Over the Fence
You and Your Neighbours
Disputes between neighbours can arise over a number of issues, for example:
- Boundaries and encroachments
- Nuisance and trespass
- Animals and noise
- Use of land or buildings
- Trees and structures
- Easements and rights of way
- Landlocked land
Ideally, you and your neighbour will be able to resolve any problem by discussing it together.
However, if necessary, the law may be able to help resolve the matter. While the law provides a remedy in many instances, it does not cover every case in which disagreements arise between neighbours.
Your lawyer can advise you about your rights and any remedy available to protect you from your neighbour's conduct.
Preventing Neighbourhood Disputes
The essence of being a neighbour is neighbourliness - that combination of respect and consideration for others that enables most people to live on good terms with those next door. A dispute between neighbours can upset relationships and lead to discomfort and unhappiness. While using your lawyer to advise you on your rights and remedies, remember it is often best to try to resolve any problems by discussion. Talk to your neighbours about it and, if necessary, write to them - but not in an abusive or unreasonable manner. With goodwill, most disputes between neighbours can be settled.
Information on your legal rights and remedies in the above situations can be found on the NZ Law Society website.