14 April 2008
We all live our lives differently; have different routines and habits. Normally this doesn't cause any problems, but sometimes however, problems can occur and we can fall out with our neighbours.
Disputes with neighbours are extremely common and can be about a wide range of things, including:
- Noise (from music, shouting, arguing, vehicles, DIY, children or animals)
- Boundary disputes
- Animals not being under control
- Children's behaviour
- Abusive behaviour
- Vehicles (parking, repairs etc)
The Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership offer the following advice to help deal with problem neighbours swiftly and effectively:
The first step is to let the neighbour know that you feel there is a problem. Be polite as they may not realise they are causing problems. Call round and calmly ask them if they could find the time to talk about the problems. It is a good idea to take a friend with you if you don't want to go on your own, or you could even write your neighbour a letter if you feel uncomfortable confronting them face-to-face.
If the problem persists, there are a number of steps you can take. If you are an owner-occupier or privately renting your property you should contact the relevant local authority department and/or the police as follows:
This can include loud music, industrial noise or noise pollution such as dogs barking continuously, constant radio or TV noise, noise from vehicle engines, or DIY noise at inappropriate hours - you should contact the Environmental Health Department on (01495) 235036. They will then be able to investigate your complaint and take action under the relevant legislation.
Aggression, harassment, violence and threats of violence
If you experience this type of behaviour, you should report it at your local police station.
This can include boundary disputes, fences, hedges and access - You should contact the Planning Department, or where disputes regarding "high hedges" are involved, the Environmental Health Department. Other disputes may need to be dealt with via the civil legal system; as a private individual you may need to seek legal advice from a solicitor.
Ball games or skateboarders
This is a common cause of nuisance when children are encouraged to play ball games and/or skateboard in the street, often outside homes other than their own. The council does not currently have powers to enforce prohibitive provisions for ball games or skateboarding. If children or young people are playing ball games adjacent to your property and are causing a nuisance, you should:
- Calmly ask them to move away from your property
- Alternatively, if you know where they live have a word with their parents
If you are abused or harassed as a results of your requests, or if damage to your property occurs you should report the incident at your local police station.
Underage or illegal sales of goods including alcohol, cigarettes, spray paint or fireworks is dealt with by the council's Trading Standards Department. If you become aware that these offences are being committed, from a private house or local shop you should report it to Trading Standards on (01495) 235291. It is also illegal to store more than 50Kg of fireworks in a private house.
This could include abandoned cars, litter, fly tipping, fly posting, graffiti, vandalism, damaged street lighting or bus stops. Please contact the Environmental Health Department on 01495 235036.
If you are a council tenant, you should contact your local Housing Office. They can help in cases of neighbour nuisance and/or disputes, and anti social behaviour. Your complaint may then be referred to the Tenancy Enforcement Unit for further action.
You should speak to your local housing office during office hours to report any damage to property and for help and support wherever possible.
For further information and advice, please feel free to email the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org
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