How to resolve issues & disputes with your neighbours in Australia

June 9, 2023

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Living in close proximity to neighbors can be both rewarding and sometimes can be challenging. While having neighbors can provide a sense of community, it can also lead to conflicts and disputes that can be difficult to resolve. In this blog post, we will discuss how to resolve disputes with your neighbors in Australia.

Communicate: The first step in resolving disputes with your neighbors is to communicate with them. It is essential to have an open and honest conversation with your neighbor to understand their perspective on the issue. It is important to remain calm and respectful during this conversation, and listen to their concerns and ideas for a resolution.

Image credit WIKIHOW

Mediation: If you are unable to reach a resolution through communication alone, consider using a mediator. Mediation involves an independent third party who can facilitate a conversation between you and your neighbor to help find a mutually agreeable solution. Many local councils offer mediation services, and it can be a cost-effective way to resolve disputes.

Seek Legal Advice: If the dispute is serious, and mediation has been unsuccessful, you may need to seek legal advice. It is important to consult with a lawyer who specializes in dispute resolution to help you navigate the legal process.

Involve Authorities: If the dispute involves illegal activity or threatening behavior, it may be necessary to involve the authorities. This could include contacting your local police station or making a complaint to your local council.

Neighborhood Dispute Resolution: In Australia, there is a Neighborhood Dispute Resolution (NDR) service, which is a free service that helps residents resolve disputes with their neighbors. This service provides a neutral and impartial mediator to facilitate discussions between neighbors and help them come to an agreement.

Keep a Record: When dealing with a dispute, it is important to keep a record of all communications and interactions with your neighbor. This can include emails, letters, and notes of conversations. Having a record can be useful in demonstrating that you have made reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute and may be helpful if legal action becomes necessary.

Resolving disputes with neighbors can be a challenging and stressful process. However, by keeping lines of communication open, seeking mediation or legal advice if necessary, involving authorities where appropriate, and utilizing available resources such as the Neighborhood Dispute Resolution service, you can find a resolution that works for everyone.

Image credit WIKIHOW

NSW Fair Trading offers free and informal onsite negotiation with a neutral and qualified mediator to help parties reach a beneficial settlement. Mediation is an informal and inexpensive way to resolve disputes among owners, tenants and owner’s corporations in strata-titled property or community schemes.

Some good read

https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/en/podcast-episode/how-to-resolve-disputes-with-your-neighbours-in-australia/vj9sgrgoi

https://www.lawsociety.com.au/for-the-public/know-your-rights/problems-with-neighbours/when-and-how-complaint#:~:text=If%20your%20neighbour%20is%20causing,neighbour%20to%20stop%20the%20nuisance.

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