Do You Have Nightmare Neighbours?
- AuthorCalum Dickson
The recent case of Dickinson & Anor v Cassillas 2017 provides a much needed reminder that the decisions and behaviour of the parties involved in a neighbour dispute are too often controlled by their feelings of animosity towards one another.
This case concerned Mrs Casillas’ right of access to Mrs Dickinson’s land in order to read gas and electricity meters. The meters were built into a flank wall and could only be read from Mrs Dickinson’s property. Despite numerous offers of settlement, the case eventually reached the Court of Appeal this year with Mrs Dickinson being ordered to pay costs estimated at around £200,000.
Whilst this case is seen as somewhat of a reality check for bitter neighbours, in some cases, despite every attempt to resolve the issue early on, a legal dispute cannot be avoided. The most common causes of disputes between neighbours range from the following:
Your home should be the one place where you can rest and sleep when needed. If, for example, your neighbours are playing loud music and preventing you from doing so then this could amount to private nuisance.
2. Overhanging Trees
A common cause of dispute between neighbours is the overhanging of trees and plants. Overhanging trees or plants can be frustrating for many people who take pride in their garden, potentially damaging property and blocking light. If your neighbour’s trees are encroaching onto your property, then your neighbour could potentially be committing a trespass.
You may find yourself in a situation in which you regularly encounter difficulties accessing your property due to a neighbour’s parked vehicle. In this instance, it will be necessary to consider the existence of any potential easements that your neighbour may have or any covenants contained in your title deeds.
Perhaps the most common dispute between neighbours is a result of a clash of opinions on where the boundaries to each property lie. The starting point for any boundary dispute is to check the title plans of the properties. However, it is possible for the boundaries to change due to the situation on the ground, whether this is due to agreements made between the parties or a change in the natural landscape.
The Commercial Litigation Team at Tilly, Bailey & Irvine are highly experienced in dealing with the kinds of disputes set out above and understand that a dispute with your neighbour can cause unnecessary stress on your day to day life. Should you need our help, please contact us and we will provide you with further advice in relation to any of the above scenarios and assist you in resolving your dispute in the most cost effective and amicable way possible.