Community Disputes

What is a community dispute?

Community disputes (sometimes referred to as neighbourly disputes) are where two neighbours within the community disagree about something. It becomes a dispute when it becomes a source of distress and frustration. It’s common for both sides of the dispute to have done things to annoy the other person.

How can we help?

For most of us, having neighbours can be a good thing – we can share a cuppa or help each other out with the school run. During lockdown, neighbours may have even got closer, helping with the shopping or tackling loneliness.

For other, having neighbours can be problematic. If someone parks too close to your drive, it might be difficult to back out. If the neighbours’ children are too noisy, it can be annoying.

Some neighbours are unclear about their property boundaries, while other neighbours might have noisy parties on weekends when you need to get up early to go to work. Others are aggressive, threatening or even intimidating. It’s hard to know what to do when these things happen.

Before making a formal complaint, getting other parties involved or contacting authorities, try to calmly discuss your problems with your neighbour. You might find that it is easier to write a letter explaining the problem clearly and asking them to contact you so that you can discuss the situation and work out a problem. If the problem affects more than one neighbour, perhaps everyone can get involved in a calm and friendly way to work out an agreeable solution.

But, if you don’t feel you can easily approach your neighbour – or you’ve already tried – then contact Ashford Mediation Service. We’re a charity and our services are free. Our mediators are all professionally trained volunteers and we’re here to help.

A mediator won’t ‘take sides’ and they won’t tell you what to do. Sometimes it can help to talk to someone.

If you would like more information about the family disputes service, contact us here.