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How to talk to your neighbour
Whether you decide to talk to your neighbour in person, over the phone or send them a letter, email or text, these useful tips may help you talk to your neighbour and even reach an agreement.
If there is an Apprehended Violence Order between you and your neighbour, before talking to your neighbour you should get legal advice. There may be restrictions on whether or not you are allowed to contact your neighbour.
Be polite and respectful
When talking to your neighbour be polite and respectful. Try and not let your emotions control the conversation. Remaining calm will help you focus on the issue and give your neighbour time to think about what you are saying.
Explain how the noise is affecting you
Your neighbour may not realise that the noise is bothering you. Explaining how the noise is affecting you may help them understand why it is a problem.
Listen to your neighbour
When discussing the problem with your neighbour, it is important that you listen to their side of the story too. Understanding their point of view may help you negotiate the problem and reach a solution that suits both of you.
Suggest a solution
Make practical suggestions for how to solve the problem. For example, if you have a problem with a neighbour's barking dog, you could suggest the neighbour arrange for someone to walk the dog during the day.
Be willing to compromise
Try and be flexible when talking to your neighbour about the problem. For example, consider negotiating about the time the noise occurs or how loud the noise is.
Keeping a record of your attempts to resolve the problem is important if you decide to go to court. You should consider making notes of the conversation you had with your neighbour while it is fresh in your mind.
Sometimes talking to your neighbour directly may not be the best option, particularly if you don't have a good relationship with them. You should always keep your safety in mind. You can try mediation which involves the help of a third person to try and settle the dispute.
For more information, see the Negotiation topic on this website.