How to avoid a neighbourly dispute this Christmas

One in five homeowners has been involved in a neighbourly dispute at some point in their life, a new study has revealed.

According to the research, conducted by Co-op Insurance, more than half (51 per cent) of those disputes are yet to be resolved, while one in 10 (11 per cent) have moved house to escape the dispute.

The report, titled A Portrait of the modern British community, presents valuable insight into the minds of disputing neighbours, and more importantly, how to avoid such incidents this Christmas.

Of those homeowners who have experienced disconcerting neighbours, excessive noise was by far the most reported cause of residential issues nationally. More than two-thirds of neighbours say that they have had to put up with stomping footsteps, loud arguments and late night parties.

Meanwhile, just less than one in four have suffered abuse or rude gestures from neighbours, while a further 21 per cent have had problems with barking dogs or inconsiderate parking, such as blocking access to a property or driveway.

Other reported issues include swearing and shouting outside the house (55 per cent), slamming doors (33 per cent), and for over a quarter (28 per cent) of those questioned, smoke from neighbouring BBQs, bonfires or chimeneas was an issue, especially when the washing is out.

Caroline Hunter, Head of Home Insurance at Co-op Insurance, said: “The research shows that playing loud music and making a lot of noise is a top bad neighbour trait, therefore it’s important to spare a thought for your neighbours this Christmas when hosting friends and family.

“This is the season for goodwill after all and by showing a little courtesy it can ensure that you and your neighbours leave 2016 harmoniously and as friends rather than enemies.”

On the rare occasion, however, a neighbourly dispute won’t just go away by itself. If you need help smoothing out problems with noisy or disrespectful neighbours, or need access to legal documents regarding your property, contact us today.

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