Thankfully, the vast majority of us enjoy good relationships with our neighbours. However, if you do happen to fall out with your neighbour about something and what they are doing is causing you personal or mental anguish and suffering, here’s what to do:
Q. We moved into our house a year ago. From March to September, as long as it isn't raining, and sometimes even when it is, our next-door neighbours get their barbeque going. The smoke billows across and fills our house, along with the cooking smells.
This happens almost every night when the neighbours return from work and their weekend barbies can last all day and well into the evening.
Last summer we had to keep our doors and windows closed and they did not seem to care if l had washing out. I suffer with asthma and the continual smoky atmosphere does me no good. What can I do?
A. Speak to your next-door neighbours, explaining that you suffer from asthma and that the smoke from their barbecue is causing you health issues.
The barbecue may be very close to the dwellings, which could be a fire risk. Perhaps they could barbecue further away at the end of their garden. Look at the title deeds to both your property and theirs to see whether there are any restrictions on barbecuing.
If your neighbours continue to disregard your complaints entirely, you may have a claim for nuisance. Look at your buildings and/or contents insurance to see whether you have legal expenses insurance that could assist you with a claim. Your local council can investigate complaints about smoke from residential premises that cause a statutory nuisance.
If the problem is not resolved amicably, you could raise the issue with your local environmental health officer at the council. The council will look at the amount of smoke caused, how frequent the barbecuing is, how long it lasts and if the activity is unreasonable. Smoke caused by cooking is unlikely to be a statutory nuisance. However, if you feel it is excessive, the council may investigate this for you.
Do You Have an Uncooperative Neighbour?
If you would like to discuss taking legal action against an uncooperative neighbour or have more questions, please get in touch with one of our residential conveyancing solicitors.