A guide to being a good neighbour

Are you an annoying neighbour? Are you breaking the law inadvertently? Find out here, in our guide to being a good neighbour and not breaking the law.

  1. When putting up washing lines, make sure you obtain consent from your neighbour before using their fence or wall to hang it up.
  2. Ever been annoyed by an annoying constant sound? Bubbling hot tubs may not be for your neighbour and could be classed as a nuisance due to noise.
  3. Only cut back tree branches to the extent that they overhang your land. If you cut back into your neighbour’s property it is illegal. Also, if there is a preservation order you cannot cut any of the branches at all.
  4. Now that you’ve cut back the tree or hedge, don’t just thrown them back into your neighbour’s garden. Ask for consent. If not in could classed as garden waste fly tipping.
  5. Your neighbour apple tree that overhangs your garden has got some ripe fruit. Don’t think about taking any without consent. Otherwise it’s constituted as theft.
  6. under the Human Rights Act, none of your CCTV cameras should point to their land, as this is breaching their privacy and could possibly constitute harassment.
  7. Smoke- If you have a wood burner in the house, or a barbecue. It’s a nuisance. And action can be taken.
  8. If you’re planning to keep chickens make sure you consider that the noise, odour, flies and vermin can be deemed to be nuisance behaviour.
  9. Summer days, screaming children on trampolines. Make sure you’re not breaching your neighbours right to privacy and that the noise is not too loud, position trampolines carefully.

    head of dispute resoloution talks on bbc radio leicester

    Our Head of Dispute resolution talks about neighborhood disputes.

  10. Security lights that go directly onto your neighbour’s gardens, could be classed as light pollution.
  11. To cut down noise pollution, noisy DIY and household appliances should be used between the following times: Weekdays: 8 AM – 6 PM, Weekends: 8 AM – 1 PM
  12. If you’ve got a big car, or a caravan, make sure you take care when you park so that you’re not blocking the light.
  13. If your Wi-Fi isn’t working, don’t think about using your neighbours unsecure Wi-Fi. This type of ‘piggybacking’ is illegal under the computer misuse act 1990.

If you wish to seek any legal advice around employment, or simply want to know more, don’t hesitate to call our team on: 0116 2999 199 or alternatively you can email us at: info@d-w-s.co.uk


  • mr Gary fish

    Good evening unfortunately we have had several disputes with my neighbour of 20 years. they have recently placed a large four man hot tub right next to our fence and only a meter away from my back door of our mid terrace house. the trouble being its on decking and the low hum this produce is nearly 50 decibels which is on day and night. and can easily be herd in our third floor bedroom. last night they decided to use it at 12.30 at night the noise the bubbles produce is loud then they virtually shout to talk to one another . i can lay in bed an listen quite clearly to their conversation i have tried the local council environmental health department but they are very slow to act. i would like to know where i stand leagaly to place an objection

  • Dee

    Maybe it’s time to start petitioning Michael Gove, environment secretary to get something done about this? Perhaps petition him to introduce retrospective planning permission for all hot tubs to ensure they aren’t being used as a nuisance. If you start one and share the address on here, I’ll be glad to sign it!