Reporting disputes with neighbours directly to the police, a landlord or other agencies can often make a situation worse. So as a first step think about whether you can sort the problem out by talking to the person as they may not realise they are being anti-social.

Resolving neighbourhood disputes

  • Explain what is upsetting you. It’s helpful to give times, dates and examples and explain how it affects you and your family, rather than just complain about it
  • It may be that your neighbour isn’t aware of the problem and you could reach a compromise
  • Remember that your neighbour may have problems and concerns that you are not aware of
  • Try to think about how you would like to be spoken to if someone had a problem with something you were doing
  • Try not to shout or lose your temper as this can make it worse and could lead to action being taken against you
  • If speaking to your neighbour doesn’t stop the problem, independent mediation may help

However, if you have experienced violence or harassment from your neighbour in the past or feel threatened by them you should not try to sort the issue out yourself. Also, if you are aware that your neighbour may have vulnerabilities that could affect their behaviour the best thing to do is contact the police or, if applicable, the relevant Social Housing Provider.

Mediation

If you can't sort an issue out, using mediation might help you understand each other’s point of view and find an answer. Mediators do not take sides, but try to find something you can both agree on. Using mediation early on can often stop problems getting worse. But even when a problem has been going on for a while, mediation can still help someone see they are causing a problem and stop it. Surrey Mediation gives free help with problems in your neighbourhood.


If you feel unhappy about doing any of this, or feel it may put you at risk, Surrey Police can arrange a meeting for you and your neighbour and send an officer to help you talk it through. Joining a Neighbourhood Watch or a local residents/tenants’ association may also help.