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Commercial Property Disputes

Commercial Nuisance & Negligence

Jayesh Kunwardia
Jayesh Kunwardia
Partner
Chun Wong
Chun Wong
Partner
Claire Kitchen
Claire Kitchen
Partner
Daniel Fitzpatrick
Daniel Fitzpatrick
Partner
Michael Kilbane
Michael Kilbane
Partner
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Ruhul Ameen
Partner

Nuisance and negligence are stressful issues when it comes to dealing with your neighbours.

While the first rule is to keep in mind – at every stage – is the special nature of any relationship between neighbours, and to try and keep things amicable, sometimes we understand that it’s simply not possible.

You should at all costs aim to diffuse the situation if you can, early on and as tactfully as possible, avoiding a pattern of worsening tit-for-tat. But, if you do need legal advice, we can help.

Our expert lawyers understand the sensitive nature of disputes between neighbours and will fight your corner to protect your rights.

What is a commercial property nuisance?

If you have not been able to resolve the dispute with your neighbour yourself, nor by appealing for help to your neighbour’s landlord, the local authority, or the police, then it may be appropriate to bring a civil claim.

The purpose of such a claim would be to obtain an injunction against your neighbour, prohibiting them from engaging in the antisocial behaviour that was the subject of your claim. It would then be a criminal offence for your neighbour to breach the injunction.

This is similar to the action which the council, landlord or police would be able to take against your neighbour, and it will normally be more appropriate for one of those organisations to do so.

In some cases, it may also be possible to include a claim for compensation, but this will be subject to your neighbour’s ability to pay, and you may have difficulties recovering the costs of bringing your claim.

Neighbours can cause a nuisance in many different ways, such:

  • noise
  • leaks
  • odours
  • animal infestations

"YOU HAVE BEEN EXCELLENT AND I COULDN'T HAVE HOPED FOR BETTER ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION."

The nuisance might be coming from a residential neighbour or could be coming from commercial or industrial premises.

There are legal remedies available which can force neighbours to stop making a nuisance. If the nuisance continues, we can take your case to the courts and seek appropriate relief including compensation.

We can also help you seek a remedy if you have suffered harm, a loss or an infringement of your rights in property cases, where it can be proven that a duty of care was owed.

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Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?

We can help you to prepare a strategy on how to engage with your neighbours in order to place you in a position of strength ahead of a dispute. Should matters become contentious, then we can often resolve your dispute by providing legal clarity.

If you need to take further legal action, our team can provide all the experience you need to settle your dispute in court or fight your corner at trial in order to maximise your chances of success.

"THEY REALLY GAVE THE BEST HELP. THEY KEPT IN TOUCH QUITE OFTEN AND WAS EXTREMELY HELPFUL. I RECOMMEND THEM FULLY."

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What to do if you are dealing with nuisance

Keep evidence

From an early stage, keep an antisocial behaviour diary, and where appropriate support it with photos, videos or sound recordings

Seek legal help

Our team will be able to advise you as to your options for taking things further, if you have not been able to resolve the dispute or put an end to the antisocial behaviour by approaching your neighbour yourself. This might include advising you about which organisations can assist, and putting your case to them as effectively as possible to provoke action.

Make a claim

Our solicitors will be able to help you bring a claim for a civil injunction, but this will not usually be appropriate until all other steps have been exhausted.

Contact our specialist team on
or request a call back.
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How can an injunction help me?

If you are experiencing problems with neighbours, an injunction can put a stop to those problems quickly and effectively. An injunction is a court order requiring someone to act or stop acting in a certain way. Significant penalties can be incurred by anyone breaching the injunction.

Injunctions can stop neighbours from:

  • Removing a wall or fence
  • Starting building works which could be detrimental to you
  • Engaging in anti-social behaviour such as noise, harassment or leaving rubbish
  • Continuing harmful use of a property
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How can I resolve this situation?

Let your neighbour know there is a problem early on

Your neighbour may not know the effect of their behaviour is having on you and simply bringing it to their attention in a non-confrontational way may be enough.

Keep an antisocial behaviour diary, and were appropriate support it with evidence

Whatever further steps you need to take, it will help if you have kept records so that you can be specific about what your neighbour has been doing, with dates and times, how it has affected you, and what attempts you have made to resolve it.

Discuss the problem with your other neighbours

It may be that your other neighbours are experiencing similar problems, and they may be able to help you bring it to an end.

Consider legal advice about what further steps you should take

A legal adviser will be able to advise you as to your options for taking things further, if you have not been able to resolve the dispute or put an end to the antisocial behaviour by approaching your neighbour yourself.

It may help for a solicitor to draft a letter to your neighbour for you to send in your own name, explaining that there is a problem and asking them to stop.

Alternatively, a letter from a solicitor at this stage may be an effective way of convincing them that things have become serious, by warning them about the potential consequences of continuing.

Finally, a solicitor will be able to help you bring a claim for a civil injunction, but this will not usually be appropriate until all other steps have been exhausted.

Consider having mediation with your neighbour

Mediation can help you to come to an understanding with each other if possible, when you seem to have reached a stalemate.

If discussing the problem with your neighbour leads to a stand-off, mediation may help. The purpose of mediation is to cut through misunderstandings on either side about what the problem is.

Contact your neighbour’s landlord to let them know about the problem

If your neighbour is renting the property it is likely that there is a tenancy agreement prohibiting antisocial behaviour at the property. If there is a problem, you should raise it with the landlord early on, but not before you have first raised it with your neighbour directly.

Approach your local authority for help

Your local authority will be able to take preventative action against your neighbour if the antisocial behaviour does not stop.

If your neighbour breaks the law

The police will have powers to intervene and either prosecute or threaten criminal sanctions if the behaviour carries on.

Consider bringing a civil action in the courts against your neighbour

If you have not been able to resolve the dispute with your neighbour yourself, nor by appealing for help to your neighbour’s landlord, the local authority, or the police, then it may be appropriate to bring a civil claim under the Protection from Harassment Act or for common law private nuisance.

In some cases, it may also be possible to include a claim for compensation, but this will be subject to your neighbour’s ability to pay, and you will not normally be able to recover the costs of bringing your claim.

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"The outcome has proved far better than I dared to hope. I would unhesitatingly recommend HJA and those of their associates with whom I have had dealings."