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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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We live in a large apartment complex in London with a garden.

Resolved Question:

We live in a large apartment complex in London with a garden. We have a 2 and 4 year old who like to play in this garden. We obey the rules and they play and make the usual noise of children their age. There are 3 elderly women who live next to the garden who constantly complain about the noise which is beginning to feel like harassment. The manager of the property clearly says we are within our rights to let our children play there (fully supervised of course). Any advice to resolve this issue?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name is ***** ***** I can assist with this.

tdlawyer :

The best thing to do to resolve the issue is try and talk to the neighbours and, if possible, reach some sort of compromise, to allow them to feel that you've conceded to some extent.

tdlawyer :

You could perhaps offer to limit the playing time between certain times.

tdlawyer :

That's the best way ....

Customer: Great thank you. I'll also add that one our sons is autistic.
tdlawyer :

It's not always the most effective, sometimes you have to go a little further to force people into resolving issues and being reasonable. Unfortunately, some people are not always reasonable!

tdlawyer :

Okay.

Customer: We have done that and they want zero noise and no children playing there despite it being a shared garden.
tdlawyer :

It's possible with a lot of councils to engage a mediation service too, where you have a professionally trained third party come in to help you resolve your differences. As a council feature, these services are often pretty inexpensive, especially when you consider the costs of resolving matters at court or through more formal mechanisms!

tdlawyer :

Zero noise is obviously unreaslistic.

tdlawyer :

This is why a mediator might be useful.

tdlawyer :

He is the independent third party who is professionally trained to achieve deals.

tdlawyer :

It's not the thing only for terrorist negotiators etc., these days!

tdlawyer :

It's a good service and one that often tields good results.

tdlawyer :

I would always encourage people to try mediation.

tdlawyer :

In fact, if this dispute went to Court (heaven forbid) then the court would always expect the parties to try something like mediation.

Customer: We are in our rights but their constant complaining is quite intimidating. If mediating does not work are their other steps to stop them.
tdlawyer :

After mediation, you do have the option of complaining to the police that this amounts to harassment, although to be honest, they rarely get involved in this type of complaint if they can avoid it. You could, however, complaint that their constant complaining amounts to harassment and/or nuisance, and you could consider issuing proceedings in the county court. Again, before doing this, it's ALWAYS best to get a solicitor to do a letter before action as this might be (often it can be) enough to nip it in the bud. Nobody really ever wants litigation - it would be a lot more stressful that the noise of an autistic child playing!

tdlawyer :

Take it slowly - ramp it up in notches. Don't rush off to police and/or court as this can make it worse - treat them as last resorts.

tdlawyer :

You have to hope they will be reasonable, but equally, you can't force them to be.

tdlawyer :

You can only do your best - and if you at least to do that, whatever comes aterwards at least you can always say you tried to be reasonable and salvage the situation.

tdlawyer :

I would add, a lot of management companies have the power under the leases to deal with nuisance tenants.

tdlawyer :

It might be that they come in this category too - and the management company could get involved. I would suggest trying to get them to formally take up your cause before going to a solicitor, as again, this is probably a cheaper loss confrontational option.

Customer: Unfortunately they own their flats whilst we are tenants
Customer: Also we only ever go out there once a day and for one hour max?
tdlawyer :

You're all tenants really - as you can't own a freehold of a flat - everybody has a lease in an apartment complex.

tdlawyer :

Once a day for one hour sounds very reasonable to me.

tdlawyer :

It sounds to me like they're being very unfair indeed.

Customer: Thank you... That is reassuring and I have tried to be as honest as possible about the situation. What next step do you recommend?
tdlawyer :

Speak to your council on Monday, see if they have mediation services for neighbour disputes. If so (and most do), then you could try that.

Customer: Thank you.... I'll sleep better now!
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