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Turf wars: Garden disputes top the list of the most annoying things you can do as a neighbour

Living with neighbours is not without its problems, and with 3,270 neighbour disputes relating to gardens in 2017 alone (and 19,749 between 2012-2018), it seems that us Brits just can’t get along when it comes to our green space.

Living with neighbours is not without its problems, and with 3,270 neighbour disputes relating to gardens in 2017 alone (and 19,749 between 2012-2018), it seems that us Brits just can’t get along when it comes to our green space.

New research by outdoor building manufacturer, Tiger Sheds, can reveal the neighbourly garden/green space habits that the nation has found most annoying this summer.

1. Having an untidy garden that makes the area look unsightly (17%)
2. Having loud parties/BBQs (16%)
3. Playing loud music (16%)
4. Having an untidy garden that spills into my garden (14%)
5. Using loud gardening tools late at night/early in the morning (13%)

Almost two-thirds (65%) of Brits admitted to getting annoyed with neighbours over their garden. But with two in five (40%) saying they feel irritated when their neighbours spend a lot of time in their private green space as it ‘invades their privacy’, it could be argued that expectations are a little unreasonable.

When it comes to taking action, almost a third (31%) say they have argued with their neighbour or come close to losing their temper - but how many have let a dispute go so far they ended up logging an official complaint?

Tiger Sheds carried out a series of Freedom of Information requests with councils across the country, to determine how many official garden-related neighbour complaints have been made in the last six years - and where in the UK harsh words are most likely to be exchanged over the fence.

The top ten councils with the highest number of disputes from neighbours (specifically about nearby private gardens, and shared fences and hedges) from 2012-2018 are:
 

1. Warwickshire County Council - 1,256 complaints
2. Cornwall Council - 941 complaints
3. Sheffield City Council - 630 complaints
4. Portsmouth City Council - 544 complaints
5. Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council - 502 complaints
6. East Ayrshire Council - 494 complaints
7. South Gloucestershire District Council - 418 complaints
8. North Lincolnshire Council - 413 complaints
9. New Forest District Council - 365 complaints
10. Durham County Council - 351 complaints

 

Warwickshire comes out on top as the most argumentative region with a whopping 1,256 garden disputes since 2012. Not far behind is Cornwall which, despite being renowned for its more relaxed way of life, has proved itself to be a county of conflict, earning second place.

Leeds locals are the best at holding their tongue, with three quarters (75%) saying they have never had a disagreement with their neighbours. While Bristolians are by far the friendliest bunch with 38% saying they enjoy spending time in their garden while their neighbour is in theirs.

We can all get a bit frustrated with our neighbours, so what can you do if a dispute goes too far?
 

Saddat Abid, Senior Property Buyer at Property Saviour shares his tips on what you can do if you do find yourself facing a dispute with your neighbour.

“If you have exhausted trying to resolve the situation yourself, you can always try a mediation service. Local community mediation services looks to create a win-win scenario for both parties, and are normally free in most areas since they are funded by the council or local charities. In some cases you may have to pay up to £500, however this is still much cheaper than taking unnecessary legal action.

Both neighbours have to agree to split up the cost of the mediation service early on. Once an agreement has been reached either verbally or in writing, the mediator will back off. They will then check back in a month’s time to ensure that both parties are sticking to the agreement.”

Kiarna Benson from Tiger Sheds added: “Living with your neighbours can be hard, but it’s important to try to get along for an easy home and garden life. If you don’t already, having an agreement with your neighbour over who’s responsible for what parts of the hedge and/or fence is a great way to ensure you’re all on the same page.

If you do find yourself falling out with your neighbour over the garden, try to talk it out before it escalates. It’ll be better for your relationship in the long run and will mean you can keep enjoying your garden without the fear of a fall out.”

To speak to one of our lettings team at Belvoir Liverpool Central please call 0151 231 1613 or email liverpoolcentral@belvoir.co.uk

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