October 3, 2022

Managing Neighbourhood Disorders: What Are Your Rights?

Are you having trouble getting along with your neighbour? Is their fence encroaching on your property? Are they making too much noise? Does their tree shade you? The inconveniences caused by neighbours can be numerous. If they are preventing you from enjoying your property, it can become a problem. But what is a real neighbourhood disorder? And what are your rights?


Do You Really Have a Neighbourhood Disorder?

When you are a neighbour, you have rights and obligations. You must respect your neighbours and be understanding of certain inconveniences that you have to live with.

If your neighbour mows their lawn in the late morning on Saturdays, the Educaloi site reminds us, it’s perfectly normal. For it to become a real neighbourhood disorder, the problem must be serious enough, “a continuous or repetitive inconvenience.”

What if you live in an apartment building? The law covers not only relations between neighbours in a bungalow, but also tenants in a rental building or condominium.

The definition of neighbourhood also covers people who live down the street from you but are not your immediate neighbours: if they cause you a significant inconvenience, you have recourse.

Of course, it all depends on the context. If you live near a commercial street with restaurants, you have to get used to the smell of cooking and the noise.

Examples of Neighbourhood Disorders

When our relationship with a neighbour is bad, even the smallest thing can turn into a neighbourhood dispute.

Here are some examples of situations that can take a turn for the worse:

  • A neighbour who repeatedly makes noise or parties loudly;
  • A fence that encroaches on the neighbour’s property;
  • An untrimmed hedge that invades the paved driveway to the point where it is no longer possible to park a car;
  • A neighbour who does not respect the privacy of the other;
  • A streetlamp that automatically turns on when there is movement and whose light disturbs the neighbourhood;
  • A neighbour who regularly drives onto another property to park;
  • A homeowner who accumulates garbage on the neighbour’s property line;
  • A dog that barks incessantly;
  • Etc.

In any case, if an action or situation causes you a serious and repeated inconvenience, you can consider it as a cause of grievance against your neighbour.

How to Settle a Neighbourhood Disorder?

If you are experiencing an inconvenience because of a neighbour, the first step is to talk to them. A good discussion can resolve many misunderstandings. After all, your neighbour may not have realized that their actions are having a negative impact on you. Don’t wait to bring up the issue with your neighbour - a problem is easier to solve if it hasn’t been going on for long.

If your neighbour does not want to cooperate, it is time to send a formal notice.

Finally, if the situation persists, you can turn to court. If your problem is recognized as a neighbourhood disorder, the court can order that the situation be corrected or grant you compensation.

How to Be a Good Neighbour

Avoiding trouble with your neighbours is often as simple as being careful and communicating well with those around you.

For example, if you need to encroach on your neighbour’s property to repair a fence, talking to your neighbour is often enough. Similarly, if you are planning a party, why not give your neighbours a heads-up? And don’t make a habit of it...

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