quite word with the neighbours involved or leave them a note as quite often people are unaware that they are disturbing anybody. There are a host of laws that seek to protect from noise in the residential noise regulations 2008 including what can be done if you are having an issue.

If you not able to find an acceptable solution to the noise concerns, look at ways to improve noise reduction of your home. A great way to cut down on all types of outside noise is to install double glazed glass into windows and door hardware. Brio make a range of bifold doors and windows that use high quality double glazed glass to not only cut noise but also vastly improve the energy efficiency of you home. It’s a win win! Also consider limiting drafts that can transport sound by installing good quality seals in all door and window frames.

If you are building a new house and you are unsure as to exactly where your boundary is, you run the risk of building over the legal bounds of your property which is a horrible position to be in. I have seen parts of beautiful new buildings having to be demolished because the owners built onto the neighbours property. The key is to employee a surveyor to confirm exact lines as existing fences may not have been constructed on the correct boundary.