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Neighbourhood disputes can encompass a very broad area of legal activity. Perhaps the most common and easily recognized legal issue that arises between neighbours, involves trespass and conflicts over boundaries that separate lots.

Overhanging trees and structures are also often the cause of disputes between neighbours.  Also, a proposed development that is opposed because it may constitute a nuisance to the owner of an adjoining parcel of land or members of the community, will also usually form the subject of a neighbourhood dispute. Other issues that may arise include privacy concerns, offensive noises and pestering animals.

Unfortunately, there is little you can do when a neighbour peers into your lot or listens in to your daily routine. However, in some cases, it is possible to seek an apprehended violence order in the event that you become fearful for your safety. If your neighbor is hosting a noisy party, it may be a good idea to first ask politely for the noise to be reduced before calling for the police. Constant harassing noise can be a nuisance and laws exist to provide a remedy to stop these kinds of disturbing events from happening or recurring. Laws also exist that restrict the use of noisy machinery and tools. If noisy tools are a source of concern, you should consult with your neighbourhood dispute lawyer to see what your rights are.

A dog or cat that enters onto your land without permission is a trespasser. In situations like these, it is best to ask your neighbour to collect it before calling a ranger to have it removed, especially if it has not caused any damage. Over-the-top reactions to a breach or violation of your rights can often cause greater problems than they solve.

The first thing anyone can do when they are involved in a minor issue or a minor dispute with a neighbour, is to openly discuss the relevant matters with your neighbor. Sometimes clearing the air may resolve an issue that a neighbour may not have known was bothering you. Effective bridges of dialogue are essential to maintain good relations with your neighbours, but if there have been communication problems in the past, you may have to approach your neighbor with greater sensitivity. One way to do this is to suppress any anger or frustration you may be feeling and try to ventilate any problems in good faith.

The laws that relate to disputes between neighbours may include criminal legislation as well as the common law relating to tort and a host of other statutory and regulatory instruments. For more information about particular issues concerning disputes between neighbours, see our sections on “Boundary Disputes”, “Challenging Consents, Licenses and Permits”, “Easements and Covenants”, “Encroachment and Overhang” and “Retaining Walls”. Matty, these are clickable links

Navado Lawyers and Solicitors understand that litigation can be an emotionally taxing and psychologically exhausting experience – especially when you are in litigation with your own neighbour, who may live next door and who you may have to cross paths with every day or frequently. Most people that have disputes with their neighbours may not be in a position to afford complex civil litigation and other Court proceedings. In any event, as the neighbor lives in close proximity, it is always advisable to do what you can, to avoid protracted disputes or litigation. For this reason, our Property Law Team has a policy of always trying to resolve any disputes in the most economical and efficient manner first before a matter is escalated by suing individuals. Of course, there will be times where people are so entrenched in their positions that a negotiated resolution will be unlikely. In these cases, filing proceedings in Court may be the only option left.

If you are unfortunately involved in a neighbourhood dispute, there might be a number of pertinent legal issues that need to be contemplated before you decide what steps can be taken to secure your rights. Our neighbourhood dispute lawyers have been assisting individuals for over a decade, and we have the skills and expertise necessary to guide you through your neighbourhood dispute.

If you would wish to discuss any of the matters referred to above in more detail with a legal professional, you can contact our firm to book a meeting with our neighbourhood dispute solicitors by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or send an email to info@navado.com. 

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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