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Get In Touch

By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

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  • Overview

    My neighbours have recently renovated their property and installed a roof terrace. They have been barbecuing constantly since the start of the summer, and I have had to deal with the excessive noise because the terrace is right by my bedroom window. I have spoken to them about their behaviour but they have been unresponsive. What are my options? Is it worth me taking them to court? How long is the process likely to take?

    The first thing you should do is visit the planning section of your local council’s website to see if your neighbours applied for planning permission for the roof terrace. If they did, you should check the decision notice and plans to see if there were any conditions imposed on your neighbours at the time. If your neighbours are breaching any of these conditions, or if they failed to get permission at all, the council’s planning enforcement team could take action.

    My neighbours appear to have obtained planning permission. What next?

    If talking to your neighbours has not worked, then you may need to consider alternatives. If your neighbours’ behaviour is unreasonably interfering with your enjoyment of your property, then they may be causing a nuisance in law. You should keep a diary — ideally with audio recordings — as evidence of the noise levels and frequency of disturbance. If it is having an effect on your family’s health or wellbeing, you could report the matter to your local council who may take action by serving a noise abatement order on your neighbours. If they do not, you may need to take action yourself.

    What would court action achieve?

    In an ideal world, you would obtain an injunction preventing your neighbours from using the roof terrace at all, or at least in a way that interferes with your enjoyment of your property. If your neighbours have obtained planning permission for the terrace, this is not, itself, a defence to a nuisance claim. There will be occasions when the terms of a planning permission could be relevant in a nuisance case. You will probably need to involve an expert to report on noise levels.

    Court action sounds expensive

    It is. It could also take many months to get a hearing date. If you are unsuccessful at trial, it is likely that you would be ordered by the court to pay your neighbours’ costs in addition to your own — and your neighbours will still be using their roof terrace. You will also need to disclose the existence of any dispute with your neighbours when you come to sell your property, which may have a negative effect on the sale or the sale price. In short, court action should be the last resort.

    Mark Steggles is a partner in Property Dispute Resolution at Thomson Snell & Passmore

    First published in the Financial Times here; https://www.ft.com/content/80346554-b3b6-11e9-8cb2-799a3a8cf37b?FTCamp=engage%2FCAPI%2Falert%2FChannel_signal%2F%2FB2B

  • Related Services

    Dispute Resolution

    Our objective is to achieve swift, realistic results in the most cost efficient and risk free manner possible. Our Dispute Resolution team specialise in resolving a wide range of disputes for individuals.  

    Dispute Resolution

    Our team of experienced and highly specialist lawyers includes experts in contractual, commercial and international disputes, insolvency, shareholders’, directors and partnership disputes, in disputes arising from construction/engineering projects and we also act for clients seeking to protect or defend intellectual property/IT rights.

    Property disputes including landlord & tenant and boundary disputes

    We represent clients in all forums including the High Court and County Court, Lands Tribunal, and the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).  All of our property specialists are members of the Property Litigation Association and we have strong working relationships with specialist surveyors and experts, as well as Chancery barristers. Above all, we recognise that the property world is a business in which personal relationships count and we fully address the human as well as the legal dimension of any problem.

Get In Touch

By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

Newsletter Sign Up

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We respect your privacy and want news to be relevant. To either, click here or update your preferences by emailing us at info@ts-p.co.uk. Your personal data shall be treated in accordance with our & .

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