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The harsh reality of neighbour disputes

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After a High Court decision last year, one man was facing selling his home and the other a divorce. This can be the harsh reality of a simple neighbour dispute.

After 18 months of fighting, Mr Frost eventually won his claim against his neighbour. Mr Kemp, the neighbour to Mr Frost, had been found to have forged a planning objection relating to a proposed new roof top terrace.

Mr Kemp was ordered to pay Mr Frost the sum total of £2,500 in damages for wrongfully making up the objection. However, Mr Kemp was hit with a significant sting in the tail by having to pay the legal costs of his neighbour. This will cost Mr Kemp in the region of £20,000 and may result in him having to sell his home.

This is a harsh reminder that neighbour disputes can be an expensive argument to fight, with the roots of the disagreements sometimes ‘trivial’.

Before starting any dispute, especially those involving your neighbour, it is always wise to think about the impact of a potential court case. These can often affect not just the relationship between you and your neighbour, but also those of your own family. You must also think about the financial impact. Costs in the region of £20,000 are in the norm for neighbour disputes and in many cases far exceed this figure.

By Tom Baker, graduate paralegal in the dispute resolution team

Should you require any advice please feel free to contact our neighbour disputes team on 01616 966 229.