If your neighbour is complaining about you

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

Start by getting as many details as you can, including what your neighbour says you've done. You can then check whether you need to change what you're doing.

If you have got a letter about being evicted

You should contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you've had an official warning or letter - for example from the council or your landlord.

Get help if you're being evicted because your neighbour complained to your landlord.

If you need help dealing with your neighbour, contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help.

Get details about the problem

Find out what your neighbour is unhappy about and what they want you to do. Get as much information as possible, for example the dates and times of the problem and how it affects them.

If the complaint came through someone else, for example your landlord, ask them for details of what your neighbour’s unhappy about.

If your neighbour complained directly to you, you can speak to them in person or write a note - it depends what you feel comfortable with. If you speak to them in person, think about what you’re going to say first. You can take a friend with you for support.

Check if your neighbour’s complaint is valid

Sometimes it’s obvious your neighbour is wrong, for example they say you’re making noise but it’s coming from a different house.

If you’re not sure whether their complaint is valid, there are ways you can check.

If they want you to repair your wall or fence, check whether you need to. You can also check if you need to cut a tree or hedge.

Check if it counts as anti social behaviour

If your neighbour has complained about noise, pets, vandalism or rubbish, you should check you’re not doing anything that counts as ‘anti social behaviour’.

It’s likely to be anti social behaviour if it causes ‘nuisance and annoyance’ to your neighbour, for example playing loud music late at night or putting rubbish in their garden.

It doesn’t count as anti social behaviour if the problem’s to do with normal day-to-day living, for example:

  • the sound of you walking in your flat

  • your baby crying

  • your cooking smells

If you don’t think your neighbour’s complaint is valid

Explain to your neighbour that you disagree with their complaint and say why. If they reported you to someone else, make sure they know you’re not responsible. It’s a good idea to keep a record of what you say and how they reply.

If your neighbour doesn’t believe you, try to get proof. You could take a photo of where you park your car, for example, if they think you’re parking in their space but you’re not.

If you want to keep a good relationship with your neighbour you can try to reach a compromise.

If you need to change what you’re doing

If your neighbour complained directly to you, tell them what you’ll do differently. You can write a note if you don’t feel comfortable speaking to them. It’s a good idea to keep a record of what you said and how they replied.

If they reported you to someone else, for example the council, tell them what you’ll do differently. Ask if they’ll let your neighbour know or if you need to do this yourself.

Ask a mediator for help

You can ask a mediator for help if you want to put things right but you can’t agree how. A mediator is someone who doesn’t know either of you and who’s trained to help people resolve disagreements.

It’s a good idea to ask your council if they can help you find a mediator - they might help even if you’re not renting from the council.

You can find your council on GOV.UK.

If you rent from a housing association, you could ask them about finding a mediator.

If you still need help, you can look for a mediator on GOV.UK.

You might have to pay for a mediator.

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Page last reviewed on 15 February 2018