If you’re in the middle of your tenants and their neighbours dispute, you’ll want to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Your tenants are paying for service. That service is your property to sleep, eat and live in. If that service is disrupted by neighbours, you’ll need to put on your mediation hat and try to resolve the problem before it gets worse.

When does a landlord need to get involved in neighbourly disputes?

Sure, your tenants are living in the property and therefore they should take on responsibility of dealing with neighbourly disputes. However, you may find one of two complaints coming your way in writing or via phone call.

  • Your tenant is complaining about a neighbour.


  • A neighbour is complaining about your tenant.

There may have been some exchanges unknown to you up until receiving this complaint. Nevertheless, once you’ve had either your tenant or neighbour reach out, you’ll need to take action.

Knowing the best way of when and how to intervene will hopefully cost you the least amount of time and money and with the best outcome for both parties. Afterall, time is money as a landlord and a smooth tenancy equals higher profit margins.

Be sure to have your landlord insurance policy in place before the beginning of a tenancy. Our advice centre can offer some guidance on how to protect your property with a strong AST (assured shorthold tenancy).

Who’s liable for damage?

Complaints and disputes that come out of the woodwork due to neighbour property damage can cause serious concern for landlords. The first two questions being:

  • Who’s fault is it?
  • Who should foot the bill?

tenant is liable to a neighbours property if they cause:

A landlord is liable if:

  • The property is being used illegally (drugs, brothel, gambling ring)
  • They display continuous anti-social behaviour

Incredibly, even if you’re simply the owner of a buy-to-let property, you are fundamentally responsible for the nuisance or illegal behaviour of the tenants in the eyes of your neighbour and the law.

Understanding the full picture of the dispute

Say you received a complaint from your neighbours about the goings on at your rental property. You’ll want to gain as much information to make an informed decision as possible.

  • Get both parties to write a statement for you to understand the order of events.
  • Arrange a meeting with your tenants for them to explain in their own words.
  • Do the same with your neighbours.

Remaining impartial and calm will enable you to communicate effectively with both parties. Use key communicative language such as ‘Thank you for letting me know’ and ‘I understand what you’re saying’ and ‘Leave that information with me. I’d like to get this sorted for you’.

These affirmation communicators may seem incredibly obvious but when you have angry neighbours and tenants shouting issues at you, it’s easy to unravel and for things to escalate quickly.

If they do escalate and you feel threatened or abused in any way report this immediately to the police so they have a clear string of incidents should this matter progress further down the line. The reports of abusive behaviour will be useful documentation if the dispute has to be taken to court.

Mediation is the best medicine for resolution.

So you’ve tried your best to resolve the issue between both parties but there’s been no movement or agreement. Get in touch with your local mediation service and organise a meeting for the two parties.

There is a small cost for mediation but it is much cheaper than hiring a solicitor. Explain to both parties they will need to attend the mediation otherwise the next step is for the accusing party to make an official complaint to the council.

Who pays for damage to neighbours property?

Your tenant will be required to pay for any damage they have created to a neighbours property. This should be settled independently between the two parties.

Legitimate reasons to escalate a dispute

If you feel threatened, abused, harassed racially, sexually or because of your ethnic background in any way during the process of mediation, make sure you contact the police.

If you yourself suspect your tenants or the neighbours are engaging in illegal activity, you should also call the police.

Your AST agreement will have outlined breaches which result in immediate termination of the agreement. If you’ve witnessed evidence of these breaches with your own eyes or from eyewitnesses in the neighbourhood, you should request a court order with form N5 to recover possession of your property if your tenant does not agree to leave.

Disputes and damage during a tenancy can leave you feeling vulnerable as a landlord. At CIA landlord insurance, we have an expert team ready to guide you through your policy. Request a callback or get in touch today.

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