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Five fixes for feuding with your neighbours

Unless you live in an isolated cottage or a remote farmhouse, you’ve probably got neighbours to deal with.

Maybe you’re best friends, chatting over the fence and swapping gardening tools. Perhaps you’re just acquaintances, wishing each other good morning but not quite knowing their names. Or it could be that you’re sworn enemies, locked in a bitter dispute that won’t end until one of you is gone.

No one wants to be trapped in a feud like that. We all deserve to feel happy and comfortable in our own homes - but sometimes, it’s our homes that are at the root of the problem.

If you’re having real issues with your neighbours, there’s government guidance and help from Citizens Advice that can help steer you back on the path to borrowing a cup of sugar. But if your home - or their home - is a sticking point, see how a little help from a local tradesperson could help bring harmony back to your street...


Probably the single most pressing issue among neighbours is noise. Depending on how thin your walls are, everything from pets to parties to TV to toilets flushing can be enough to make you reach for the ear plugs - or fight back with even louder noise of your own.

Of course, there are limits to acceptable noise levels - while you might have to give some leeway to a teething baby, frequent loud parties or howling dogs are legitimate reasons for complaints, and your local authority will have a department for dealing with cases.

But sometimes, your home can be working against you when it comes to sound. In just the same way that you insulate your home for heat, you should also think about insulating it for sound as well.

Good quality double, or even triple glazing can make a world of difference when you can just shut a window to block out what’s happening in a neighbour’s garden, while specialist wall insulation can help dampen sound travelling between shared walls.

Speak to a window fitter or insulation specialist to see what solutions might work for you.


A perennial favourite of newspapers, especially during the summer “silly season”, is stories of neighbours going to war over trees.

Maybe a particularly verdant specimen is blocking the light. Perhaps its snaking roots are putting the foundations at risk. Or it could be providing a home to birds that have taken to roosting right above your neighbour’s driveway - decorating their family saloon a tasteful off-white…

The stories usually end one way - with the aggrieved neighbour taking matters into their own hands and going out one night with an axe or chainsaw - not for the people next door, but for the tree, which usually doesn’t come off well from the experience.

If you value the long term health of your tree - and your relationship with the people you live next to - then it’s best to bring in an experienced tree surgeon for any trees that might pose a problem. They can assess and treat the tree to make sure it doesn’t cause issues for anyone - or wind up with you on the front page of the local weekly.