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Back to Antisocial behaviour

Resolving neighbour issues

A step-by-step guide

Neighbour disputes are not uncommon and do happen from time to time. We have found the best way for customers to address this, is to speak to your neighbour yourself. If that seems a little daunting, here is some advice on how to go about it.

Firstly, your neighbour may be quite unaware they are causing a problem. If you approach them calmly and discuss what is annoying you, they may be quite understanding.

Usually this is much better than letting things build up and having a shouting match, or writing angry letters, when it could all have been sorted out easily.

Advice before approaching a neighbour

  • Be well prepared, think about what you want to say.
  • Keep the message simple and straightforward to avoid any misunderstanding.
  • Stick to the point and try not to get diverted onto other subjects.
  • Plan what kind of solution you would like from the discussion and make that clear. Be willing to be flexible.
  • Choose a good moment – both for you and your neighbour, when their attention is not elsewhere.
  • Choose a time when you are not feeling angry.
  • Before you talk to your neighbour, try talking to another person e.g. a friend or acquaintance to rehearse what you plan to say.
  • Give some consideration to which adult in your neighbour’s household you would prefer to speak to.
  • If you feel more confident handing your neighbour a letter or posting it through their letter box
Some useful tips during this discussion
  • Stay calm and friendly.
  • Explain the problem clearly and how your life is being affected by the other person’s behaviour.
  • Give your neighbour the chance to reply and explain their side.
  • Try not to interrupt the other person when they are talking.
  • Don’t try and shout your neighbour down or become abusive. Don’t make it a personal attack on the other person’s character.
  • Stick to the current problem – try not to drag up a whole catalogue of issues from the past.
  • Always suggest a solution if you believe there is one and be flexible where possible.
  • If the discussion leads to an argument, it is probably best to withdraw at that point.
  • If you feel concerned about aggressive or threatening behaviour, please end the discussion politely and contact us for further advice.

It is often not possible for us to resolve neighbour disputes for you, particularly if the disagreement is about lifestyle, everyday living noise, boundary disputes or even pets. However, for persistent or disputes that are unable to be resolved by the parties involved, we will consider a referral to an independent mediation service.


If you feel things cannot be resolved or communication with your neighbour has broken down, we can offer assistance from the mediation service, where a trained independent person can assist you to sort out your differences.

What is mediation?

Mediation is an effective way of resolving differences between each other. It involves a mediator discussing the problem with you and your neighbour, helping you all come to an agreement. It can be very effective in many situations including disagreements about boundaries, noise, parking, pets or antisocial behaviour.

Who runs the mediation sessions?

Sessions are run by trained mediators who are independent of Melin Homes. They keep a neutral position and see both sides of the issue. They help you to communicate with each other, clarify the issues, explore solutions and work out an agreement for the way forwards.

How does mediation help?
  • It can be quickly organised.
  • It gives you the chance to say what you feel about the situation, to be open and honest.
  • You can make your own suggestions.
  • You can work out your own solutions.

Agreeing to be a part of the mediation process shows that you are committed to resolving matters in a positive way.