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Brits face property feuds with neighbours

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People across the country are getting into arguments with their neighbours over property and development rights.

Research conducted by law firm Slater and Gordon found that one-in-three people had clashed with their neighbours over the development of their property.

Removing or repairing fences were the most common complaint, with 37% of homeowners disagreeing on this subject.

A third said boundary disputes had caused problems with the neighbours while 30% said chopping down trees had caused a feud.

An additional 18% said a proposed extension to a property had created issues between them and their neighbours.

The firm said that many people were not aware of their legal rights and did not know what course of action they could take.

Just under half of those surveyed said they would consider complaining to the council while one-in-ten said they would threaten legal action if they were unhappy with a neighbour’s actions.

However, 48% of those surveyed said jargon and legal terms deterred them from confronting a neighbour.

Samantha Blackburn, head of residential property at Slater and Gordon, said: “I’m not surprised that so many people don’t know what to do if they are unhappy about changes their neighbours are making to their home.

“It’s always preferable to be able to resolve minor issues, such as replacing a fence or cutting down a tree, informally.

“However, when it comes to major changes to a neighbouring home, or disputes over boundaries, it may be necessary to contact your local authority and in some cases take legal advice.”

Top reasons for arguing with neighbours:

  1. Repair or removal of a fence
  2. Boundary dispute
  3. Chopping down trees or shrubs
  4. An extension or change that would block out “light”
  5. Access rights to the property
  6. Noisy and or messy builders
  7. Plans to build a structure in the garden
  8. A change your neighbour is making will lower the value of your property
  9. Painting the outside of a home
  10. Putting in a new driveway

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